Peet’s caters to commuters, Saturn opens today

Allie Zimnoch, left, buys an espresso at the new Peet’s at Berkeley’s Downtown BART station.

By Rachel Gross

Still dragging yourself to BART in the morning with bleary, unfocused eyes and barely stifled yawns? For shame. You no longer need to sacrifice your morning cup of Joe to make your train — the Downtown Berkeley BART station now boasts a full-service Peet’s Coffee & Tea stand, complete with seven tables’ worth of seating.

The location, which has been in the works for three years, has already served almost 1,000 customers since it opened with a flourish on Tuesday, according to its manager, Deborah Wilson. Wilson, who has been in charge of opening all the other three Peet’s located in BART stations — at the Embarcadero, Pittsburg and Montgomery stops — said she’s received “a very warm reception” from commuters so far.

“I will definitely be getting coffee here from now on,” said Allie Zimnoch, a first-time customer who purchased and downed a shot of espresso in less than a minute before hopping on a train to the airport.


Out of all Peet’s BART locations, the Downtown Berkeley stand has the longest hours and is the only one open Sundays. Though it faces competition from the nearby Tully’s Coffee on Shattuck Avenue, Wilson said the chain’s loyal fan-base — known as “Peet’s-niks” — will ensure a steady stream of customers.

Saturn Cafe: preparing for Berkeley opening today.

In other news, Saturn Café, a popular vegetarian diner born in Santa Cruz, opens on Allston Way in Berkeley on Saturday. Saturn specializes in American diner delights gone veggie, like Jalapeno burgers and chicken avocado club sandwiches with bacon — fakin bacon, that is. (Read their full menu.)

Saturn joins Berkeley’s planetary trifecta of Venus, Jupiter — both on Shattuck — and Mars thrift store on Telegraph Avenue. Based on its popularity in Santa Cruz, expect lines orbiting the block…  just like planetary rings.