Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

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.

BURGER JOINT COMING  Eureka! Burger, an upscale burger and craft beer chain, looks like it’s opening at 2068 Center St. in the space vacated by Chinese restaurant Peking Express, according to Diablo Magazine. Eureka, which will join Bongo Burger as a purveyor of sliders on the street, has seven California locations. It serves Angus Chuck beef, “gourmet” salads and hand-cut fries, as well as beers and whiskey.

GOODBYE HOLY LAND BERKELEY  The news that Holy Land at 2965 College Ave. in the Elmwood was closing after 15 years of business came as a shock to many. (“This is a tragedy!” wrote reader Heidi Pie Aronson). Owner Niso Mizrachi told the East Bay Express that business had been tough, the result, he said of what he feels is Berkeley’s “overly lax enforcement of zoning regulations, which has allowed restaurants to open in former retail spaces and other buildings not previously zoned for food.” The restaurant, which served Jewish and Middle Eastern food, closed on Oct. 9, but Mizrachi encourages those who need their falafel and Yemeni flatbreads fix to rush to Holy Land’s original restaurant at 677 Rand Ave. in Oakland, which is run by his daughter, Miri Levy.

INDONESIA MOVES IN  Indonesian restaurant Padi Restaurant will take the place of Holy Land. Padi is owned by Jimmy Sujanto who also runs a Bay Area catering service, and it will offer traditional Indonesian platters, including homemade beef meatballs, Chinese eggplant and fried rice. The restaurant expects to open on Sunday, Oct. 24, at 2965 College Ave. Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

HOT AND SPICY As tipped by us in July, Red Buffalo Cheasesteaks & Buffalo Wings is now officially open at 2370 Shattuck Ave. The chain has another restaurant on Market Street in Oakland.

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.

Print Friendly
Tagged , , , , , , , , ,
  • the Deer

    Excellent news!

  • Tom

    “that business had been tough, the result, he said of what he feels is Berkeley’s “overly lax enforcement of zoning regulations, which has allowed restaurants to open in former retail spaces and other buildings not previously zoned for food.”
    Ain’t competition a bitch!

  • Charles_Siegel

    I checked the menu at Bongo Burgers, and I don’t see sliders there. 

  • Monsanto ruined it

    I won’t be eating cheap GMO oil cooked food from any of these, not until
    The mess is cleaned up. Organic soy, corn, clean oils and pasture/grass/free range
    Proteins only for my family.

  • David D.

    My thought exactly. Also, people order burgers at Bongo Burger? I usually go for the falafel…

  • the Deer

    regarding Bartavelle, that is…

  • Guest

     I frequent the Elmwood neighborhood, and his was the only restaurant that never had lots of people inside. Every other restaurant always seems like it is full of customers. The lack of customers there was the reason it was the one restaurant on College we’ve never been to! We figured everyone knew something and followed their lead.

  • MediMan

    Falafel is my favorite at Bongo Burger, but the burgers/fries are pretty good, and so are the plates (protein, tabouleh, salad).