Local business

Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

Heirloom's chicken and wild rice

Heirloom’s chicken and wild rice. Photo: Mission Heirloom Café

MISSION HEIRLOOM CAFÉ Gluten-free, grain-free and soy-free offerings will be available at Mission Heirloom Café, which opens this fall in North Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto. The restaurant will move into 2085 Vine St. where much-loved vegetarian Chinese restaurant Vegi Food operated until 2012. The Heirloom Café will be serving organic, non-GMO cuisine and Intelligista coffee. The café will have outdoor seating. Mission Heirloom currently operates a takeout kitchen on Eighth Street, where you can get a preview of their offerings by picking up lunchtime meals Tuesday through Friday.

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Photo: Bobo

BOBO DRINKS Bobo Drinks will open its fifth location at 2037 Shattuck Ave. on Friday, July 4. The café serves sweet drinks and light snacks from a diverse range of locations, from New Orleans beignets to Banh Mi sandwiches from Vietnam (the website menu even includes stir-fried snail with coconut milk). The Shattuck Avenue store will be the micro-chain’s first location in Berkeley. Its website reads, “Our motto is to keep the drinks fresh by brewing tea leaves daily and keeping the sugar level at a minimum by using fresh fruits instead of over-using artificial syrups.”

Photo: Charles Siler

Photo: Charles Siler

TAMON TEA A small Japanese café serving snacks, fresh mochi and specialty teas has opened at 2055a Center St. in downtown Berkeley. The café, Tamon Tea, occupies a small space and serves affordable, simple food. Their specialty is a small rice bowl called omusubi, which they serve with seaweed and different toppings.

Shop Talk is our regular column in which we post updates on Berkeley businesses. 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, and check out Bites for the latest East Bay restaurant news.

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  • http://berkeleyhomes.com/ serkes

    Bobo Drinks – did the Crab? restaurant which had been there move to another location near Haste, or is that place new one?

  • DwntwnBerkeley

    Crab Yard has closed. A new restaurant Amazing Crab has opened up on Shattuck near Haste, but there is no connection between the two. Well, other than you can still get delicious and copious amounts of seafood in the Downtown!

  • MG

    I would LOVE a restaurant like Comal in the North Shattuck area. Or better yet, on Solano.

  • Heather_W_62

    Oh thank goodness. The Crab Yard was horrendous.

  • Boo dee

    I was bummed when the taqueria closed in epicurius garden. This is a business opportunity.

  • Guest

    Source Mini replaced the taqueria and is much much better.

  • Guest

    Comal is just too precious. I’ve had much better food at lower prices at many Mexican restaurants.
    Good drinks there though.

  • Chris J

    Why are there so many trendy restaurants? I guess because they realize since they are on the wholly appropriate bandwagon supporting local produce, organic, sustainable, hormone-free, cruelty-free, vegan, gluten- free, as well as paying living wages to their workers, most restaurants will be ‘trendy’.

    This is why you pay $16-17 for a bowl of #%$&ing ramen some places or $4 for a piece of toast. For what its worth, I applaud (seriously) this trend because overall, it is a social good. All that being said, I don’t often go to these restaurants because I simply…and often…prefer to cook my own food at home for family and friends.

    If someone were to open a Mexican restaurant using commercial produce and meats, they might not need to charge what the trendy places do. I will often eat at Casa Latina down on San Pablo near Delaware. Its cheap, they probably buy the best meat they can afford as well as produce but I’ll be damned if they’re going to Marin Sun Farms for organic cruelty-free meats. Their tacos are about. $2.50 and are delicious. Go to Comal and a similar, precious taco made by the fancy chef of the season will cost you 3x as much. Granted, it will be meat raised within 50 miles of here, slaughtered with as much dignity as the process allows, and the animals were raised with care and without being crowded. Maybe the staff are getting paid a ‘living wage’.

    At least we all have a choice. I am getting more aware of my food choices every day, yet often my bank account determines on a biweekly basis whether I’m going to go to Comal for a presumably wonderful dining experience and pay for it, or to the local taco dive.

    Much as I consider myself by that abhorrent term ‘foodie’, I am no stranger to occasional non haute cuisine. Tacos, pho, ramen…burgers? These ‘ought’ to be cheap in my mind and there are enough low-end places to handle the traffic. Thank god.