BusinessBusiness

Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

Photo: Manny Hernandez

NEW AMSTERDAM COFFEESHOP New Amsterdam Coffeeshop has closed after three years at 1952 University Ave. Its owners sent out a letter to customers and posted a sign on the door explaining they wanted to “spend more time with their boys.” “We never imagined that our little homemade restaurant would be so busy or popular or loved,” they wrote. “But as we grew busier and busier the focus on business and lack of sleep and the intensity that we put into it began to take away from our family. We never had enough time for ourselves, or our kids, and we were unhappy.”

They go on to say people came in on the coffeeshop’s last day and wept. “People begged us to stay open. People told me how my salads changed their health, their eating habits, made them lose weight, lowered their blood pressure … thanked us, sincerely and deeply, for feeding them good food all this time. It really made us realize how much of a community we had created. The wave of love that we received today was epic and humbling. Thank you all so much…. On to greater and better things.” The coffee and sandwich place was part of a group of popular food spots, including Slow restaurant, Brasa (formerly eVe), and Chocolatier Blue. The neighborhood has seen a renaissance over the past few years thanks partly to the restoration by property owner/realtor John Gordon of the Victorian homes behind the stores. The rose garden there is used by customers of the cafés to eat their meals al fresco. [Hat-tip: Manny Hernandez]

Screen shot 2013-01-08 at 9.57.04 AMCOLORFLOW Color-grading facility Colorflow has opened a new 7,500-square-foot studio at the Saul Zaentz Media Center on 10th Street in west Berkeley. The studio includes three grading and finishing suites and a 22-seat theater. Among Colorflow’s recent projects are the suspense thriller Heatstroke from Bold Films and the 2013 Sundance documentary A River Changes Course.

Roman style pizzaBUILD PIZZERIA The Roman-style pizzeria in the works for 2286 Shattuck Ave. has had a name change prior to its planned 2013 opening. Originally going to be called A90 after Rome’s ring-road highway, the eatery will now be known as Build (as in “building” your own pizza), according to Inside Scoop. The fact that San Francisco restaurant A16 is planning a Rockridge opening this year may well have had something to do with the switch. The restaurant is being developed by Lisa Holt and David Shapiro of the Rustic Restaurant Company as the flagship in what is hoped to be a global chain.

Pizza Moda PIZZA MODA Pizza Moda, the restaurant formerly known as Divino (and, before that, Fellini) looks set to open, Jan. 9, at 1401 University Ave. Divino closed in late summer. Pizza Moda aims high: “think Dopo, Pizzaiolo, Gioia, Boot & Shoe and the café at Chez Panisse. The menu will be built from local, seasonal, fresh ingredients with a focus on uncomplicated and delicious.” [Hat-tip: Tom Lent]

Screen shot 2013-01-08 at 12.22.55 PM7-ELEVEN 7-Eleven is hoping to move into the space currently occupied by Bombay Music at 2000 San Pablo Ave. on the corner of University Avenue, and has applied to the city’s Zoning Adjustments Board for a use permit for a retail convenience market with 24-hour operations and an indoor ATM. No alcoholic beverage sales are proposed. Some local residents oppose the move and plan to meet at the site to discuss the development tonight, Jan. 8, at 7 p.m. The permit will next be discussed at ZAB’s Jan. 24 meeting.

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.