Tag Archives: Babette

Downtown Berkeley food scene picks up pace

Downtown Berkeley: ranked number one for walkability in new survey. Photo: Sharon Hahn Darlin
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“Visit Berkeley. Come for the culture, stay for the food,” reads a large blue sign as you exit the Downtown Berkeley BART station. And, with the food revitalization currently underway in downtown Berkeley, this sign rings true. Over the course of the past few months, a slew of new restaurants have joined classics like Gather, La Note, PIQ, Revival and Angeline’s (just to name a few) among the ranks of downtown Berkeley’s go-to spots.

To help get you up to speed, we’ve compiled a list of recently opened and soon-to-open restaurants in the neighborhood. Whether you are a sweet-toothed doughnut connoisseur or a vegan salad aficionado, there is a new restaurant for you to try. Hear of anything else in the works? Let us know in the comments.

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New BAMPFA ready to open Sunday in downtown Berkeley

City view of BAMPFA Photo Iwan Baan
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The countdown is nearly over. The new home of the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, plum in the heart of downtown Berkeley, will throw open its doors to the public with a big open house on Sunday, Jan. 31, starting at 11 a.m.

Before that, there’s a gala party, which is being held Thursday night at a temporary tent set up on UC Berkeley lawn abutting Oxford Street. The gala has raised around $1 million for education programs at the new museum, its director, Lawrence Rinder, said at a press preview event held Thursday morning.

Read more about the new Berkeley Art Museum Pacific Film Archive.

Rinder also spoke of the challenge of designing a museum that has a dual identity and responsibility towards both art and film, and the commitment to creating a space that is both accessible and welcoming.

“This is not just a place to come look and see,” he said. “There are many areas for community engagement.” Rinder cited as examples the museum’s reading room, art lab and its stepped salvaged-wood seating, created by master woodworker Paul Discoe, where visitors can relax and chat, as well as watch performances. He added that a goal of the museum’s design was to have a flow that was conducive to “wandering and to being surprised.” … Continue reading »

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BAMPFA builds temporary tent for its opening gala

A temporary tent is built by BAMPFA abutting Oxford Street for its opening gala on Jan. 28. Photo:
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Many readers have been in touch with Berkeleyside asking about the strange big “structure” being erected on UC Berkeley property at Oxford Street.

We posted the answer on Twitter and Facebook earlier this week, but, in case you missed that, we can confirm it is a temporary tent to host the “Portal” opening gala party on Jan. 28 for the Berkeley Art Museum Pacific Film Archive, across the street from its new downtown Berkeley location. The gala, by the way, is all sold out.

Read more about the new Berkeley Art Museum Pacific Film Archive.

The new museum flings open its doors to the public with a big Open House on Sunday Jan 31, starting at 11 a.m..

Before the museum opens, there’s a chance to hear architect Charles Renfro, of Diller Scofidio + Renfro talk about the design of the new BAMPFA at a free lecture on Jan. 27, 12-2 p.m. … Continue reading »

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Babette’s feast: Finding fine fare at Berkeley Art Museum

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Oakland’s loss is Berkeley’s gain: local chefs Joan Ellis and Patrick Hooker were exploring opening a venture called Babette’s Table on Temescal’s hipster Telegraph Avenue, but, for a variety of reasons, the deal for the upscale restaurant-grocery-café space fell through.

So the partners in work and life started scouting around for places where they might serve up seasonal, rustic grub. Via the local food-folk grapevine they learned that the owner of Oakland’s Remedy Coffee, who, as well as a Telegraph spot had also set up shop in the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) café space, was looking to sell.

And so Babette at BAM was born. Seven months on, the café has garnered critical acclaim and a loyal following. The café serves breakfast (like bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches, steel-cut oatmeal with apricots, cranberries, and toasted pistachios, and baked goods such as fruit-filled pastries), lunch, and coffee and sweet treats into the early afternoon. … Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

New Molly Mutt HQ in Berkeley
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NEW CAFE AT BAM After a short tenure by Remedy Coffee (which also has a space on Telegraph in Oakland), Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA)’s café on the first floor has been taken over and is now called Babette. The light-filled, concrete-walled space, which gives onto an open courtyard, opened under its new moniker on January 3rd and is serving rustic food — think pulled pork and spicy coleslaw sandwiches and lentil and red chard soup — along with coffee from Ritual and housemade sodas. Husband and wife team Joan Ellis and Patrick Hooker, who live in Berkeley and have 20-plus years of cooking and catering experience under their belts, are at the helm. Babette is open for breakfast and lunch during the week, and coffee and pastries at the weekend. Follow Babette on its Facebook page for menu updates and other news. Babette is accessible through a gate to the right of the museum’s Bancroft Way entrance, and from 2625 Durant Avenue. (Hat tip: Lisa Sibony) … Continue reading »

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