Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses


NOODLES ON SHATTUCK A new noodle shop, Toss Noodle Bar, is coming to 2272 Shattuck Ave. Pin Toh, a Vietnamese and Thai restaurant, appears to have closed. According to reviews on Yelp, the shop was closed as of late December 2012. The state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) received an application in December for an on-sale beer and wine license, which is  pending. [Hat tip: Downtown Berkeley Association]


FREE GOOD VIBES VIBRATORS Coming up in February, Berkeley’s Good Vibrations location, which opened in 1994, will rejoice after a recent makeover. The party will feature free vibrators “and a celebration of 18 years of pleasure.” Said Berkeley store manager Laura Rafferty, in a prepared statement, “It’s been amazing to see our little block grow and change over the years. Many of our customers are regulars who live in the surrounding neighborhoods. We are so thankful for their support and patronage. It has been an incredible journey and I look forward to the next 18 years!” The event takes places Feb. 7, from 6:30-8:30 p.m., and will include drinks, light snacks and free vibrators. The Good Vibes Berkeley location is at 2504 San Pablo Ave.

Elmwood Lululemon by Nancy Rubin

YOGA SHOP SHIFTS POSITIONS Later this year, lululemon in the Elmwood, at 2956 College Ave., will get a remodel, and the existing store will shift temporarily a few storefronts over on Ashby Avenue, according to a store employee. The renovations are scheduled for March, but the dates are not set in stone. The shop will return to its existing location once the work is done.

OGGI Cioccolata Di Vino in Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto is set to become Oggi this week. It will continue to be a café and wine bar. Read more on NOSHTuesday to Thursday, 5-10 p.m. Friday to Saturday, noon to 11 pm. Sunday, noon to 10 p.m. 1801 Shattuck Ave., Suite C, Berkeley.

CHEZ PANISSE CAFE Inside Scoop noticed that Chez Panisse Café has started offering a new, special late-night menu (along with the regular menu): “$25 for a grassfed steak, fried onion rings, watercress salad and glass of Zin.” Monday to Thursday, beginning at 9:30 p.m. Chez Panisse Café, 1517 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley; 510-548-5049.

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.

Some of these items may first have appeared in Bites, Berkeleyside’s regular column in which we post updates on East Bay food news. Got a food tip or a scoop? Send it our way to

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  • Completely_Serious

    When I was an undergrad, Top Dog (Durant) offered a late night snack of a dog, a soda, some chips and a bunch of interesting reading for about $2.50.

  • PragmaticProgressive

    Wait is that… nostalgia? Oh no, they’ve got you too!

  • Cammy

    Too bad Chez Panisse doesn’t offer a “fast food” afternoon special for those who’d love to eat organic, gormet food but can’t afford the 25 dollar cost per plate…

  • Ces Rosales

    It really is too bad Pintoh on Shattuck closed. I think it is the best Vietnamese/Thai restaurant Berkeley could ever had. We ate there very often (almost once a week at some point) because it was THAT GOOD – and the prices were extremely reasonable. The waitress explained that Pintoh was the 4th restaurant for the same owner and this Pintoh location was a little too far from the other three he owned and he was having a hard time managing this one. So when the lease came up for renewal, he decided not to renew. Luckily, his first restaurant is on Solano Ave in Albany and if we have a hankering for their delicious (to die for!) bbq beef and the best vegetarian pho I have ever had – its close enough to go to.

  • Visitor

    Ah, the reading. That explains it all.

  • emraguso

    What’s the Solano Avenue place called?

  • Tizzielish

    $25 for a restaurant meal that includes some meat, salad, onion rings as side dish AND a glass of wine is a very modest price. What the heck do you think Chez Panisse can sell as an afternoon special for much less than $25? Sure they could sell you a $10 food item, like a small salad but that $25 pays for overhead, chef(s), dishwasher, waitstaff, utilities and, um, the local organic food. $25 for an organic local small late dinner with a glass of wine is actually kinda cheap. I am poor, I could document it. $25 for a good restaurant meal is quite modest today. The only way you’d get a cheap fast food special would be to eat poor quality cheap ingredients put together by staff probably not earning a living wage.

    Did you intend to suggest that Chez Panisse should give away charity meals, absorbing their costs and declining to earn a profit on these fast food afternoon specials you want?

    I never eat out but I also never eat anything but organic food, almost nothing but locally grown. I eat quite frugally and quite well. I also have Type I diabetes which, when well-managed, requires careful nutrition. I bet i spend less on food than most people reading this and yet I bet I eat better (in terms of health and nutrition) than most reading, too.

    IF you want a cheap fast food afternoon special, you get what you pay for: cheap nonnutritious food.

    Chez Panisse is not the only game in town. Berkeley is full of very affordable places selling great, healthy and, many of them, mostly locally sourced.

    You get what you pay for.

  • serkes


    ; )

  • Completely_Serious

    Oh no, trapped by the nostalgaists and I didn’t even know it.

    But wait, I only said it existed back then. I didn’t say I pined for it, or that the “Food and Drink Commission” should bring a resolution to force the owners of Top Dog to return to the prices of yesteryear (and, incidentally, get rid of the nasty veggie “dog”). I think I’m in the clear.