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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

Photo: Phoenix Fitness Gym
Phoenix Gym offers personal training and bootcamps for all levels of experience with exercise. Photo: Phoenix Gym

PHOENIX GYM OPENING Phoenix Gym opened its doors in West Berkeley this month. Phoenix Gym offers personal training and group bootcamps for all fitness goals and levels of expertise. Owner Kelly Mills plans to add more class times based on neighborhood interest and availability. “Moving into our own space has been nerve-wracking but really fun and exciting,” Mills said. The gym is in soft opening model in preparation for its mid-July grand opening, and is currently available for classes or training sessions. Sign up for personal training or a bootcamp at Phoenix Gym’s website, or by phone: 415-260-1112. Phoenix Gym is located at 1390 10th St., one block south of Gilman Street.

La PanotiQ Livermore: the bakery-café is opening a Berkeley branch on College Avenue in the Elmwood. Photo: La PanotiQ
La PanotiQ Livermore: the bakery/café is opening a Berkeley branch on College Avenue in the Elmwood. Photo: La PanotiQ

NEW BAKERY CAFE La PanotiQ Bakery Café is set to open at 2965 College Ave. (near Ashby Avenue) in the space formerly occupied by Padi restaurant, and, before that — for many years — Holy Land. La PanotiQ is a family-owned bakery and café chain with several locations around the Bay Area: in Mountain View, Campbell, Livermore and two in San Francisco, one in Noe Valley and the other on Chestnut Street. Expect French-style pastries like traditional croissants “made with pure AOC butter,” and tartes tatins. If the Berkeley bakery follows the style of its other cafés, the menu may also include breads, sandwiches, salads and coffee. The bakery lists Bicycle Coffee on its website currently, and says the College Avenue spot is slated to open in “spring 2015.” La PanotiQ Bakery Café will be at 2965 College Ave. (at Ashby Avenue).

Photo: Francesca Paris
Photo: Francesca Paris

NEW BOBA TEA SHOP COMING SOON U CHA Boba Tea will open soon on the intersection of Bancroft Way and Fulton Street, according to a “Coming Soon” banner posted on the property. The store is hiring for full- and part-time baristas, and requesting that resumes be sent to UCHA.USA@hotmail.com.

Photo: The Pasta Shop
Photo: The Pasta Shop

MARKET HALL PASTA SHOP EXPANDING Regulars of Market Hall Foods’ Pasta Shop at 1786 Fourth St. may have noticed a subtle transformation of the store over the past couple of months. In fact MHFoods, based in Rockridge, has invested in expanding the 15-year-old store’s offering, giving it a revised layout to accommodate a full bakery, as well as a new service to be introduced in the next month where customers will be able to order freshly made sandwiches from a menu. According to MHFoods co-owner Sara Wilson, she will be re-naming the store, MHFoods 4th or MHFoods on 4th, because Pasta Shop is not what best describes it these days. The business is adapting to its local clientele which, during the week, is mainly local workers wanting lunch and, on the weekend, more Bay Area shoppers and tourists. “What we have enjoyed is building a business in response to customers,” said Wilson. The Fourth Street store also has a busy catering department which supplies local businesses for morning meetings. As part of the expansion, the store has taken on more production staff. Once the changes are finished, Wilson said she would be turning her attention to making some improvements at the MHFoods-owned Cactus Taqueria on Solano Avenue, which she would like to see have more of a takeout offer. The Pasta Shop is located at 1786 Fourth St. (at Delaware Street). [Gill South]


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.

-By Francesca Paris