American restaurant and bar opens on Shattuck Avenue

Audrey Mcnamara/Staff

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B&B Kitchen & Wine Bar, a new Berkeley dining location and bar, opened on Shattuck Avenue last Monday.

Located at 2116 Shattuck Ave., the restaurant provides customers with a selection of both classic and new American fare, such as burgers and seafood-based items. The restaurant also features a weekend brunch menu, as well as a variety of alcoholic beverages.

B&B Kitchen & Wine Bar replaces the storefront of the Mexican restaurant Burritos Inc. and has added several new features — such as an outdoor 12-person seating area — to the old storefront. Abraham Masarweh, co-owner of the restaurant with his wife Julia Joslyn, classified the new restaurant as “classic American dining” with an emphasis on seafood and wines.

Masarweh, a veteran restaurateur who has worked in the restaurant business since 1985, said he believes that B&B Kitchen & Wine Bar adds variety to the assortment of restaurants currently operating on Shattuck Avenue.

“(The restaurant) is looking to serve good, sustainable food,” Masarweh said. “Berkeley is looking for change and I think the setting of Shattuck is where they are ready for this change.”

Calvin Lin, the manager of Sushi Secrets, a sushi burrito restaurant located on Shattuck Avenue, is not concerned about potential competition the new restaurant would bring due to B&B Kitchen & Wine Bar’s higher price levels — with main courses starting at around $15 — and its bar concept, which is vastly different from the fast-food-like atmosphere Sushi Secrets offers. According to Lin, college students care more about food prices than food quality and service.

Masarweh, however, said that he is not willing to compromise the quality of food for prices.

“I will attract clienteles just by the quality of the food,” Masarweh said. “College students need to learn … if you skimp on prices you will get fake crab instead of real crab.”

Masarweh said B&B Kitchen & Wine Bar offers a previously unavailable elegant dining option to college students. He added that the restaurant has mostly been attracting the business crowd, families and graduate students since its opening.

Damien Jones, the executive chef at both B&B Kitchen & Wine Bar and Bourbon & Beef, an American Steakhouse also co-owned by Masarweh, appreciates the diversity of Berkeley and hopes to give back to the community through his cooking. According to Jones, the “Dino Kale” salad on the restaurant’s menu is a unique offering to Berkeley.

“It’s (Jones) that makes the restaurant come alive,” said Masarweh.

Most of the clientele frequenting the restaurant since its opening have been Berkeley locals who were curious about the new addition to the street, according to Gigi Bolanos, a hostess of the restaurant since its opening.

“The locals have been really welcoming of the restaurant,” Bolanos said. “It’s been interesting meeting them.”

Contact Jessie Qian at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @jessieq96.