Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses


East Bay Spice Company: the Indian street food restaurant and bar just opened on Center St. in Berkeley. Photo: Shifra de Benedictus-Kessner

EAST BAY SPICE COMPANY A new restaurant and bar, the East Bay Spice Company (above), has opened at 2134 Oxford Street opposite Cal’s main entrance in downtown Berkeley (sandwiched between the Sunny Side Café and Cinnaholic). The eatery is serving Indian street-food-inspired dishes and artisanal cocktails with an Indian twist, as well as craft beers and wines. East Bay Spice Company is owned by Deepak Aggarwal who also owns Mint Leaf in the Gourmet Ghetto’s Epicurious Garden. The new spot takes over the shuttered Punjabi buffet restaurant.

TOMO’S JAPANESE CUISINE Tomo’s Japanese Cuisine plans to open next week at 2026 San Pablo Ave., a space which used to be Chinese restaurant Lee Wah. Details are thin, but Chef Tomo Owada says on the restaurant’s website that his eatery will provide traditional Japanese food with an emphasis on local and sustainable ingredients. (Hat tip: Lawrence Grown.)

Photograph and Frame Pop-UpPHOTOGRAPH AND FRAME Bay Area framers Photograph and Frame will be opening their first pop-up shop at 1840 Fourth Street on Wed. May 1. The emphasis will be on do-it-yourself style projects. Local Berkeley artists have been hired to work in the pop-up to provide hands-on guidance. The shop will offer a range, from hand-crafted frames and museum-quality matting to frames for the more frugal. Materials are available for consumers to assemble their own frames and mirrors. Photograph and Frame has stores in San Francisco and Palo Alto.

 VICEROY Indian restaurant Viceroy at 21 Shattuck Sq. (between Addison and  University) in downtown Berkeley has closed, the building has a new owner and the space is being refitted with a view to finding a new tenant.

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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  • Bryan Garcia

    Is there some kind of clause in the lease agreement for 2134 Oxford Street that states that whatever opens there MUST serve Indian food? Because that space has cycled through probably about half a dozen different Indian restaurants in recent years. I was hoping it would be something different this time.

  • Charles_Siegel

    I think all those restaurants are run by the same Indian family. When one does not work, they try another.

    I liked the Indian buffet there, and I am sorry it is gone.

  • Mbfarrel

    I hope the new owner of the building which housed the Viceroy repairs the damage done to the streetscape when it was remodeled many years ago.

    The building’s sister to the South had an abysmal portico sutured on the western façade. Years after the portico was constructed the addition of decorative plasterwork matching the original. turned it into a well considered and connected feature.

    The other two street level frontages of the southern building are more modern but the scale and rhythm of the first level match the more ornate second floor.

    By contrast, the northern twin appear crude, cheap and abused.

  • Chris J

    Indian food is like Mexican food in Berkeley–as common and with as much quality range from greasy spoon to Ajanta stylings.

    Same Indian family? That’s a pretty funny thought. Might be true, though.