Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

Addie's Pizza Pie: closed

WHERE’S MY PIZZA PIE? After 20 months of serving up thin-crust pizza, salad, and frozen custard, Addie’s Pizza Pie at 3290 Adeline has shut its doors. A sign posted in the window reads “Folks, Thank you for all your past support. We have had to close nonetheless. Who knows what will happen next.” Co-owners Jennifer Millar and Tom Schnetz will still offer up  their culinary talents, however. Millar owns the nearby, always busy, Sweet Adeline Bakshop and Schnetz co-owns Tacubaya on Fourth, as well as three other restaurants in Oakland.

Grilled cheese coming to Telegraph

CHEESY CHEW Grilled cheese sandwich chain The Melt will open a new spot at 2400 Telegraph Avenue near the Cal campus soon, according to Grub Street SF. The Melt is the brainchild of Flip cam founder Jonathan Kaplan whose plan is to expand nationally. So far, the company has three locations in downtown S.F. and one at Stanford.

New look for 20 years: Caffe Venezia

LA DOLCE VITA Caffe Venezia on University has had a makeover to celebrate 20 years in Berkeley. Extensive interior and exterior renovations have led to an updated façade “to really bring out the exposed brick and show what a stunning building it really is,” according to the restaurant’s owners, Roger Feuer and Jeff Wizig. The bar has been rebuilt and expanded with reclaimed wood and Carrara marble and the pair have put in a pizza oven. “Everyone from our staff to our customers are loving everything,” they say. Caffe Venezia is at 1799 University Avenue. Tel: 510-849-4681.

Sal's: now open. Photo: Ira Serkes

PHARMACY FOR THE ‘HOOD The new Sal’s Pharmacy is now open at 1831 Solano Avenue. As reported on April 17, the pharmacy took over the space next to the new Verizon store earlier this year. Owner Sadalla Nassar says he will run the place as an independent neighborhood pharmacy.

EXTINGUISHED Ring of Fire Imports at 1732 University Avenue is going out of business. Founded in 1994 by Jerry P. Alcorn and Ni Ketut Trima the store specialized in the art and culture of Southeast Asia.

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. Read previous Shop Talk columns here.

Berkeleyside publishes many articles every day. To see all our stories in chronological order, and read ones you may have missed, check out All the News.

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  • Guest

    When I went on the BAHA Spring Tour, I learned that The Bread Garden on Domingo is closing down soon (they had catered the tour, and they put up a notice at the snack table). The owner is opening a new Bread Garden bakery in Paso Robles. I’d be interested in learning more about why. I’ll be terribly sad to see it go. 

  • Another Guest

    Caffe Venezia has been open in Berkeley for at least thirty years, probably more.  I’m not sure where that twenty year figure comes from – perhaps it has been twenty years since they moved a few blocks down University Ave.  from their earlier location just east of MLK.  

  • Frances Dinkelspiel

     Thanks for mentioning that. I had heard that as well but will try and get more details. I know David Morris, the owner, has said that when he opened up there were very few bakeries in Berkeley but now there are dozens, and that means it is hard to earn a living. He has warned that he might move for years, He was also upset when Peet’s next door started selling its own pastries and launched a campaign to say they were day old pastries and his were fresh. See story below.

  • DK

    That’s really a shame about Addie’s. Their pizza was great, and very underrated. Much better than Zacharies, in fact.

  • Bill

    I’m sure sorry to see Addie’s go.  It had good food and a great beer selection in addition to a nice and helpful staff.  You could also see that early in the evening is was a family place.  It was also easy to go there before going to Ashby Stage.

  • Bill

    I suspect it had to be more than just Peet’s next door.  I bet it was lease costs more than anything.  Is there another bakery near by?

  • Ginger

    Hate to see Addie’s close. It was such a pleasant place to have an early dinner with the family. 

  • Completely_Serious

     Yes, Semifreddi’s on Claremont near the Star Grocery; LaFarine on College near Safeway.

  • Greg Merritt

    Addie’s was nice, but seemed disproportionately $$$.

  • Addie’s Pizza Pie was destined to fail. Only open for dinner?  Long waits?  No delivery?  No local outreach to the South Berkeley neighborhood (only one flyer in my door, split with Nick’s lounge)?  I walk my dog by this spot daily and to see a business that is almost always closed leaves a bad impression. Let’s face it, you have to be really good and have a really amazing reputation to get away with limited hours in the restaurant business. Nice try.

  • serkes

    I loved it when Restaurant Venezia and Cafe Venezia were across Canal University from each other. 

    The look on my mother’s face when she saw the laundry hanging over her head during dinner was priceless.


  • Charles_Siegel

    I happened to pass by The Melt yesterday (first day of classes at Cal) at about 5 PM, and it had the longest line I have seen in Berkeley.  I think it was longer than the line for Cheese Board pizza on Saturday.  If this keeps up, it is going to be one of the most successful restaurants in Berkeley.

  • pam

    Sal’s Pharmacy near Peet’s on Solano is a lovely, friendly, locally owned place with just the right, careful
    selection of items, well displayed & easy to find.