Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

COFFEE NO MORE  Tully’s, which has operated at the corner of Shattuck and Center Streets for 11 years, shut its doors abruptly on Sunday. Brown paper covers the windows and a sign asks patrons to visit at their San Francisco or Pleasanton stores. The Seattle-based chain has also been in financial straits for several years, according to media reports, and the Berkeley store isn’t the only closure. As part of a restructuring, stores have been shuttered  across the country.

THE DAY THE MUSIC DIED  Further down the street, Shattuck Down Low has also lost its lease and will close in October. The building owner was afraid the music from the nightclub would interfere with the new pizza and bar space that is slated to move into the ground floor space.

FAST FOOD, ITALIAN STYLE  Pasta in a Box opened its doors at 2384 Telegraph on Sept. 14. It is geared towards students looking for a quick, yet different, meal. Customers can order different shapes of pasta and various sauces. They can be put in a take-out box and eaten on the go.

VIVA MEXICO!  The All-Star Café has been serving up soup, salad, sandwiches and house baked muffins at 2172 Shattuck for years. It is closed now.  

KITCHEN COMBO  There’s an exciting venture taking shape in West Berkeley which promises to see a new style of food production facility. According to the East Bay Express, the long-abandoned historic building at the corner of Eighth and Carlton streets is being transformed by owner Jonah Hendrickson into the Berkeley Kitchens: 12 commercial incubator kitchens under one roof, to be leased to food entrepreneurs, be they bakers, charcuterie producers, jam makers, or confectioners.

CORNER MARKET CLOSURE  Last July, Berkeleyside filed the first in an occasional series of reports on neighborhood markets in Berkeley. One of them, McGee’s Market, closed down abruptly eight days ago, according to tipster J. Brow. Web searches show the building has been for sale since the end of May.

Shop Talk is Berkeleyside’s 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

    Sad to hear about the Down Low. It was a funny little place (at times a bit creepy), but really was part of the downtown Berkeley experience for me.

    Also. What is going on with the formatting/tone of this article? Looks like Berkeleyside published shorthand notes, rather than a formally written article.

  • it seems crazy that Tully’s is closing, but it was really mediocre coffee in a high-rent area.  let’s see what happens there (aside from loitering) next.

  • Guest

    I love the commercial kitchen incubator idea! I wish them much success.

  • Peixegato

    I’m sad to hear about the Down Low too.  It was the only place I know of to go dancing and one of only a handful of places to hear live music in Berkeley.  The new tenants upstairs must be paying a hefty rent if the owner can afford to let the space below sit empty.

  • David D.

    Assuming you mean club-style dancing, not a bar that happens to have dancing, I think the only options left will be Pappy’s (former Blake’s on Telegraph) or heading into Oakland or San Francisco. If you mean dancing in general, there are still a few venues (Ashkenaz, etc.) and bars (Kip’s, etc.) around.

  • Chris

     So true – also one of the few mid-sized venues to hear live music featured in Berkeley. RIP.