Brezo readies to swing open its doors at new location

Brezo readies to swing open its doors at new location
Brezo's Quinoa Kale Salad (Photo credit: Kathy Chouteau)

By Kathy Chouteau

Brezo Restaurant found a new location, but fans of the menu will have to take a short drive out of Richmond to get there.

The popular restaurant, known for preparing fresh and seasonal cuisine made-to-order, was formerly located in Point Richmond since 2017 and, briefly, at Assemble at the Craneway Pavilion. The restaurant will next open its doors at 1111 Solano Ave. in Albany, a space that will soon be vacated by Rendez-Vous Cafe Bistro. The location can be found on the lower section of Solano Avenue, near the San Pablo Avenue intersection.

Brezo’s new lease starts Dec. 1. It is planning to open to the public sometime in early January 2024, according to restaurant co-owner, co-chef and Richmond resident Heather Mervine, who owns the eatery with fellow chef and co-owner Hector Hernandez.  

The move will be life coming “full circle” for Mervine, whose career as an executive chef started at Rendez-Vous Cafe Bistro nearly two decades ago. She said the restaurant’s menu still includes some of her dishes created at that time.

She said Brezo will serve lunch, dinner and brunch on weekends at the new location, and will likely be closed Mondays. The menu will primarily stay the same, with the dinner menu making some seasonal changes. Lunch and brunch will be very similar to the past with a few menu items switched around. Standouts making a return on the menu include Chilaquiles Verdes, Fried Chicken Sandwich and Quinoa Kale Salad.

Dessert selections prepared by Mervine herself will change frequently. She called desserts “one of her specialties” and said Brezo will have pastries in a case, as the restaurant once featured at Assemble.

So, why the move out of Richmond? Mervine said, “It really isn’t anything against Richmond,” but they’ve been searching for a new location in the city for more than a year—even while housed at Assemble—and were really hard-pressed to find a new home. When a potential spot in Richmond near The Factory Bar didn’t work out, she said they landed in Albany after looking everywhere because it just worked out that way. She also said they’re excited to be in a new location that isn’t as isolated as the last one.

Mervine, an Ukiah native who attended the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, said that the community can stay updated on Brezo’s hours of operation, opening date and more on Instagram or Facebook. A revamped website currently under works will be up before the restaurant opens in Albany. The co-owner said there are no plans to offer delivery.