Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

The Bread Garden: closing

WHERE IS MY BAGUETTE?  The Bread Garden, which opened its doors at 2912 Domingo Avenue in November 1973, is shutting up shop. Its owner, David Morris, is finally making good on his threat to move the bakery elsewhere. He plans to open a new bakery in Paso Robles, in an old building that housed another bakery from 1923 to 1973. “One statistic sums it up,” said Morris. “When I opened the bakery in 1973 I was bakery #8 in Berkeley. The last time I counted there were 38 bakeries in Berkeley. The market isn’t any bigger than it was in 1973. There is intense competition for the bakery dollar.” Morris said he plans to close the Claremont neighborhood bakery, home to the 19th-century baguette, cheese rolls, cinnamon swirl bread, and pizza bread, among other things, by July 1.

Zentrum: shuttering

FURNITURE CLOSE-DOWN After 27 years at 1914 Fifth Street, right behind Spenger’s, the family-owned Zentrum Furniture is shutting down its Berkeley operations. The lease is up and owner Bill Stewart is moving the store to Dublin where he is hoping the business conditions are better. Everything in the store is 20% to 60% off, said Stewart, who plans to close the doors for the final time at the end of July.

Rejuvenation: opening June 2

NEW IN DECOR GHETTO Rejuvenation, which describes itself as offering “classic American lighting and house parts” is opening at 1717-D Fourth Street, in the space formerly occupied by Fourth Street Studio, which closed at the beginning of the year. Rejuvenation is just the latest decor store to join the home design hub that is Fourth Street. The store  intends to open on June 2 and will hold a Grand Opening Party on August 2.

New: Shattuck Rose

CENTRAL HEALING Shattuck Rose Chiropractic Healing Center is opening at 1400 Shattuck Ave. The center, which is in the Shattuck Commons Building, Suite 10, offers chiropractic treatments and therapeutic massages. The Berkeley Chamber of Commerce will be holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Shattuck Rose on May 31 at 1 p.m.

Kip’s: going upmarket

BEER WITH A SIDE OF ROAST CHICKEN Kip’s Bar, at 2439 Durant Ave., has been reliably serving Cal students beer and bar food for 48 years. It has been such a hangout that one Yelp reviewer called it “a city-endorsed frat party.” But the restaurant had gone decidedly upscale recently with the hiring of consulting chef Jon Helquist, who has worked at Oliveto, Chez Panisse, and Manzanita, according to Inside Scoop. Kip’s added a dinner menu and brunch in early May. The upstairs interior has been revamped as well. In the coming month, Kip’s will take over the Chinese restaurant downstairs and turn it into Kip’s Eats, a restaurant with a beer bar and a private dining room.

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

    I will miss The Bread Garden very much. We stop by to pick up pastries on the weekend as we head out for hikes. We did so yesterday on our way to Sunol! I really hope that another bakery opens up in its site. The other bakeries that I would consider to be “close by” don’t offer the same items—La Farine has high end cakes down, but you don’t go there to pick up a danish or a lemon bar; Nabolom just isn’t as good and is much more expensive. My little girl told me last night that if someone doesn’t buy the bakery and keep it open as a bakery, she will buy it when she grows up.

  • Jburgess

    The employees and guests at the Claremont Hotel will miss the bakery very much. The area won’t be the same without it. 

  • Bishop Berkeley

    I’ve been a Bread Garden patron since it opened…and it saddens me that David seemed so unwilling to try to compete.  It’s true that times change, but you can’t just sit around crying in your milk, or–for that matter–posting nasty letters in your store window attacking your neighbor businesses.  The fact that 37 other bakeries are in business is a testament to Berkeley’s extraordinary demand for high quality baked goods.  Too bad Bread Garden fell to the #38 spot.  We’ll miss it. 

  • TN

    I used to patronize the Bread Garden in the 1970’s when I lived in a shared rental in Elmwood. Since then I’ve moved many times and now live in West Berkeley. Every time I go the area around the Bread Garden, I’m reminded how easy it was to walk there when I lived close by. And I realize how difficult it is to get there by bus (because of the schedule), by car (because of parking) and by bicycle because of the hill (I at least can’t crank up slopes anymore).

