The Periodic Table, a Sake Bar and Taproom, Now Open in Emeryville’s Public Market

Shiba Ramen’s Owners saw an opportunity to introduce Japanese drinking culture to the U.S.

Emeryville’s Public Market has gotten a 21st-century upgrade over the past few years. Skeptics have decried gentrification while supporters are thrilled to welcome a modern food court to the East Bay. After all, San Francisco has been providing hungry patrons with cohesive food halls for years, with the historic Ferry Building joined by the ranks of Twitter’s The Market, The Hall, and China Live. Since the 1980s, the Emeryville Public Market has delighted foodies with its restaurants, but the project’s modernization now appeals to local tech workers and anyone looking for a decent lunch spot. With 20 food stalls including Koja Kitchen, Shiba Ramen, and We Sushi, it’s easy to ignore the Urban Outfitters taking up space in an otherwise food-centric atmosphere. And now, on Sept. 15, The Periodic Table joins the ranks.

Having soft-opened on Sept. 1, the sake bar and taproom is a venture of the husband-and-wife team behind the adjacent Shiba Ramen. Discerning the need for a bar amid the food stands peppered throughout the Public Market, Jake Freed and Hiroko Nakamura decided it was the perfect opportunity to introduce Japanese drinking culture to an American audience. The couple met in grad school at Harvard while earning Ph.D.s in chemistry, so the name is an homage to their academic backgrounds. The Periodic Table focuses on a wide range of local and Japanese craft brews, sake, and distilled spirits sourced from Japan, craft cocktails based on Japanese spirits, simple Western-meets-Eastern bar bites, and select dishes from Shiba Ramen.

A classic Shochu Highball is served with lemon or seasonal fruit ($6) while an Americanized Bloody Mariko gives a savory shochu Bloody Mary a kick from wasabi ($10). Snacks range from a simple charcuterie and cheese board to a more elaborate TPT Burger with yuzu kosho mayo, shiso, griddled onions, and house slaw served on sesame pain au lait ($11). Of course, you can order a select menu of Shiba Ramen bites like Nagoya-style, fried sesame pepper Shiba Wings ($7.50 for six pieces, $13 for 12), Chashu Pies stuffed with miso pork chashu ($4), and a selection of piping hot ramen ($10.50-$13.50). 

Pendant lamps in the shape of chemistry flasks and a back-bar fashioned to resemble the periodic table of elements brings the bar’s theme to life. Chemistry buffs will also recognize The Periodic Table’s logo as a representation of the ethanol molecule. Bar and science geeks alike will find something to love at this Emeryville haunt.

The Periodic Table, 5959 Shellmound Street #11, Emeryville,Monday,

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