Tag Archives: Alchemy Collective Cafe

Duo to open Creekwood restaurant in South Berkeley

A photo simulation of Creekwood, a new restaurant in development on Sacramento Street. Image: The Kastrop Group, Inc.
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Two lifelong friends have teamed up to renovate a former bike shop in South Berkeley to create a new neighborhood restaurant in an area that’s undergone a revival this year.

Creekwood Café & Catering — still at least six months from opening — is the brainchild of Greg Poulios and Mark Louie. Both are 44-year-old California natives who met as pre-school students in Oakland. They stayed friends through high school and college, then later worked at the same restaurant in San Francisco. Their lives continued to be interwoven in the decades since.

“We’ve always talked about doing something of our own,” said Poulios. “We were looking around and we finally found the spot.” … Continue reading »

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Bites: What’s new in East Bay food, XXXVIII

Homespun Fare. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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HOMESPUN FARE The husband-and-wife team behind I Squared have re-opened under a new moniker, Homespun Fare (pictured above). They opened quietly Sept. 6 at 5403 College Ave. in Oakland. The menu features starters ($6-$10) such as polenta fries and steamed black mussels, and mains ($9-$16) such as oven roasted salmon, a grilled pork chop and lamb shank. There’s also a cabbage wrap that can be made vegan or with ground lamb, and polenta lasagna. The restaurant has no online presence at this point — neither a Facebook page nor a Yelp review — so curious diners will just have to take the plunge on their own.

LEMAT ETHIOPIAN Exclusively on Nosh, we have a report of a brand new Ethiopian spot coming to the Lorin District in South Berkeley. Lemat Ethiopian Restaurant and Café, 3212 Adeline St., is a casual, family-owned eatery that will offer a variety of vegetable and some meat dishes. Dishes will include thick stews, called wat, and grilled sautéed meats (tibs) along with vegetables served on injera. Co-owner Gezahegn “GZ” Mengistu told Nosh he’s planning to offer all-you-can-eat vegan dishes on Wednesdays, Fridays and during Lent in the spring. Lemat’s decor will feature Ethiopian traditional displays. And the restaurant plans to offer a daily coffee ceremony during lunch hours in a traditional backyard seating area designed for this purpose. Owners Mengistu and Ejigayehu “EJ” Berhanu, his wife, are living in Switzerland with their two sons, but plan to return to the Bay Area next year to launch their new venture. The restaurant is expected to open in July 2014. … Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

Alchemy. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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ALCHEMY COLLECTIVE CAFÉ The Alchemy Collective Café (pictured above) has moved from its current, cramped location on 3140 Martin Luther King Jr. Way to a larger location on 1741 Alcatraz Ave. (as tipped by us in July). This is the first move since the collective was opened in 2012 by six baristas who wanted to run an independent café operation. Last year they ran a successful Kickstarter campaign and brought in $10,000 to open up their business. They’ve proven to be as adept at crowd-sourced fundraising as brewing coffee: two days ago the Collective met their goal of raising another $10,000 on Kickstarter to help pay for their second move. According to their website, the new café will feature more space and a covered patio in the front. The menu is still in the works, but it will continue to feature coffee from Verve Roasters. The addition of a kitchen may allow the service of breakfast items like a granola bowl and breakfast sandwich, as well as a variety of lunch sandwiches. … Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

The Pristine Solutions team. Photo: Skydeck.
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FLAVOR A new Mediterranean restaurant is set to move into the former Picoso Taqueria space in Epicurious Garden at 1511 Shattuck Ave. Picoso closed in early May, and now Flavor Mediterranean Food, run by executive chef Ezra Malmuth, is claiming the Gourmet Ghetto takeout spot. According to a sign posted at the currently empty storefront, Malmuth has worked in “upscale eateries throughout the world” and interned at Chez Panisse. The sign says the new Flavor menu will highlight “California freshness enhanced with Middle Eastern spice,” and will change frequently with vegetarian and vegan options, alongside slow-braised meat and fish. (Hat-tip: Doug Ng) … Continue reading »

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Bites: What’s new in East Bay food XXIX

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Openings…

ALCHEMY CAFE COLLECTIVE Berkeley’s Alchemy Café Collective is moving at the end of August to a new space at Alcatraz and Ellis. Right now, co-owner Chris Myers tells us, the shop is too small. (It’s located in a small storefront next to the Firehouse Art Collaborative in the Lorin District.)  He said they have had to get city permits as a mobile cart because they didn’t have running water or electricity — it was all run out of a counter. In their new, bigger space, they’ll be able to run a slightly bigger operation and add a food menu (sandwiches, granola, maybe soups). Alchemy was opened in 2012 by six baristas, who want to be their own bosses and hire no employees. The collective raised $10,000 on Kickstarter to help launch their business, and they are turning to Kickstarter again to raise the money they need for the equipment at their new space. Read our August 2012 profile of Alchemy. … Continue reading »

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New beer garden, burger spot for South Berkeley

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Moxy Beer Garden, a new craft beer garden and burger restaurant is set to open as early as next month in south Berkeley, at Sacramento and 66th streets, in the old Casa Vino space.

