On May 23rd, the restaurant Hunger – located in the ‘old’ Dad Watson’s space – celebrated its Grand (re) Opening. For those who missed it, Hunger had already been feeding – and delighting – diners in Upper Fremont for a year.
When barely open in the new space (which nearly tripled what they had before,) co-owner Brian Brooks met and mastered the Fremont Arts Council Solstice Parade crowd. “It was insane,” he admitted a week later, “it was wall-to-wall all day!” They opened earlier than expected – at 9:30a – in response to customers banging on the doors – and stayed open until the day had fully ended, at 1:30a.
Brooks and his business partner (and wife) Jaime Mullins-Brooks, have already noticed a definitive increase in foot traffic from the previous location. They’ve also already had one mix-up by a customer who sat down in complete obliviousness to the change from Dad Watson’s to Hunger, and ordered tater tots. Fortunately for him, as a special for the Parade, Hunger had tots on the menu – and satisfied another happy diner.
“The people that are here,” Brooks observed about those Fremonsters that live, work and play in the Downtown Fremont area, “don’t go up the hill.” They’ve begun to introduce a whole new audience to the small plate, and shared plate, aesthetic. They’ve also, to accommodate the new ravenous customers, doubled the staff.
As for the space, “the big thing was opening it up and making it brighter,” Brooks said. They strung 750 feet of linear cord to hang lights that would provide equal illumination across the dining room. They also sought, “a lot better flow,” he said, and created much more flexible seating by removing the booths. Finally, as the owners are, first and foremost, chefs, they created a special seating area at the kitchen that has its own menu and gives foodies a chance to see into the inner workings.
For those up the hill already familiar with Hunger, it is time to stroll down and satiate it. With the Fremont Fair over, brunch has returned and, with it, the return of the signature Chicken & Egg dish.
Stop by Hunger, push open the gorgeous doors, and look at what the dining room has become – and consult the menu for a wide selection of drink and dining specials, an expanded Happy Hour, and a new reason to enjoy Hunger in Fremont!