clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

This James Beard Award-Nominated Indigenous Restaurant Is Planning a Huge Expansion

Cafe Ohlone put Bay Area native dining on the map. Now owners Louis Trevino and Vincent Medina plan to buy land and open three new restaurants.

An outdoor space at Cafe Ohlone in Berkeley, California.
Cafe Ohlone is set to expand in a major way.
Patricia Chang
Paolo Bicchieri is a reporter at Eater SF writing about Bay Area restaurant and bar trends, coffee and cafes, and pop-ups.

When Louis Trevino and Vincent Medina opened Cafe Ohlone in 2019 as a way to celebrate their Indigenous identities, the pop-up was the first of its kind in not only the San Francisco Bay Area, but also in the world. The two opened a permanent restaurant and education space at the Hearst Museum of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley in 2022. Now, in an email sent out on Indigenous Peoples Day, the owners shared the next phase of their plans. The duo says they plan to acquire land in the East Bay, where they’ll raise native gardens and open “three interconnected restaurant spaces.”

With a $5 million fundraising goal ahead of them, the entrepreneurs and chefs are looking to open a sunlit tea room, a “wooden speakeasy-esque lounge in a wooden slat-house casita,” and a main dining room inside a “grand, thatched tule house,” the email shares. Various trails will meander between the spaces, and the additional acreage will allow community members to “cultivate basketry materials” and raise flora including poppies and mugwort. The two told the San Francisco Chronicle they hope to acquire the 40 acres of land by 2024.

New pop-ups take over the west side

In the far-flung avenues of both the Outer Sunset and the Outer Richmond, pop-ups are running rampant. In the former Cassava on Balboa Street space — now Cassava Wine Bar — Tablehopper writes Iggy’s Place will take over for lunch from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, as of mid-October. On the other side of Golden Gate Park, 3650 Taraval, which has played host to Lil’ Eagle Burger and Concession in recent months, is set to feature Country Chaat come November. Chicken soup and borsch are common fare at Iggy’s Place, whereas mushroom and squash curry and chai cheesecake are on the menu at Country Chaat.

Fan-favorite burger joint takes over neighboring location

North Beach late-night favorite Sam’s Burgers is growing by one address to the left. The San Francisco Standard reports the old-school business will open Sam’s East at 620 Broadway, next door to the original location at 618 Broadway. Owner Emad ElShawa told the outlet the new business will be a full-service Middle Eastern restaurant taking over the former Tacorea space.

Black beermakers are the main characters at this Sacramento festival

In Sacramento’s Oak Park neighborhood, Black beermakers will show off their chops at the Peoples Beer Festival on Saturday, October 14. The Sacramento Bee reports the party, featuring more than 30 breweries from across California, is on from 2 to 7 p.m. Tickets range anywhere from $15 to $100 for kids to all-access passes.

Ferry Building food nonprofit throws its major gala

Down by the waterfront Foodwise is set to throw its annual fundraising party with 30 A-list restaurants including Abacá, Shuggie’s, Dalida, and more. The 21st Foodwise Sunday Supper: A Farm to City Feast takes place on Sunday, October 15 from 5 to 10 p.m. with tickets starting at $400.