Daily Archives: July 23, 2012


The Berkeley Wire: 07.23.12

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Chances are slim of stopping sale of Berkeley post office

Downtown Berkeley Post Office. Photo: D.H. Parks
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When the residents of Venice, CA found out in July 2011 that their 1939 post office was being put up for sale, they rallied to fight it. They protested, handed out flyers, collected thousands of signatures, sent letters to the U.S. Postal Service, and even formally petitioned the Postal Regulatory Commission to overturn the decision.

Nothing helped. The main Venice post office shut its doors on June 15. Movie mogul Joel Silver is now negotiating to buy the building.

The closure of the Venice building is only the latest example of a move by the financially strapped USPS to shutter many of its historic properties. During the past year, the agency has listed 40 historic post offices for sale, including Berkeley’s Main Post Office on Allston Way, and sold about a dozen.

The sell-off of such a large number of historic properties has so alarmed the National Trust for Historic Preservation that in June it put historic post offices on its “2012 List of America’s 11 Most Endangered Places.” … Continue reading »

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Peet’s: Founded in Berkeley, acquired in Germany

The original Peet's store, still churning out lattes and macchiatos, at Walnut and Vine. Photo: Calton/Wikimedia Commons
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Peet’s Coffee & Tea Inc., which was founded in Berkeley in 1966 by Alfred Peet, is being taken private by German investment group Joh. A Benckiser for $977.6 million. Although the original Peet’s store is still operational on the corner of Vine and Walnut, the company headquarters has long been in Emeryville and the roasting facility is in Alameda.

The current management of Peet’s will continue to run the company and the Emeryville HQ and Alameda roasting facility will not be shifted. The acquisition was unanimously approved by Peet’s board of directors and is expected to close in three months. A majority of the company’s outstanding shares must be voted in favor of the deal at a special shareholders’ meeting.    … Continue reading »

Rogue Café: Weekend pop-up serves a mellow brunch

Waffles, eggs, and much more are on Rogue Cafe's brunch menu. Photo: Rogue Cafe's Facebook page.
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[See update to this article at the foot of the story.]

Eric Thoreson, a perfectionist in the kitchen, has spent many months trying to make the ideal waffle. This breakfast treat is one of his favorite foods, but he thinks most restaurants don’t get it quite right.

After researching recipes in countless cookbooks, Thoreson decided that natural leavening just might be the key. He made hundreds of waffles before settling on one that is just to his liking: half way between bread and a traditional waffle, he calls it a “Southern Belgian Waffle.” Thoreson rolls the treat in sugar before cooking it for sugary caramelization, and this waffle, the perfect mix of sweet and sour, is a favorite among customers at his outdoor, weekend pop-up brunch restaurant Rogue Café.

Located in a residential backyard in south Berkeley, Rogue serves gourmet, homemade treats and freshly brewed coffee. … Continue reading »

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