Category Archives: Local business
Telegraph Avenue could use more large clothing retailers and a grocery store, along with more options for nightlife and buying household goods, if it hopes to grow financially moving forward, city staff said Tuesday as part of a special work session on the avenue.
Some officials said the city needs to take a proactive approach to marketing properties that become available, and perhaps adjust the city’s permitting process to make it easier to attract larger businesses. Others said landlords might take it upon themselves to lower rents for new businesses, so the burden isn’t only on the city.
“I think we have to go out on dates,” said Councilwoman Linda Maio. “I think we have to identify retailers that we want, that we have a space for. I think we have to introduce them to the mayor. I think we have to wine and dine them and bring them into town. I think we have to show them the campus and the enormous potential here. I don’t think it’s going to serve us well to sit back and wait for somebody to come our way.” … Continue reading »
The owners of one of Telegraph Avenue’s most popular ice cream spots have asked Berkeley officials to revoke the permit for a new ice cream take-out window set to open right across the street, at Rasputin Music.
Tuesday night, Berkeley City Council members heard the appeal, by Cream ice cream parlor, 2399 Telegraph, against Rasputin’s Dream Ice Cream, which won approval in September from the city’s zoning board.
Problem was, a city staff member said the city failed to notify nearby businesses about the proposal. If Rasputin’s permit is ultimately approved, the two businesses would essentially stare each other down across Channing Way. … Continue reading »
WHAT’S IN A NAME? A sign declaring “Berserkeley” announces Gilman District, being developed just south of Gilman on 10th, adjacent to the relocated Office Depot and across from the proposed Whole Foods Market. [Update: the developer clarifies that the marketing sign with Berserkeley is not the name of the development. It will be Gilman District.]
Berserkeley Gilman District has two parcels, a divisible 10,735-square-foot lot facing 10th Street for retail, and a 5,376-square-foot lot facing Ninth Street for specialty food outlets. “We are gearing all prospective tenancies to make sure they all are aligned with community, and have dual purpose of retail and customer experience that address active lifestyles,” Michael Fogelman, the developer, said in a press statement. According to Matt Holmes, principal of Retail West, which is marketing the development, ideal tenants would be “a highly specialized bike store like Velo cult in Portland that offers expertise, service in the cycling world and a brew pub in one store experience, or a specialty soccer or running shoe store that can start weekend group runs or activities from our project.” The specialty food annex along Ninth will have a large outdoor deck and feature a mix of restaurants, cafes and specialty food purveyors. … Continue reading »
CAFE LA RENAISSANCE Christina Sun, who owns 3045 Shattuck Ave., a building that has been a neighborhood flashpoint for years, has opened up a cozy cafe on the ground floor. Called Café La Renaissance (pictured top), the eatery two blocks south of Ashby Avenue opened its doors May 6 selling coffee and other beverages. Now it has introduced sandwiches, salads, pastries from The Bread Workshop, as well as gluten-free sandwiches from Sista Sandwich in Oakland. The interior is inviting, with couches, posters, a Renaissance-style oil painting, and a fireplace mantle. “Renaissance means rebirth,” said manager Dani Stewart. Sun “wanted to set up an environment where people could come and leave all their worries behind. It’s a play on words.” The building, once known as “the flying cottage,” was declared a public nuisance by the City Council in 2003. It was heavily damaged in a 2006 arson fire and then rebuilt. The hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. … Continue reading »
The iconic Telegraph Avenue building that formerly housed Cody’s Bookstore could have a new identity before year’s end due to an ambitious project underway by local property owner Ken Sarachan.
Sarachan — who also owns Rasputin Music and Blondie’s Pizza, as well as the vacant lot north of Amoeba Music — describes his “Mad Monk Center for Anachronistic Media” as a two-story complex with a full-service restaurant, performance space, small flower kiosk, take-out coffee counter and analogue media shop that will bring together “the best assembly of records anywhere in California.” … Continue reading »
TELEGRAPH EVOLVES Naan ‘N’ Curry, a longtime fixture at 2366 Telegraph Ave. and a student favorite, shut its doors last week. Sales had gone down 30% over the last three years as more and more “quick serve” restaurants opened on Telegraph, finally forcing the Indian restaurant to close, according to a press release put out by the new Telegraph Restaurant Association. There is no sign on the door announcing the closure, but all the tables and chairs have been moved out.
