Business

Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

The spruced up Nick's Lounge. Photo: Doug Williamson

THE NICK OF TIME Nick’s Lounge, at 3218 Adeline near Fairview, has been a neighborhood fixture for almost 50 years. Bryan Smith bought the bar in April and has spruced it up, getting rid of the gambling machine and repainting the bar inside and out. He holds karaoke nights on Wednesdays and Thursdays and has live jazz two Saturdays a month. The last Saturday of each month is an “East Bay Open Mic” night, from 7 to 9 p.m. Now that it’s football season, Nick’s has live football from noon to 1 a.m. on Sunday and from 2 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Mondays.

The view from the Skydeck, formerly Intel Labs. Photo: Tracey Taylor

BEAM ME UP The Skydeck Innovation Center, an incubator for fledgling technology companies, took possession of the keys to the top floor of the tallest building in Berkeley last week. The 10,000 sq. ft. space was formerly used by Intel Labs. Skydeck has received funding from the Chancellor’s Community Partnership Fund and plans to be an important hub in bolstering Berkeley’s start-up ecosystem. It’s the major initiative of the Berkeley Startup Cluster.

Origen is opening in the old Locanda da Eva location

LUCKY SEVEN? Origen is scheduled to open early next month in the ill-fated site at 2826 Telegraph Avenue that briefly housed Locanda da Eva (Berkeleyside counts Origen as the seventh tenant since the mid-90s). Origen will be run by experienced restaurateurs Trace Leighton and Daniel Clayton, who plan to offer “farm to fork” Catalan-influenced food. Planned main dishes include fig leaf-wrapped arctic char served with fig and garlic chutney, and a housemade bucatini served with Hodo tofu, Happy Quail piquillo peppers and Dirty Girl tomatoes.

The main bar at the former Spats, now for sale

SPATS FOR SALE Eater SF noticed that Spats, the Shattuck Avenue restaurant and bar that closed in 2009, is on the market for $1.75 million. The sale listing on Craigslist notes the “two lounge areas and a dining area… a large banquet room with an openable atrium roof and direct access to the public parking lot” as well as the commercial kitchen and two bars.


Shop Talk is our regular column in which we post updates on Berkeley businesses — openings, closings, new directions, relaunches, relocations. If you’re a Berkeley business with news, or a Berkeleysider who has spotted a change in your neighborhood or on your travels, shoot us an email with the details.