    If enough people from the immediate area don’t patronize the bakery, shoppers from other parts of Berkeley won’t be able to compensate because of the difficulty in accessing the location.

  • serkes

    I’ll bet she rises to the occasion too!

  • serkes

    How about a “Best Bakery” poll?  Carboside can can have separate categories for bread, pastry & cake.

    I’ve not checked out that many bakeries, but Acme and Cheese Board are my favorites.


  • Another BUSD parent

    Bummer! Tho the owner is well known to be a bit of a crank, the baked goods allowed me to ignore the screeds directed at his neighbors and continue to shop there, even tho as other writers have noted it’s not the most convienient place to get to. The staff are some of the nicest people on the planet and really seemed to dig the work and educating people about all of the marvelous creations sold there.

    I’m missing the 3 seed rye already. Good luck on Paso Robles!

  • Berkeleywalker

    Nothing can replace the raisin pumpernickel — especially a heel — the Dutch crunch rolls, or the morning buns. Perhaps David will distribute those recipes to all his loyal neighborhood customers, who loved having the Bread Garden in their lives. I suspect that the poor finances of the Claremont Hotel played a role in the bakery’s declining bottom line.  I heard that the hotel didn’t pay its Bread Garden bills. And I agree with Bishop Berkeley that some creative marketing, rather than grousing at customers, might have gone a long way.  

  • EarlyMorningCoffee

    Advanced European Tailoring on Addison closed. Anyone know why?

  • Bishop Berkeley

    Re:  neighborhood patronage.  We know the people from the immediate area of the Bread Garden patronize SOME bakery — this is the wealthiest zip code in town, I believe, with no shortage of Berkeley food elitists.  It’s also the gateway to the hills for biking, with dozens (hundreds?) of people stopping.  Peets is, of course, packed at all hours.  And yet…

    David’s attitude towards those patrons, however, is best captured in the observation that he “is finally making good on his threat to move.”  You don’t succeed in business by regarding your market base as something to threaten.  Patronage is something you entice, earn, solicit, nurture, and cherish.  David seemed to think the neighbors owed him something.

  • Guest

     +1 internets, Sir!

  • What’s up with the chair massage?  Seemed another Berkeley fav has been axed by…you guessed it, the City of Berkeley!  And the problem with fully-clothed chair massage might just be a technicality.  Try that on your tired and aching shoulders.

  • Christine S.

    There’s a Chinese restaurant that just opened up at 2026 San Pablo, Lee Wah. I ate there yesterday and they said they’ve been open for a week now. They have awesome pork dumplings and a delicious eggplant and tofu dish. Also, on that same block, there’s a taqueria/bar opening. I walked by and saw new artwork on the wall and booths going in.  Quite a few flat screens were mounted on the walls too. 

  • Shoshanafrumkin

    The city of Berkeley botched a number of critical details when the now out of business then popular chair massage company On the Spot Massage first got their business license in 2000. The business was given the wrong business category ( Help Supply Service ) not massage ? and the business name was miss spelled for the first 5 years as On the Spot ” Message ” instead of Massage. It wasn’t until the owner sent new massage contractors to the Berkeley finance department in 2011 to get their practitioner permits and business licenses to report that they were contracted to serve patrons at Whole Foods Market Berkeley location that the city then saw that their was no massage establishment permit on file for On the Spot Massage business. Go figure! the botched name sounds more like an office message service right? The owner was willing to get said permit and was given the wrong information regarding what was required saying they had to have 500 hours of massage certification … the owner did not serve patron and should have simply been offered the “other” alternative as a massage business owner which they did not and then accused the owner of refusing to comply.
    The owner did business successfully fulfilling all city requirements asked in 4 other bay area cities never encountering any mistakes and has been active in several cities proposing massage establishment permits to exempt chair massage from the outdated ordinance as chair massage is fully clothed, in public view and an accessory service in retail and mall type locations . The owner has successfully done this in Oakland and is currently encountering a smooth collaboration on this in Emeryville … but very… slow … in … Berkeley … what a pain in the neck!