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Local business

Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

fable
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Bellhops logo BELLHOPS Moving just got a little easier. In May, Bellhops set up operations in Berkeley. Using a business model akin to Uber or Lyft, the company hires local college students, or “bellhops,” to provide customers with moving help. The company started three years ago in Auburn, Alabama, and rapidly expanded to 145 cities across the country. Currently, around 80 UC Berkeley students are available for customers within 15 miles of campus, according to co-founder Matt Paterson. Operations are decentralized, and the company doesn’t own any trucks or garages, but its employees can rent moving vans if the customer requests it. As Patterson puts it, Bellhops is perfect for those who don’t need a professional service and instead could just use some helping hands. And the company recognizes that letting strangers handle your possessions can be nerve-racking, which is why it sends customers pictures and profiles of bellhops before they arrive. Trust and exceptional customer service are central to the company’s mission, said Patterson. Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

Razan's Organic Kitchen is set to open into a new location next spring. Photo: Google Maps
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A SLIGHT SHIFT  Razan’s Organic Kitchen is on the move, with plans to take over the neighboring space where Great China used to be on Kittredge Street. Great China is renovating the old Looney’s BBQ spot on Bancroft, with a scheduled opening date of next spring. The new restaurant will continue to be run by the Razan’s folks. It doesn’t yet have a name, but it will sell Middle Eastern food and hopes to open next spring as well.

VETERAN CLOSING  The venerable, 40-year-old breakfast spot and music venue Chester’s Bayview Café at 1508 Walnut St. in the Gourmet Ghetto is to close and will be replaced by a new restaurant called La Fable, according to Grub Street. Chester’s was originally established in 1972 as the Egg Shop and Apple Press but was subsequently named after the English town of Chester. We will report on what La Fable owners Franck and Isabel Bochaton have planned as soon as we snag the scoop. … Continue reading »

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