Tag Archives: Caffe Venezia

Bites: Townie opens, Sanctuary vegan spot coming

Townie has its soft opening in Berkeley tonight, July 18. Photo: Townie
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TOWNIE OPENS THIS EVENING IN BERKELEY This just in: Beginning at 5 p.m. today, July 18, University Avenue’s newest neighborhood bar and restaurant, Townie, will have its soft opening. Owner and manager Nima Shokat said there will be a limited menu available, along with alcohol, which will be served until midnight or until the business runs out. Heading up the kitchen at Townie is chef Dana Ryan, who formerly worked at Gather, State Bird Provisions and RN74. Said Shokat, who has run Berkeley’s Missouri Lounge for years: “We’re hoping to be a neighborhood bar where people can just come by for a drink and hang out, but also get some exciting food.” Townie is located at 1799 University Ave. in Berkeley, where Venezia used to be located until it closed last year. Connect with Townie on Facebook. … Continue reading »

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

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Openings, closings…

ORDINAIRE New wine bar-wine shop, Ordinaire (as in “vin ordinaire”), has just opened at 3354 Grand Ave. in Oakland. Owner Bradford Taylor, who is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in English literature at UC Berkeley, said the place specializes in featuring small, boutique wineries, mostly from California, but also from France, Italy and Germany. Taylor has written in detail about what prompted him to open the shop (which was originally going to be called Red Whale) on Cal’s English Department’s website. Taylor is also offering a very small food menu with locally cured charcuterie, artisan cheese, and simple salads. Follow Ordinaire on its Facebook page. (Sounds not unlike Botella Republic which is slated to open in downtown Berkeley early next year.) … Continue reading »

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

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Openings, closings

Screen shot 2013-05-02 at 2.24.55 PMHIVE A new coffee shop called Hive (“the place to bee”) should be open within a month in Oakland’s Dimond district at 2139 MacArthur Blvd. Calanit Kamala, who is opening the spot with Bree Dezort, says they will be serving Highwire coffee and Starter Bakery pastries, as well house-made sandwiches and salads. “We are going to have honey cake as one of our specials, as well as completely vegan honey-lavender-coconut granita,” she adds. Follow Hive on its Facebook page for details of opening day. … Continue reading »

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Caffe Venezia, a Berkeley institution: 1980-2013

Lunch at Caffe Venzia
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By Allison Etchison

Caffe Venezia, a Berkeley staple for over three decades, will be closing in the early part of the year (as reported by Berkeleyside in January). The restaurant will remain open for a few more months to celebrate 33 years of serving the Berkeley community and its menu will take a nostalgia trip and including some classics to mark the occasion. On offer will be some perennial favorites such as Pollo Affumicato, Linguine Con Carciofi, Chicken Cannelloni, Rustica and Puttanesca, as well as standbys Malfatti con Funghi and Spaghetti Carbonara.

The roots of Caffe Venezia go back to 1978 when John and Lois Solomon, best known for their catering at the Renaissance Faires and their food cart on Telegraph Ave in the early 1970s, approached Jeff Wizig and Stacy Metcalf with their idea to open a natural foods taqueria in Berkeley. (Solomon was also the inspiration behind the “How Berkeley Can You Be Parade” that marched along University once a year for 13 years, until it was canceled in 2009.) … Continue reading »

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Bites: What’s new, what’s hot, what’s happening, VI

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Bites is Nosh’s round-up of restaurant and bar news in the East Bay. Got a tip or a scoop? Send it our way at nosh@berkeleyside.comChristina Mitchell, founder of East Bay Dish, is the main voice behind Bites, with a little help from the staff at Berkeleyside.

Freshly served…

duende facebookDUENDE Definitely one of the most anticipated restaurant openings of the year, Duende is officially open for business. Former Oliveto chef Paul Canales is serving regional Spanish cuisine in downtown Oakland, next door to Flora. Eater got a peek at the adjoining bodega with the Spanish wine and sherry expert, Gerard Maristany. There will be Verve Coffee available in the mornings and imported olive oil, along with wine organized by country. Bottles from the bodega can be opened in the restaurant with a $12 corkage fee. Domestic wines, beers and a full bar will be available in the restaurant side of Duende. Duende, 468 19th St., Oakland; 510-893-0174. Bodega: Sunday to Monday and Wednesday to Thursday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday to Saturday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.  Restaurant and bar: Sunday to Monday and Wednesday to Thursday, 5:30-10 p.m., Friday to Saturday, 5:30-11 p.m.

