La Med is safe
In September, the fate of Berkeley’s Café La Méditerranée was uncertain to say the least. Its managing partner Garbis Baghdassarian wanted to retire, and La Méditerranée’s founder Levon Der Bedrossian didn’t want to assume operations since he still runs the two locations in San Francisco. But there’s been a twist: While Baghdassarian will still retire at the end of the year, Der Bedrossian’s son Vanick Der Bedrossian will take over the 36-year-old Berkeley restaurant along with longtime San Francisco business partner Alicia Vanden Heuvel. La Med’s veteran staff is expected to stay as the new managers usher in a few changes in 2019, including a new paint job, touching up the cozy interior, and adding some new dishes, such as salmon kebabs, homemade falafel, chicken shawarma wraps, and shakshuka for brunch.
Another low-key bar for Oakland
The team behind Heart and Dagger Saloon, the dive bar in Oakland’s Grand Lake neighborhood, is opening a new bar in Uptown at 1741 San Pablo Avenue. Dubbed The Amplifier, it should feel similar to Heart and Dagger, with DJs performing on the weekends and music-themed cocktails for less than $9. It should open sometime this month.
Grain bowls for Facebook
Health-oriented organic food and juice chain Urban Remedy is opening on Wednesday at 181 Fremont, San Francisco’s new tower leased by Facebook. The ground floor, 400-square-foot post will be Urban Remedy’s fifth location in SF. Andytown Coffee Roasters, which is based in the Outer Sunset, is also set to open in the building.
What happens to the survivors?
The Chronicle ran a lengthy feature on the survivors of the Camp Fire, including Paradise neighborhood spot Hilltop Cafe. It was left completely unscathed while neighboring buildings burned to the ground. Even though the cafe is physically in good shape, its future is bleak with no one left to serve.