Amy and Mike Voisenat, who own and manage the Hobnob on Park Street, are excited about their next project -- located a bit north of Alameda. The couple plan to open Moxy, a beer and burger garden, next month in south Berkeley at 3136 Sacramento St.
Moxy is located near the Berkeley Bowl and Ashby BART Station. "Spring is truly a time to blossom in South Berkeley's new beer garden, Moxy," said the Voisenats, in a press release.
The couple opened the Hobnob because of their love of food and their passion for board games like Scrabble. Amy -- a native of El Paso, Texas -- is the executive chef and owner, while Michael is the general manager.
Amy left the Lone Star State and moved to the Bay Area in 1996, so she could study at the California Culinary Academy. After that, she has practiced her craft at Farallon, MC2, Cafe Kati, RMN, Catch Restaurant and Thirsty Bear.
Nearby at the Claremont Hotel at the Berkeley-Oakland border, Alameda Point's St. George Spirits will be sharing its bourbon, absinthe, gin and eau de vie with patrons of the Paragon Restaurant at a special event on March 26. The Alameda-made spirits will be served as part of a four-course dinner.
"The range of flavors presented the craft spirits perfectly matches the evening's menu, and we're so excited to share this night with the community," said Sean Hubbard, the Claremont's director of food and beverages.
Jörg Rupf, who founded up St. George in 1982 as an eau de vie distillery, was recently nominated for his fourth James Beard Foundation award for excellence in the food and drinks field.
Speaking of excellence, the Alameda Free Library is pleased to present two new art shows at the Main Library. For one, J. Mallon will exhibit art from his 30-plus years of creativity, which includes paintings, as well as wood and stone carving from his time in the U.S. Navy, through June.
In the 1980s, Mallon focused on work using acrylics, colored pencils and graphite pencils. He currently works in oils with a painting knife and pastels. A reception for his show is set for 6:30 to 8 p.m. April 2 on the first floor.
Landscape photographer Ajit Gokhalev will share his images from April 1-25 on the second floor of the library. "Life" magazine published one of his photos in 1972, and his work has been shown at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India.
Gokhalev says his landscape photography is a calming, spiritual experience. He uses paper and ink for printing images, so that the images can last for at least 80 years. A reception for the photographer will take place from 6:30 to 8 p.m. April 3.
Local artists who would like to participate in an upcoming art show at the Alameda Museum are urged to contact the Island Alliance for the Arts by May 6 (islandallianceofthearts.org or 510-865-0541). The group will present Cross Currents, its seventh annual show featuring California artists, at the museum in July.
Coming up on Easter Sunday, members of the Unity of Alameda congregation will celebrate the parish's one-year anniversary. The event will showcase the musical talent of the Unity of Alameda Choir.
A year ago on Palm Sunday, the congregation of Unity of Alameda held its first services on the Island, under the direction of Rev. John Niec. The unaffiliated congregation is part of the New Thought spiritual tradition and holds its services at the Elks Club.
"The Elks have been great to us," said Rev. Niec, in a statement. "They had space that wasn't being used on Sunday mornings, it's a landmark building in town (with) plenty of parking, and they are wheelchair accessible, all things that met our needs."
New Thought theology traces its roots to Emma Curtis Hopkins, who lived in Chicago during the 1800s. One of Emma's students, Annie Rix, founded Alameda's Home of Truth on Grand Street more than 100 years ago. Today, members of Unity of Alameda meet at 10 a.m. on Sunday mornings for meditation and 10:30 a.m. for services at 2255 Santa Clara Ave.