CAFFE VENEZIA Caffe Venezia, on University Avenue at Grant Street, will close before this summer after 33 years of operation in Berkeley. Owners Jeff Wizig and Roger Feuer are retiring and selling the business, the restaurant’s manager said. A new owner plans to open a restaurant in the space eventually, but the lid is on precisely what it will be. Caffe Venezia, with its charming Venice street scene interior décor — fountains, balconies and washing lines included — has been a much-loved fixture on the local dining scene for generations of Berkeley families. Caffe Venezia’s founder, John Solomon, was the inspiration behind the “How Berkeley Can You Be Parade” that marched along University once a year for 13 years, until it was canceled in 2009. Berkeleyside Nosh will have a fuller report looking at the history of the restaurant and its place in city life soon. [Hat-tip: James Carr] … Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

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CAFFE VENEZIA Caffe Venezia, on University Avenue at Grant Street, will close before this summer after 33 years of operation in Berkeley. Owners Jeff Wizig and Roger Feuer are retiring and selling the business, the restaurant’s manager said. A new owner plans to open a restaurant in the space eventually, but the lid is on precisely what it will be. Caffe Venezia, with its charming Venice street scene interior décor — fountains, balconies and washing lines included — has been a much-loved fixture on the local dining scene for generations of Berkeley families. Caffe Venezia’s founder, John Solomon, was the inspiration behind the “How Berkeley Can You Be Parade” that marched along University once a year for 13 years, until it was canceled in 2009. Berkeleyside Nosh will have a fuller report looking at the history of the restaurant and its place in city life soon. [Hat-tip: James Carr] … Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

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DOUBLE SHOT Fertile Grounds Café at 1796 Shattuck Ave, is adding a mezzanine with more tables which will double its seating capacity. The café has been open on and off during construction. Fertile Grounds opened in March 2002, shortly after owner Ayman Morrar graduated from UC Berkeley. Ayman’s goal is to have an intimate, cozy café, with an emphasis on quality food, and a vibrant, robust menu. Lebna plates, falafel, homemade hummus, grilled tuna sandwiches are among his most popular dishes. Fertile Grounds doubles as an art gallery, featuring exclusively Berkeley artists. Right now Julia Kosivchuk‘s work is on display. Follow the café’s progress on Facebook.

STUDENT SPOT A new café is opening across the street from the UC Berkeley campus. The Berkeley Floor Café, located at 2244 Bancroft Way, is in “soft launch” mode, according to the Daily Californian, and will be operating at full throttle once students are back at school. Owner Razan Faraj says the café will be a multifunctional space and will offer the usual hot and cold drinks, pastries, and some homemade dishes. Wine and beer are also on the menu. “The area needs us,” Faraj told the Daily Cal. “They just don’t know it yet.” … Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

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WHERE’S MY PIZZA PIE? After 20 months of serving up thin-crust pizza, salad, and frozen custard, Addie’s Pizza Pie at 3290 Adeline has shut its doors. A sign posted in the window reads “Folks, Thank you for all your past support. We have had to close nonetheless. Who knows what will happen next.” Co-owners Jennifer Millar and Tom Schnetz will still offer up  their culinary talents, however. Millar owns the nearby, always busy, Sweet Adeline Bakshop and Schnetz co-owns Tacubaya on Fourth, as well as three other restaurants in Oakland.

CHEESY CHEW Grilled cheese sandwich chain The Melt will open a new spot at 2400 Telegraph Avenue near the Cal campus soon, according to Grub Street SF. The Melt is the brainchild of Flip cam founder Jonathan Kaplan whose plan is to expand nationally. So far, the company has three locations in downtown S.F. and one at Stanford. … Continue reading »

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