A car drove into the Oakland location of Wise Sons deli on June 4. It was the second time in just over a year. (Photos/Courtesy Evan Bloom)
A car drove into the Oakland location of Wise Sons deli on June 4. It was the second time in just over a year. (Photos/Courtesy Evan Bloom)

Wise Sons reopens in Oakland; Pizza, Bagel and Beer Fest coming up in SF

Food coverage is supported by a generous donation from Susan and Moses Libitzky.

The downtown Oakland location of Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen has reopened its walk-up window service, after a car crashed into the restaurant on 17th and  Franklin streets in early June.

As J. reported then, the driver lost control while racing on a Sunday afternoon; it was the second time a similar incident had occurred there.

Wise Sons announced the partial reopening on Instagram on June 22, with pickup, delivery and catering available, and added, “We’re still working on repairs to the dining room and hope to reopen it soon.”

A number of Bay Area bagel outfits, including Boichik Bagels and Midnite Bagel, are participating in San Francisco’s first-ever Pizza, Bagel and Beer Festival on Aug. 19. It’s put on by Bay Area native and celebrity pizza maker Tony Gemignani, with Adam Swig’s Value Culture as a co-sponsor. The event will be held in North Beach, with proceeds going to a number of charities. Tickets are $75 for unlimited pizza and bagel tastings, and are selling quickly. They’re available here.

In May, we wrote about Hadeem, the new Jewish diaspora concept pop-up by chef Spencer Horovitz, which drew long lines and great reviews. Horovitz has announced a ticketed dinner on Aug. 27 in San Francisco at The Morris, a restaurant in the Mission District. Tickets cost $115 for six courses and are available starting on Resy. Horovitz is also doing a Rosh Hashanah dinner at Mägo in Oakland on Sept. 12. Tickets will be available starting Aug. 12. Watch his Instagram for details.  

Last month, Eater San Francisco reported that Bad Walter’s Bootleg Ice Cream would be opening a brick-and-mortar shop in the former Smitten Ice Cream space in the Rockridge neighborhood of Oakland.

Bad Walter’s began in 2022 as a pandemic pop-up, created by Sydney Arkin, a New York Jewish transplant. Besides her other tongue-in-cheek names for flavors, she has offered signature Jewish flavors around the holidays, for instance Rolling in Gelt (chocolate with chocolate-covered potato chips and olive oil); Sufganiyot, using Donut Savant’s sufganiyot doughnut, jam and a glaze swirl; and Elijah’s Munchies, which combined matzah crack, macaroons, and wine and berry jam swirled into a sweet cream base.

Walter gets some last licks of Bad Walter's Bootleg Ice Cream, which comes in human and dog flavors.
Walter gets some last licks of Bad Walter’s Bootleg Ice Cream.

Arkin plans a 2024 opening, with an open kitchen where customers can watch how the ice cream gets made. Location is 5800 College Ave., across from Trader Joe’s.

Pomella, the California-Israeli restaurant on Oakland’s Piedmont Avenue, is hosting its second summerfest with desserts, happy-hour drink specials and live music on its patio every Thursday in August from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Veretski Pass will kick it off Aug. 3. Qirvah Ensemble follows on Aug. 10, Saul Goodman Klezmer Band on Aug. 17, Euphonos Trio on Aug. 24 and Gonifs on Aug. 31.

Amina Harris retired June 30 as director of the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center, part of the Robert Mondavi Institute. She founded the center in 2012, and later founded the California Honey Festival in the nearby city of Woodland. The former director of the religious school at Davis’ Congregation Bet Haverim, Harris will remain the “queen bee” at Z Specialty Food, the business founded by her late husband, Ishai Zeldner. Son Josh is now “nectar director” of the business in Woodland, offering honey tastings in its Hive tasting room.

Mitchell Katz, a Livermore winemaker who helped out Tri-Valley Chabad by donating grapes, barrels and equipment so they could make kosher wine, died following a car accident on July 21, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

“We were looking to partner with a local winery and approached him because of his name,” Rabbi Raleigh Resnick of Chabad of the Tri-Valley told J. last week. “We very quickly learned that he isn’t Jewish, but he partnered with us and we created a Livermore kosher Cabernet.” The business is called Alef.

“We see ourselves as an integrated part of community life and we are happy to partner with the local Jewish community to produce a premier kosher wine,” Katz told the Pleasanton Weekly in 2012.

Alix Wall
Alix Wall

Alix Wall is a contributing editor to J. She is also the founder of the Illuminoshi: The Not-So-Secret Society of Bay Area Jewish Food Professionals and is writer/producer of a documentary-in-progress called "The Lonely Child."