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Shop Talk: Belli Osteria, Collector Art Shop, more

The interior of the now-shuttered Belli Osteria. A new Italian restaurant with a pizza oven will soon open in the space. Photo: Belli Osteria
The interior of the now-shuttered Belli Osteria in downtown Berkeley. A new Italian restaurant with a pizza oven will soon open in the space. Photo: Belli Osteria

BELLI OSTERIA SHUTS DOWN After four years of serving exquisite pasta such as homemade black ravioli, pasta with clams and other Northern Italian fare, Belli Osteria, at 2016 Shattuck Ave., has shut its doors. Paul Oprescu, a Cal alum who majored in American history, opened the gem of the restaurant in Oct. 2012, right next door to the extremely popular Comal. “I had decided, some time ago, to go back to teaching and focus on my personal life, Oprescu told Berkeleyside in an email. He tacked a sign up on the front windows sending his regards to loyal customers. “Thank you for four wonderful years.” Oprescu sold the business to Steven A. Dumain, an Italian-American from New York, and Alessandro Uccelli, an Italian from the northern part of Italy. The pair will open reopen as an Italian restaurant soon with a wood-fired pizza oven, wrote Oprescu.

collector
A reception at the Collector. Photo: Collector Art Shop

COLLECTOR ART SHOP IS NO MORE The Collector Art Shop, at 2950 College Ave. in the Elmwood, shut its doors at the end of June after five years in the location. The store had presented a curated collection of work by local artists including paintings, ceramics, linens, cards, artisanal products and jewelry. Christina Begley and Skye Sullivan opened the store in 2011 and showcased the work of more than 200 artists over the years, particularly at their second-Friday night reception every month. The duo also opened a popup store at the United Airlines terminal at the San Francisco Airport in Jan. 2014, and a large store in Jack London Square in 2015. Despite all this success, the pair decided to shut down the business because it was all-consuming. “It has been a 24/7 commitment — as most small businesses are — and we are both now at a time when we need to focus more intensely at home for our families. Being entrepreneurs has meant less time for, well, less time with those close to us that we won’t get back,” they wrote on the store’s website. Digital Fix, a design and electronics store, will open in the space in August.

One of the leather hats for sale at the Endorphins Embassy pop-up
One of the leather hats for sale at the Endorphins Embassy popup

ENDORPHINS EMBASSY, AN UNUSUAL POPUP Two longtime friends, who only recently got into the apparel business, have opened up a popup boutique at 2115 Allston Way in the home of the short-lived Marytr. Alexi Keller and Adam Khatib decided spontaneously to create a clothing and accessories line called Endorphins four months ago. They used to replace words like “excited” and “psyched” with the word “endorphins” when they were younger, so it was a natural name for their company. The Endorphins Embassy sells high-quality unique baseball hats in unusual fabrics like leather and linen, backpacks and graphic T-shirts. “We design everything ourselves,” said Keller, who said the duo grew up “all over the Bay Area.” The pop-up is in the brick complex housing Jupiter and Trumpetvine Café. It will be there until Aug. 15.

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.