Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses


CLAYPOT AND NEIGHBORS The southeast corner of Dwight and San Pablo is seeing a lot of new business activity. Vietnamese restaurant Claypot opened on Monday in the old Bacheeso’s space. A Yelp reviewer was quick off the mark, noting the food was “good and spicy”, although he wanted more noodles in his pho. The very cool Cruz skate shop (already reported on Berkeleyside) is next door, and vintage clothing store Liz Vintage Mix has the third retail space (hat-tip: Michael Fox).

Sheng KeeASIAN DELIGHTS Sheng Kee Bakery opened at 2307 Telegraph last month, to largely rave reviews on Yelp. Typical, from Christine H: “i hate sheng kee. i’m going to get sooooooooo fat now.” Sheng Kee offers a wide range of Asian pastries, boba milk tea, sandwiches, as well as Peet’s coffee. Apparently the long lines of students move pretty quickly. Berkeley is the 12th Bay Area location for the Sheng Kee, which traces its roots back to family matriarch Mrs. Kao opening a bakery in Taipei 40 years ago.

A CLOSURE, AN OPENING Ned’s Berkeley Bookstore at 2480 Bancroft, which specialized in university textbooks, has closed. The space has been filled by the Cal Student Store which moved to the new location because the MLK Student Union is closed for construction through fall 2015. The store sells rafts of Cal-branded merchandise, as well as textbooks and other supplies. Textbook prices remain staggeringly high, but the retail business has been severely disrupted by Internet retailers.

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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  • Charles_Siegel

    I tried Sheng Kee, and I thought it was much too sweet. I eat virtually no sugar, so I am sensitive to it – and this was too much for me.

  • rcm

    Tried Claypot for the first time tonight with 4 kids ranging from ages 3-9. Meal was delicious and kid friendly as well!

  • Chris J

    Interested to note that there may be a Sheng Kee bakery up on Telegraph near Bancroft which, when you consider how many Asian students are attending Cal because…because…well, that doesn’t matter– with all the Asian students, having an Asian bakery just makes sense, right, from any business viewpoint you can imagine.

  • Chris J

    The closure of Ned’s is a bother because if was the only place I knew to get blank sheet composition notebooks which I use for sketching, but fortunately Alko in downtown Berkeley actually had them. Damn.