About a year ago, the Public Market made announcements of two new tenants that would be opening food stalls. Both The Periodic Table and Fish Face Poke have recently announced that they will be opening their doors as soon as this month.
Meanwhile, amid the ongoing construction that includes the New Seasons Market Grocery store and Shellmound Street realignment, the Public Market applied for and was granted a restricted Saturday noise ordinance waiver to complete their construction.
The Periodic Table Taproom & Sake Bar
Shiba Ramen proprietor Jake Freed and his wife Hiroko saw the best way to help The Public Market get closer to critical mass and become a true evening destination was to create a space for people to “hang out”. When Public Market ownership indicated that they were looking for a taproom operator, Jake pitched them his idea for The Periodic Table taproom and a sake bar. “Instead of being solely a walk-up kiosk, we can design a really cool little space for people to hang out and drink.”
Freed procured the space adjacent to Shiba Ramen, and will run the two stalls as a single operation. Freed noted there will be a pass-through window between the two establishments and Shiba’s kitchen will serve items like their Shiba Wings, pickles, and other bar bites to taproom customers. “We’ll probably allow customers to order ramen in the taproom if they’re drinking there.”
As with Shiba, the interior of TPT will incorporate modern Japanese-influenced geometric design. “In Shiba Ramen, we used the ‘asanoha’ pattern, in TPT, we are using another traditional Japanese geometric pattern, the hexagonal basket-weave, in the tile and laser-cut wood screens.” Freed notes the significance of the hexagon in him and his wife’s background in Organic Chemistry. Freed did an extensive overview on his interior design research on personal blog, RamenChemistry.com.
For beer, Freed notes a focus on, but not limited to Bay Area craft beers. Freed is also hoping to expose sake to an audience beyond Sushi restaurants and the handful of small boutique spaces it is currently offered. “We want to use The Periodic Table as this very public and accessible forum to expose a broad demographic of people to sake. We’ll serve flights and do tastings, and we’ll sell whole bottles to go.” Freed also teased that they’ll be introducing some increasingly popular Japanese Whiskey into their inventory.
Freed notes they’re looking to roll out a soft opening probably the last week of this month, and then do a grand opening event in September. Freed hopes that Public Market business will eventually be strong enough to stay open until 11 pm or so.
Fish Face Poke Bar
Hot Italian was the first establishment to travel down I-80 from Sacramento to Emeryville and Fish Face Poke Bar is the next to follow suit. “We’ve tested and proven the concept in Sacramento and are excited about growing it at the Emeryville Public Market,” noted partner Shahriar Nejad. Fish Face has also recently opened a Carmichael, CA location (eastern suburb of Sacramento).
Co-founder Billy Ngo made a splash by opening the award-winning Kru sushi in midtown Sacramento. He built on this success by opening the original Fish Face at the WAL Public Market in Sacramento’s Historic R street District applying the same philosophy and dedication. Ngo’s success got the attention of The Public Market and they actively recruited him to bring his formula to Emeryville.
Fish Face’s menu will be a slightly paired down version of their Sacramento location but offer their signature poke dishes with plenty of customizable options. Fish Face notes a commitment to locally sourced ingredients and ocean sustainability practices.
Co-Founder Phuong Tran, who was born in Oakland and raised in nearby Hayward, described their opening as a bit of a homecoming for her personally. “I grew up loving all the options at the Public Market and look forward to us contributing to this diversity.”
The construction barrier on the stall came down a couple of weeks ago and piece-by-piece they have been unveiling their finished space. Fish Face is hopeful of a soft opening roll-out by the end of August and a more official opening after hiring and properly training their staff.
Browse their menu on fishfacepokebar.com.
Noise Ordinance Waiver Granted
Realigning an entire street segment is a massive undertaking and, needless to say, it’s created quite a bit of chaos in the surrounding “Christie Core” area. Construction on the New Seasons Market grocery store and accompanying parking garage is said to be ahead of schedule, but the utility companies and necessary permitting are in danger of running behind.
If a delay were to cause New Seasons to miss their anticipated November Grand Opening date, it could push this back into March of next year to avoid the Holidays. For this reason, The Public Market is looking to extend construction hours to Saturday.
Standard construction hours set by the city are Monday through Friday from 7am-6pm and anything outside of this requires a special permit from the city. At the July 11th council meeting, a small group of residents mostly from the nearby Emme Apartments, came out to oppose the noise ordinance waiver.
Emeryville City Council was faced with the tough decision of appeasing the few neighbors who were rightfully annoyed by the ongoing dust and noise, or face the blowback of delaying the much anticipated amenities of a grocery store and renovated park. Residents aren’t the only ones that are being impacted by the construction and some Market Hall vendors have seen a decline in business by as much as 20%. Six more months of parking confusion and its impacts would be tough for them to absorb.
After hearing concerns from neighbors, Council opted to give CCRP Senior VP Tim Bacon an opportunity to conduct outreach with them and come up with an acceptable compromise. The Council again considered the noise waiver request at the July 25th meeting and opted to approve it with two modifications. The beginning time was changed from 9 am to 10 am, and all streets adjacent to the Emme apartments were removed from Saturday work.
The waiver was approved 3-2, with Councilmembers Medina and Patz opposing it.
Renovation Rewards Program
To ease the impact of ongoing construction and accommodate patrons and vendors, the Food Hall has rolled out a generous “Buy four, get one free” Renovation Rewards program (I’ve already been through two!). With every purchase over $6, you receive a single stamp and four will get you a meal up to $15. These cards are available from participating food hall merchants.
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