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  • The most important stories in Berkeley in 2012

    Berkeley in 2012 was filled with drama — a contested election, a failed nomination for a new school superintendent, a few missteps by the Chief of Police, and major changes at the University of California, among other events. Here’s a recap of the issues that had the deepest impact on Berkeley, plus a few fun ones thrown in.

  • Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

    RUSTIC ON SHATTUCK  The lamented closure of nightclub Shattuck Down Low will be assuaged for some by the word that a new, stylish casual restaurant will be opening on the site, perhaps as early as January. Lisa Holt and David Shapiro of Rustic Restaurants LLC have a strong pedigree, having developed and launched the Milliken Creek Inn & Spa in Napa and the revamped Hotel Yountville. Holt told Diablo Magazine that the Berkeley project is planned as the first of several in the Bay Area. You can get a glimpse of the design aesthetic that Holt prefers from her current Pinterest page for Rustic. According to the Daily Cal, Down Low owner Daniel Cukierman is looking for a new site in downtown Berkeley.

  • Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

    MELT IN YOUR MOUTH Its tag line is “Yup, It’s just cheese and bread,” but somehow we suspect the way MELT puts those two ingredients together is something special. How about fontina and provolone on garlic bread? Or pepper jack with jalapenos on sourdough? Those are only two of the options at MELT, the brainchild of  Jonathan Kaplan, who founded Flip Video (now sadly defunct). As tipped by Berkeleyside in May, the fifth branch of MELT opened Aug. 6 at 2400 Telegraph Ave., just a few steps away from Sproul Plaza. Customers can order via their smart phones, scan in the QR code when they get to the restaurant, and move to the front of the line for pick up.