Tag Archives: Café Clem

Café Clem sold, will become Maison Bleue

Cafe Clem at 2020 Kittredge St. will reopen today after being close for three weeks. Photo: Café Clem
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After five years in downtown Berkeley, Café Clem closed for good. Its last day serving its popular pastries and French-inspired sandwiches was Aug. 31. Owner Dorothée Mitrani-Bell, who also owns La Note, also downtown, has sold Café Clem to Patrice Fayet, a Frenchman, who will open a similar concept, called Maison Bleue, in the space this fall.

Mitrani-Bell told Nosh that she is “making some personal changes in her career” and although she “loved putting [Café Clem] together and loved working on it, La Note is already a lot to handle on its own.”

In a Facebook post, Mitrani-Bell wrote: “After close to five years of servicing the neighborhood and with a tremendous amount of joy and gratefulness, we are happy to announce that Café Clem will be changing hands to a wonderful new French team as well and will become “Maison Bleue” after a few weeks of remodeling. Uncanny coincidence that the building is now being repainted blue, as to welcome the new café!  Thank you Berkeley and locals for your patronage! We will miss you! You can still come visit us at La Note restaurant.” … Continue reading »

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Café Clem revamps to cope with labor, food costs

Cafe Clem at 2020 Kittredge St. will reopen today after being close for three weeks. Photo: Café Clem
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For the last three weeks, patrons of Café Clem at 2020 Kittredge St. in downtown Berkeley have gone to the restaurant, only to see a sign on the door reading “Café Clem will be closed until further notice.”

Many worried that the much-loved restaurant was shuttered for good. But at 7:30 a.m. Monday, the café will reopen, something that the owner, Dorothée Mitrani-Bell, wasn’t sure would happen again.

Mitrani-Bell, who also owns the French restaurant La Note on Shattuck Avenue, shuttered Café Clem during the holidays to rethink its existence. The café, while popular, was under serious financial pressure. In fact, in September, Mitrani-Bell addressed the Berkeley City Council and said: “I can’t survive.” The recent rise in Berkeley’s minimum wage, coupled with increased wholesale costs, meant the cafe’s margins were not large enough, said Mitrani-Bell.

However, after mulling over the situation, Mitrani-Bell decided to revamp aspects of the restaurant, rather than close it. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley’s second Coffee & Tea Festival leaves a buzz

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The second annual Berkeley Coffee & Tea Festival took place on Saturday morning at the Hotel Shattuck and, if you attended, you’re probably only now coming down from the caffeine- and sugar-induced buzz it induced.

Hundreds of people wandered the hotel’s elegant ballroom and exterior patio, sampling espresso drinks and fine teas, miniature bundt cakes, chocolate bites and gelato… not a bad way to spend a lazy weekend morning, many participants agreed.

The Coffee & Tea Festival was orchestrated by the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce and included a program of talks, and both coffee and tea ceremonies. Exhibitors included Berkeley Coffee & Tea, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Café V, Twenty Twenty Studios, Madecasse Chocolate, Genuto Gelato, Jade Chocolates, Five Mountains, Café Clem, Nothing Bundt Cakes and Tisano Tea. … Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

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FRENCH MOVE Café Clem has moved from its former spot on Seventh Street to downtown Berkeley at 2020 Kittredge Street, right at the central library. The new location for the café, which offers a French-inspired menu including baguette sandwiches, croques monsieur, pains perdus and coffee and teas, will also serve as the catering department for both Café Clem and La Note. The new Café Clem is inviting the community to an open house to mark its opening on Friday April 20, 5-7pm.

WHEELS STOP Peter Moore brings us news that Recycle Bicycle on Sacramento Street has a sign in the window that says, “Business is Closed.” The store is not answering the phone so we can’t confirm details. Any tipsters have insights? If it is closed for good, Moore for one is disappointed. “It’s certainly a loss to South Berkeley. It was a nice place to get your bike fixed,” he says. … Continue reading »

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