Bartlett’s Coffee closes its doors

Many students studied at Bartlett's on Kittredge

Bartlett’s Coffee, a small café in the Library Gardens on Kittredge near Milvia, has shut its doors.

The café, which served as a social hub for many Berkeley High students, is not going completely out of business, however, according to Benjamin Bartlett, who owned the place with his family. It is looking to move to a new location.

“Yes, we had to close the café,” Bartlett wrote in an email. “We thought long and hard about it, but an opportunity presented itself to relocate to a place with more traffic.”

Bartlett’s father, Dale Bartlett, who was an aide to City Councilwoman Maudelle Shirek, will continue to roast and sell bulk coffee under the Bartlett name. The coffee, contained in a bright red bag, can be found at Berkeley Bowl and other stores.

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  • Charles_Siegel

    It is unsuccessful (at least in part) because it is a very poor store design.   Because it is sunken below ground level, it is hard to look in when you walk by, so it doesn’t attract people to come in.  It is undoubtedly also hard to look out at the street when you are inside, which makes it an uninteresting place to sit.

  • GPO

    It looks like a mid-century modern, small glass box, far from a freeway off ramp.

    Last I checked, most people in a local cafe were staring at their lap tops or absorbed by their phones, so I don’t know how important the visual ambiance is.

  • Anonymous

    And remember, when a developer promises storefront space, caveat emptor.  

  • Sunday

    I only went here once.  The woman behind the counter was so rude to me, I vowed never to return.  I tried to email the owner to complain, but I couldn’t find an email address or website for the place.  They don’t seem to have a web presence except for facebook, which doesn’t seem very well thought out to me.
    Anyway, I called to complain and the number listed on yelp actually goes to Dan Bartlett’s cell phone.  He seemed sympathetic and offered me a free coffee, but I said no thanks, I’d had enough.
    If you look on yelp, you’ll see a lot of complaints about rude service.  I’m not on yelp, myself, but I was motivated to join just so I could give this business one star.

  • Anonymous

    No tears are shed. The lady that was working in there the one and only time I went in was rude to me. Reading some of these comments, I see that I was not the only one this happened to.

  • I had a similar experience the one time I went as well.
    In theory it was the kind of business I’d like to support, but the behavior from that woman was just unbelievable.

    I don’t know who she was or how long she worked there but she definitely convinced me to stop going there.