Daily Archives: October 23, 2012


The Berkeley Wire: 10.23.12

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Zagat San Francisco names 4 East Bay winners

The Cheese Board Collective which Zagat readers voted best in the Bay Area for its pizza. Photo: Christina Diaz
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Three Berkeley restaurants have been singled out for being the best in the Bay Area for particular types of cuisine. West Berkeley eatery 900 Grayson took the vote for “best burger,” the Cheese Board Collective in the Gourmet Ghetto took the prize for “best pizza,” and Ajanta on Solano Avenue was named best Indian restaurant.

The plaudits come in a newly released Zagat San Francisco Restaurants Survey which accompanies the publication of the restaurant guide’s 2013 Bay Area edition. The survey covers 1,636 restaurants based on the combined opinions of 15,502 diners.

Only one other East Bay restaurant won for a type of cuisine: Oakland’s Brown Sugar Kitchen for Cajun/Creole/Soul food. Also worthy of note: when Berkeleyside polled its readers for their choice of “best pizza in Berkeley,” Gioia Pizzeria narrowly pipped the Cheese Board to the number one post. … Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

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BARTAVELLE TAKES FLIGHT  Remember our news that Suzanne Drexhage was taking over the shuttered Café Fanny space on San Pablo Ave.? Well, she quietly opened her Bartavelle Coffee & Wine Bar today, Tuesday. It’s deliberately a “super soft opening,” she said, “relying only on the stupendous lines at Acme to get us by, and to allow us to get a few of our ducks in a row.” Word must have spread fast, however, as Sarah Henry reports that the place was serving Sightglass coffee from 7 a.m., as well as porridge and pastries for the breakfast set — and the line was out the door. “Around noon, some folks were nibbling on avocado toasts paired with a glass of white wine,” said Henry. The café will build up its menu in anticipation of Saturday, Oct. 27, when next-door neighbor wine merchant Kermit Lynch is holding his 40th anniversary parking lot party. “Then we’ll kick it into high gear,” Drexhage says. Bartavelle, 1603 San Pablo Ave. Open Tues-Sun, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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District 2 city council race is battleground for Measure T

Campaign signs for the District 2 race dot the median on San Pablo Avenue. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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Darryl Moore has represented District 2, the southwest section of Berkeley, for eight years and counts among his accomplishments bringing $2 million to rejuvenate San Pablo Park and federal stimulus funds to repave Sacramento Street. The 51-year old also considers himself an advocate for affordable housing, youth, closing the achievement gap, and luring jobs to the neighborhood.

His opponents in the upcoming election, Denisha Delane and Adolfo Cabral, are trying to paint a different portrait of Moore, who took office in 2004 after getting the endorsement of his predecessor, Margaret Breland. The two, who are running for public office for the first time, say Moore provides little leadership and is increasingly out of touch with his constituents. They point to his support of Measure T, which would change zoning in West Berkeley to allow the development of six large sites in the next 10 years, as a case in point. Even though more than 100 residents, artisans, small manufacturers and professionals spoke in opposition to the plan at numerous city council meetings, Moore supports it. … Continue reading »

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Neighbors demand safer streets in Berkeley’s District 4

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More than 40 residents in one of Berkeley’s busiest districts came together last week to voice their frustration about traffic issues on their neighborhood streets.

Constant cut-throughs, shrugged-off stop signs, overgrown round-abouts and high speeds were among the concerns shared at a meeting Thursday night hosted by District 4 Councilman Jesse Arreguín. City Manager Christine Daniel and Berkeley Police Sgt. Robert Rittenhouse also were in attendance.

Arreguín said he scheduled the meeting, at Congregation Beth Israel, because of neighborhood complaints related to pedestrian safety and demands for traffic-calming measures. He noted a recently received petition, signed by several hundred people, calling for the installation of a four-way stop sign at one dangerous intersection. Arreguín also said he was working to bring resident concerns to city officials to have them addressed.

District 4 encompasses downtown Berkeley and is bound by Oxford St. to the east, Sacramento to the west, Dwight Way to the south and Vine St. to the north.

Concerns expressed at the gathering included high-priority intersections, such as the junction of McKinley Avenue and Channing Way, where attendees said they hoped to see traffic-calming tools or more stop signs. Others said they want the city to install barriers, such as those that exist around the Elmwood district near Ashby Avenue, to keep out through-traffic altogether. … Continue reading »

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Big Screen Berkeley: “Wake in Fright”

wake in fright
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Studies show that Australian beer consumption is in a death spiral. Recent research by the Japanese brewery Kirin indicates the land down under has slipped from 4th to 8th place in worldwide per capita ale imbibing since 2004 — in fact, it’s been nothing but bad news for Aussie brewers since the late 1970s, when the locals began switching to wine.

It was a much different story during the 1960s and early ‘70s, a Golden Age of Australian wrist raising during which suds consumption soared to all time highs. The era is captured in all its lager-soaked glory in 1970’s Wake in Fright, an existential drama beginning a revival run at Landmark’s Shattuck Cinemas on Friday, October 26.

Set in remotest New South Wales during a sweltering mid-summer, Wake in Fright stars English actor Gary Bond as John Grant, a primary school teacher desperate for the Christmas holidays to arrive. Grant has six weeks’ leave (the Australian school year begins at the end of January and ends in mid-December), a sweetheart in Sydney, and just enough cash to have a good time. … Continue reading »

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