Daily Archives: June 25, 2012


The Berkeley Wire: 06.25.12

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Postal service plans sale of Berkeley’s main post office

The Post Office's Renaissance-style arcade along Allston Way. Photo: Tracey Taylor
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Berkeley’s main post office, a distinguished Renaissance Revival work completed in 1914, is to be sold by the financially troubled US Postal Service. A spokeperson for USPS told Berkeleyside today that all carrier operations and bulk mail operations will move to the Berkeley Destination Delivery Unit at 1150 8th Street. The USPS is looking for an alternate retail location for downtown customers.

The building, which fills half the block bounded by Allston Way, Milvia, Kittredge and Harold Way, has a grand, arcaded front along Allston Way, loosely modeled on Filippo Brunelleschi’s Ospedale degli Innocenti in Florence, one of the seminal works of the early Renaissance. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places, where its listing states the work “symbolized the city’s coming of age”. It also contains a WPA mural by Suzanne Scheur depicting early Berkeley history. (The NRHP filing also contains some excellent photos of the building.)  … Continue reading »


Snapshot: Grégoire Jacquet, owner of Grégoire Restaurant

Snapshot: Grégoire Jacquet
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Grégoire Jacquet was born in Versailles, France. When he was young, his family moved to the village of Grazay in the Loire Valley. His father spent most of his time away working as a car salesman. A rural upbringing gave Jacquet an appreciation for cooking and food in general. At 14 he went to study cooking at the Maison Familiale et Rurale. After a brief stint at a hotel in the French Alps, Jacquet cooked in Paris for two years. On vacation in the Bay Area, he met Jacky Robert, and with Jacky’s help decided to come and work in the U.S.. He worked at Amelio’s, and at Ritz Carlton hotels in San Francisco, Boston, and Puerto Rico, after which he moved with his wife, Tara, to Berkeley. He opened Grégoire in 2002 with a two-person staff and an ever-changing, local menu. His philosophy is for a simple spot where the chef takes the orders and cooks the food in front of the customers. A second restaurant opened on Piedmont Avenue in 2007. These days, Jacquet says he has found a perfect balance between wanting to please people with his food and being a devoted husband and father of two.

When did you arrive in Berkeley?
The first time I came to Berkeley was in 1989 just after the big earthquake, but I didn’t live here. The first time I moved here was in 1999 after I met my wife, Tara, at the Ritz. We left to live in Puerto Rico and came back in 2001.

What’s your ‘hood?
Monterey Avenue between Hopkins and Posen. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley puts its own spin on Pride Day parade

Berkeley's first ever float in the San Francisco Pride March. Left to right: on street Mark Wilson Pacific Center  Youth Program Director,  Carlos (guitarist), Leslie Ewing, Pacific Center E.D.; Irina Rivkin (musician), Ben Rama (musician), Tara Flanagan (newly elected Judge), Carol (Tara's partner), Stefen as Bishop Berkeley (in the background). Photo: Cathy Cade
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Dozens of Berkeley residents joined the thousands of people marching Sunday in the San Francisco Pride March, which organizers said may have been the largest yet. Berkeley entered its first official float for the parade, which was decorated with replicas of well-know Berkeley landmarks, like the Campanile, and LGBTQI2-S cultural landmarks and organizations, like The Pacific Center, White Horse Inn, and Steamworks. Stefen, a Berkeley artist and muralist, designed and built the float. … Continue reading »

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Startups value Skydeck for views, closeness to Cal

Employees of Go Overseas in the Skydeck startup incubator in Downtown Berkeley. Photo: Hannah Long
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Berkeley’s Skydeck, a 10,000-square foot office space in the penthouse of the city’s tallest building, offers stunning views to inspire the 14 startup teams that it houses. Each startup team includes current or recently graduated Cal students, and their projects span from iPhone apps to medical devices to innovative new computer software. Location, it seems, is important for the success of these new businesses, which appreciate the Skydeck facilities and their prime spot in Downtown Berkeley for more than just the great views.

Skydeck, supported by UC Berkeley’s College of Engineering, Haas School of Business, and the Vice Chancellor of Research Office, is part of The Berkeley Startup Cluster. The Cluster’s goal, according to its website, is “to make Downtown Berkeley — a commercial area that is walking distance to the Cal campus — a thriving center for technology-oriented startups and established firms, investors, entrepreneurs and supporting businesses.” … Continue reading »

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Juneteenth’s 25th anniversary a great day out in Berkeley

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Berkeley’s Juneteenth Festival drew thousands of people to a long stretch of Adeline that was closed to traffic on Sunday. The weather was just right, there was superb music, a vast range of booths, including a Berkeleyside one, and a fabulous choice of food and drink. A fitting celebration for Juneteenth’s Silver anniversary in our city.

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