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Walnut Creek Magazine

Emeryville’s Townhouse Bar & Grill Meets the Takeout Moment

Dec 14, 2020 10:46AM ● By Fran Miller

If sheltering has you feeling a bit claustrophobic, here’s a temporary and delicious remedy. Jump in the car, drive through the tunnel, and head to Emeryville for some soul satisfying takeout from Townhouse Bar & Grill. This iconic Emeryville mainstay features a new menu with items that are as drive-worthy as the panoramic Bay views that greet you upon emergence from the west-side bores. Round trip drive time from the Creek is less than an hour, and the quick jaunt will leave you fulfilled, in more ways than one. 

Since 1990, Townhouse Bar & Grill has served-up classic comfort fare and crafted cocktails in its historic atmosphere. The semi ramshackle-looking building at 5862 Doyle St. in which the East Bay favorite is housed, belies the culinary indulgences within. Since 1926, the building has served as a speakeasy, a brothel, a bar, a family restaurant, another bar, and for the past thirty years as a neighborhood favorite run by Ellen Hope Rosenberg. Rosenberg recently passed the reigns to a new ownership group, but fans need fear not; the restaurant’s past and traditions continue to be honored, while the homey menu is elevated with fresh recipes and flavors courtesy of Chef Jake Kwan-Rosenbush. 

Kwan-Rosenbush and his team are excited to breathe new life into the historic establishment while paying homage to its rich history. Known for his executive chef role at San Francisco’s Hardwood, as well as for his time at Stock and Trade, San Francisco Athletic Club, Naked Lunch, and 15 Romolo, this East Bay resident is a barbecue expert, and Townhouse’s new menu reflects his acumen and skill with a smoker. His new menu incorporates a wide variety of house made items, made fresh with local ingredients culled from an updated list of farms and purveyors.  

During shelter-in-place orders, Townhouse is open for takeout and delivery Wednesday through Sunday 12 – 7, and the drive is worth it. Order a la carte, or go all in with a Family BBQ Box for two, four, or eight that includes a bit of everything. Some of our favorites: 


Townhouse Burger: One of the best burgers I’ve had in a long while, this tavern-style, 7 oz. patty, is served on an Acme bun with caramelized onions, bacon bits, aged Grafton cheddar from Vermont, and house made bread & butter pickles.

BBQ Brisket: Overnight smoked, this brisket is a labor of love from Kwan-Rosenbush. Receive 1/2 lb. of luscious, juicy brisket and a choice of two sides: potato or macaroni salad, coconut black beans, or a Cesar with romaine, radicchio, parmesan, anchovies, and Acme bread croutons.

Townhouse Crispy Fried Chicken Wings: Chinese-style, dry-fried chicken wings, served with fried garlic, jalapeno, and spices.

Fried Chicken Sandwich: Served with vinegar-based slaw, house made bread & butter pickles, and siracha mayo, served on a toasted Acme bun.

Basque-style Burnt Cheesecake: Served with mixed berries, house made saba and topped with shortbread crumble. 

And don’t forget the drinks. Order D.I.Y. ready-to-mix cocktails for two, such as the Gigi, with Zephyr Black Gin, fresh lemon juice, and Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur, or the Chili in the City, featuring American Star Ghost Chili Vodka, Stirrings Triple Sec, fresh lime and cranberry juice. Or grab a Bootleg Bottle – pre-batched, wax sealed cocktails in prohibition style liter bottles that make for a unique and original gift. A selection of wines is also available by the bottle.

In better days, Townhouse’s large, adjacent deck is the ideal spot for dining and imbibing. Built around a mammoth redwood tree with strung lights and checkerboard table cloths, the convivial atmosphere provides all the communal feels we are so missing right now.


5862 Doyle Dr., Emeryville 

(510) 652-6151

Photos courtesy of Townhouse Bar & Grill

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