Tartine founders Chad Robertson and Liz Prueitt’s rapidly expanding empire has finally touched the East Bay, with the announcement of a new project with chef Chris Kronner (Kronnerburger) at Berkeley’s Graduate Hotel this April.
Kronner, whose relationship with Tartine started back in 2001 when he lived above Tartine Bakery and eventually resulted in a stint as chef of Bar Tartine (RIP), is taking over the hotel restaurant, Henry’s, giving it a modern upgrade in both menu and design. It’s long been a Cal gameday tradition in what was formerly the Hotel Durant, which underwent a major renovation and rebranding by the Graduate Hotels chain.
For Kronner, it’s an opportunity to expand his offerings beyond the eponymous Kronnerburger, for which he named his Oakland restaurant. So don’t get confused: This is not Kronnerburger version 2.0. Here, he and co-executive chefs Jeffrey Hayden (Del Popolo) and Justin Huffman (Kronnerburger) will offer a variety of larger shared dishes, bar snacks, Tartine baked goods, oysters, and obviously Kronner’s burgers.
Really, it’s a reunion for Kronner and Robertson, who’ve worked closely together for years. This new venture will provide more bandwidth for Kronner’s style of cooking, with a larger menu of snacky items like dry-brined and -fried chicken wings, charcuterie, larger steakhouse-style plate (a protein and side), and more vegetarian options.
“We have both the Henry’s bar side, which will operate as a boisterous super-casual tavern, and the dining room on the side, that will function more as a formal dining room,” Kronner told Eater. “We want it to be accessible to the [of age] students, alumni, and everyone from the surrounding neighborhoods.”
Drinks, key to a good hotel restaurant and even more important for a game day watering hole, are under the purview of Julian Cox, the Tartine group’s beverage director. Natural wines, local beers, and craft cocktails made with “large custom ice” will up the ante at what’s been a traditionally low-key place for students and alums to grab a drink. General manager Howie Correa will manage front of the house.
Though the Graduate hotel group — which tends to lean on kitschy college decor as a signature among its hotels in towns like Oxford, MS — recently redesigned the hotel, it’s getting another upgrade by Ashley Hildreth and Luke Foss. The pub-like interior will feature more modern leather banquettes, deep blue walls, and marble tabletops, bringing it closer to its 1920s roots.
It’s a hotel, after all, so when it debuts in mid-April, it will be open daily with dinner from 6 p.m.-10 p.m., with happy hour from 3 p.m.- 6 p.m. and late night happy hour from 10 p.m.- 1 a.m. Brunch will be served Friday through Sunday from 11 a.m.- 3 p.m.