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.) … Continue reading »
Berkeley author Michael Lewis sauntered into Mrs. Dalloway’s bookstore on College Avenue on Monday, dressed for the 85-degree weather in a white cotton jacket and pants.
The crowd, which had been expecting him a half hour sooner and had started to disperse, quickly returned to the seats set up before a podium. Within seconds, Lewis, the bestselling writer of books such as Moneyball, Liar’s Poker, The Blind Side and The Big Short, had captivated the audience with his easygoing humor.
LINDGREN’S Lindgren’s Coffee and Café (above) in downtown Berkeley opened for business in February. Now it’s having its grand opening celebration — on Thursday, April 18, at 5 p.m. and all are welcome. There will be the chance to feast on house-made delicacies, enjoy a sparkling beverage and get a free chair massage — as well as the requisite ribbon cutting. Lindgren’s, 2120 Dwight Way (at Shattuck). … Continue reading »
David Morris, whose Bread Garden bakery on Domingo Avenue in Berkeley was the one of the first to offer fresh, handmade croissants and baguettes when it opened in 1973, died on April 3 of cancer. He was 65.
Morris, who operated The Bread Garden for 39 years, shut it down in 2012 because of dwindling sales. In the summer of 2012 he opened a similar bakery in Paso Robles to much acclaim and appreciation from the community.
“Amazing breads!” wrote one customer on Yelp! “Will certainly be going back often. Picked up a couple of goodies too. Yummy. Just what Paso needed!”
Morris bequeathed the bakery to his longtime manager, Sandy Luong, who lives in Emeryville. Luong had assisted Morris in getting the Paso Robles Bakery open.
“I do have full intention of keeping it open and seeing David’s dream of starting a new bakery in a new location followed through,” said Luong, who plans to commute back and forth between the Bay Area and Paso Robles. … Continue reading »
A new shared workspace is set to open in downtown Berkeley later this year at 2081 Center St.
The 9,000-square-foot space in Berkeley will be able to host more than 200 members. The company offers a variety of membership types, which include 24/7 access and conference room space, and “accommodate a variety of workstyles, from open and collaborative to heads-down and deadline driven,” according to the company website. … Continue reading »
TRACKERS BAY Outdoor education organization Trackers Bay has taken over the distinctive building formerly occupied by Marmot Mountain Works at 3049 Adeline St. in Berkeley. Trackers’ regional director, Jess Liotta, describes the company as offering training in old-school skills and story-based immersive experiences for kids and adults. She tells Berkeleyside: “Think archery, foraging, wilderness survival, zombie apocalypse training, blacksmithing, etc!” The Adeline space is going to serve as Trackers’ central headquarters, office, and meeting space for its workshops and classes. Community gatherings and events will also be held there. Trackers Bay parent company Trackers Earth was founded in 2004 by Tony and Molly Deis. Tony based Trackers on his personal work in outdoor education since 1992. Marmot Mountain Works closed at the beginning of this year, after 36 years operating in Berkeley. Visit the Trackers Bay website for more information. … Continue reading »
After 30 years on the corner of Telegraph and Ashby, Inca Service, run by Hugo Cornejo, will close at the end of April.
According to Cornejo, Chevron has sold the site to an independent operator, Arash Salkhi from Santa Rosa Grand Petroleum. Cornejo was unable to reach a lease agreement with Salkhi. Cornejo said that while he was in negotiations with Salkhi, Salkhi placed an ad on Craigslist seeking new tenants for the mechanics space, claiming the existing leaseholder — Cornejo — was retiring.
Three years ago this month Cornejo staved off closure of Inca Service after a story on Berkeleyside provoked an outpouring of community support protesting Chevron’s plans to replace Inca Service with a mini-mart. … Continue reading »