Long-time Berkeley residents and restaurateurs, Mike and Amy Voisenat, who run The Hobnob restaurant on Park Street in Alameda, say they are excited to be bringing  their new venture into the area, not least because they live just four blocks away. Also, they describe the Lorin district as a community “poised to blossom like Temescal.”

Moxy plans to have 14 craft beers on tap and a choice of bottled beers, as well as wine by the glass. The menu will include grass-fed beef and Moroccan lamb burgers, Greek veggie burger, blackened turkey burger, vegan “Buffalo Wings” with cauliflower and vegan “buttermilk” dressing, housemade fries and salads. There will also be gluten-free bun options.
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News

New street banners give Berkeley neighborhoods identity

New district banners, 6/6, Ashby and Adeline
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A number of colorful new street banners have appeared in Berkeley’s Adeline-Ashby and Sacramento Street neighborhoods. They are the result of a city-funded effort to help discrete commercial districts brand themselves and promote what they see as their distinct attributes.

The initiative involved UC Berkeley students interviewing local merchants and Berkeley marketing company Radiant Brands working with property owners in the two areas to help crystalize ideas around the branding and the design for the banners.

“We engaged with stakeholders and held a series of meetings,” said Michael Caplan, Economic Development Manager for the City of Berkeley. … Continue reading »

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Alchemy: Co-op café brightens Berkeley strip in transition

Alchemy Collective Cafe: A welcome addition to the 'hood. Photo: Joel Ramirez
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Six baristas, who want to be their own bosses and hire no employees, have set up a slip of a shop at the intersection of Adeline Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way in south Berkeley, adding some much needed quality coffee — along with a warm, groovy vibe — to a neighborhood in transition.

Welcome to the Alchemy Collective Café, which opened its doors in February. The co-operative is located in a small storefront next to the Firehouse Art Collaborative in the Lorin District, home to the new Tuesday farmers’ market, the Black Repertory Theater, Sweet Adeline Bakeshop, and other artisan and artsy haunts.

The owner-workers have already attracted a stream of regulars: serious caffeine aficionados who stop by for a rotating menu of single-origin drip offerings and espresso drinks via Verve Coffee Roasters, and signature house blends courtesy of an in-house roaster. The co-op is manned by Chris Myers, Payam Imani, Eric Thoreson, James Parrish, and Rob Wertheimer; the sixth member, Caleb Wolfson-Seeley, mainly handles the finances. … Continue reading »

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Cool Berkeley coffee joints to get your caffeine on

Guerilla Cafe. Photo by Christine Tang/Refinery29
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As home to the first Peet’s, opened in 1966, Berkeley has always been a coffee lovers’ town. Espresso, Americano, soy lattes — you can find almost any variation on brewed coffee in almost any neighborhood in Berkeley.

Some call the recent resurgence in coffee connoisseurship the Third Wave of coffee. First came Peet’s. Then came Starbucks. And now there are a host of independent coffee roasters – Blue Bottle, Four Barrel, Ritual, Ecco, Sightglass, and Barefoot among them.

Refinery29, an online fashion and lifestyle magazine, recently ran a feature titled “13 Cool East Bay Coffee Joints To Get Your Caffeine On,” detailing some of the great coffee shops in the region. Four were from Berkeley.

Here’s an excerpt from Angela Tafayo’s piece:

Guerilla Café

Guerilla Café is an earthy café nestled in the heart of Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto. Pouring Blue Bottle coffee and boasting a wide range of preparations (from European to Latin American), this spot oozes the worldly vibe that coffee enthusiasts crave. Its noms are nothing to sneeze at either — fresh, healthy ingredients, and a clear view of the kitchen means great food in a warm and cozy environment, marked by a stunning bright-blue mural.

Guerilla Café, 1620 Shattuck Avenue (between Lincoln and Cedar streets), Berkeley; 510-845-2233.Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

Healthy Heavenly Foods back with food truck on Cal campus
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GETTING MEATY Green Papaya, the Thai vegetarian restaurant at 2016 Shattuck in downtown, is switching it up. It’s changing its name to Thanu’s Kitchen and is adding meat to the menu. A notice on the door says that the new spot will open soon. “Although we’re changing things up a bit here, we will still offer vegetarians our selective menu and, no worries, our utilities such as pots, pans, and ingredients for vegetarian will most definitely be separated from non-vegetarian,” write the owners, who say the change is due to “a low volume of vegan/vegetarian consumers”.

SPORTY OPENING Berkeleyans who are still missing Blakes, which closed its doors last year after 71 years, can now patronize Pappy’s on Telegraph, which opened a couple of weeks ago in the old Blake’s space at 2367 Telegraph Avenue. According to the East Bay Express, there is “a giant TV screen, plenty of sips, pitchers and noshes, and enough blue and gold to satisfy any Oski devotee”. The name is a nod to former football coach Pappy Waldorf. … Continue reading »

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