Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

MORE TO DRINK IN THE DRINKS DISTRICT The San Francisco Chronicle named Chris Brockway A Winemaker to Watch in January and named his 2009 Broc Cellars Vine Star California Red one of the top wines of 2011. Now Brockway is opening a tasting room at Broc Cellars at 805 Camelia St. on weekends from noon to 5 p.m. Its official opening is July 22, but Brockway will do a soft launch this weekend. Wine lovers can visit the other wineries in the drinks district, too. Donkey & Goat’s tasting room is open from 2 to 6 pm weekends at 1340 Fifth St. And Urbano Cellars Winery’s tasting room at 2323B Fourth St. is open from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

The redesigned Fiat Studio showroom on Shattuck. Photo: Tracey Taylor

CHE COSA GUARDI, EH? The Fiat dealership that opened last year on Shattuck has redesigned its showroom as a “Fiat Studio,” part of the positioning of the Fiat 500 as a fashion statement, in the words of one automotive analyst. According to McKevitt Fiat’s David Adragna, the new Studio should open next week.

FROM FALAFEL TO TURKISH  Maoz Vegetarian at 2395 Telegraph shut its doors after lunch last Friday, but Turkish Kitchen is planning to move into the space later this summer. “We just didn’t have the business to stay open,” said Maoz’s manager James Wilson. “It never took off like we imagined it would.” George Baylar, the owner of Turkish Kitchen at 1986 Shattuck, near University, is excited about opening a second location. “It’s closer to the campus and the students,” he said. Baylar opened Turkish Kitchen five years ago after running a Turkish restaurant in San Francisco for a decade.

Lee Wah, a new Chinese restaurant on San Pablo near University. Photo: Lance Knobel

PORK DUMPLINGS, MMMM  Commenter Christine writes to Berkeleyside: “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.”

IF YOU BUILD IT… Studio H, a high school design/build curriculum, is moving from Bertie, North Carolina, to Berkeley, where it will be based at the Realm Charter School. The founders of Studio H, Matthew Miller and Emily Pilloton, both have a Berkeley connection: she received her bachelor degree in architecture at UC Berkeley and he taught architecture there. Studio H describes itself: “By learning through a design sensibility and ‘dirt-under-your-fingernails’ construction skills, we’re developing creativity, critical thinking, citizenship, and capital to give students the skills they need to succeed, while building the assets the community needs to survive.”

123 COUNTS TO THREE Frieda Hoffman from Local 123 on San Pablo writes: “On Sunday, June 10th, Local 123 quietly celebrated its 3rd anniversary and (ever so softly) opened its second location, a refurbished 1969 Airstream Streamline Princess, at the lovely Flowerland nursery and its perfectly curated gift shop at 1330 Solano Avenue in Albany. Garden seating throughout the nursery grounds.”

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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  • Bryan Garcia

    I’m sad to see Maoz go. Their falafel balls themselves weren’t the best (that honor goes to either Sunrise Deli or Oasis Grill), but their topping bar was great. They also had probably the best french fries in the city.

    I’ll definitely try the new place’s falafel, though.

  • serkes

    Try the fries at Gregoire’s.  They’re soooo good I try not to go there since I’d eat them at every meal.


  • theDeer

    potato puffs. OMG. these things never leave your body. but damn good!

  • Charles_Siegel

     Those were Belgian fries – or, as they call them in Amsterdam, where Maoz originated, Vlaamse Frites.

    I am also sad to see Maoz go.  I loved to take all those multiple helpings of vegetables.

  • serkes

    Anyone up for a weekly or monthly “flash mob” at one of Berkeley’s wonderful restaurants or brew pubs?


  • PragmaticProgressive

    Fun idea

  • berkeley resident

    Great idea!  Please choose kid friendly places and i’ll be there!

  • serkes

    Suggestions?  All my children (that I know of, that is) have 4 legs and fur.


  • serkes

    In that spirit, some place not too dear, though deer with doe welcome … which also means a place where no denizen is served venison.


  • Bruce Love

     T-rock is kid-friendly if you don’t schedule for when it’s likely to be crowded.   The acoustics inside suck which is a virtue or vice, depending on how you look at it.  And then there’s the patio.

    All my children (that I know of, that is) have 4 legs and fur.

    I don’t want to think too hard about that.

  • Soulmusic11

     I’m not sure Turkish kitchen has falafel. Howeever, my favorite (and I love the stuff) is the falafel from Zand’s on Solano Avenue. Have you tried theirs? I will try the two places you’ve mentioned.

  • Soulmusic11

     TK does have falafel. I checked.

  • PragmaticProgressive

    Realtor, author, photographer and now poet — there’s no stopping him! :-)

  • Oh noes!! I love Turkish Kitchen! one of my favorite lunch spots! I will be sad to see them to go to Telegraph — they have THE BEST PITA EVER! Great babaghanoush too. And their chicken pies are just the ticket on a cold, foggy summer day. :)