Tag Archives: College Avenue


5 robberies in Berkeley in less than 2 hours Monday

A spate of robberies were reported Monday night in Berkeley. Image: Google Maps
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Update, 3:15 p.m. Police have said, in a Nixle alert published Tuesday afternoon, they believe there is a “high probability” that the five pedestrian robberies near the UC Berkeley campus late Monday night are related.

Police have released brief suspect descriptions as well. The robbers were described as two black men in their late teens or early 20s. One was 5 foot 7, medium build, wearing a gray sweatshirt, and the other was 6 feet tall with a thin build wearing a black hooded sweatshirt.

A gun was seen by victims in the last three robberies. In the first instance, the robbers made threats of a gun, and the second robbery did not involve a weapon.

Original story, 7 a.m. Police in Berkeley were kept busy Monday night by five robberies that took place in less than 2 hours. If that sounds fast, think again: The first four incidents were reported within just 30 minutes.

The robberies took place south of the UC Berkeley campus, within blocks of College Avenue, and may have been related, authorities report. … Continue reading »

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Bancroft Way food trucks’ days are numbered

Photo: Dojo Dog/Facebook
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Berkeley’s Bancroft Way won’t have food trucks for much longer.

The permits that authorize Dojo Dog, Healthy Heavenly Foods and Kettle Corn Star, which are currently parked at the intersection of Bancroft and College Avenue, will expire March 31, 2016. The city does not plan to renew any of the permits. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley police use license plate reader in kidnapping attempt investigations

A trailer with a license plate reader has been set up at Willard Middle School. Photo: Citizen reporter
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Authorities have set up a trailer with “license plate technology” at Willard Middle School to help with an investigation into five child abduction attempts in Berkeley since September.

An astute Berkeleyside reader noticed the trailer outside Willard last Friday and commented about it using the screen name “careful what you ask for.”

The reader, who shared the photograph that accompanies this story, drew a red arrow pointing at a small box mounted on the trailer, and identified it as a license-plate-reading (LPR) camera. The trailer is white, and also includes a 25 mph speed limit sign and an LED reminder for motorists that says “slow.”

Another reader noticed the trailer, which has a line of orange cones in front of it, and wondered about it on Twitter on Tuesday: “Why in the world did the city put this in the loading zone in front of Willard?”

Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats confirmed Thursday that the trailer “does have LPR technology on it.”Continue reading »

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Berkeley Police announce 2 more child abduction attempts; new vehicle description

Willard Middle School. Photo: Nancy Rubin
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Authorities have released an updated vehicle description and more information about five child abduction attempts in Berkeley over the past month, including two that had not previously been reported.

Berkeley Police Officer Byron White, a department spokesman, said investigators believe the most recent incident, on Sunday evening, involved a black full-size cargo van, without side or back windows. A man described as Hispanic, 20 to 30 years old, with dark hair and a mustache, tried to convince three girls to get into his van at about 6:10 p.m.

In the initial report about that incident, police said they believed the involved vehicle was an older model, dark green or blue mini-van with tinted windows. After additional interviews with witnesses and victims, authorities have updated the description, said White.

White said police have learned about another attempt that day, in the same location about 15 minutes prior, involving a middle-school-aged girl. The vehicle and suspect description were the same as reported by the trio a short time later.

The other three incidents all took place Sept. 18 as children walked to Willard Middle School, at 2425 Stuart St., between Telegraph Avenue and Regent Street, between 8 and 8:30 a.m. … Continue reading »

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BUSD: Another attempted child abduction in Berkeley

Image: Google maps
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The Berkeley Unified School District is alerting the community to an attempted abduction of three girls Sunday on College Avenue.

According to a notice released Monday morning by the school district, the girls were walking on College Avenue and Webster Street at about 6:10 p.m. when a man near a van yelled at them to get inside.

“The girls started to run away and the suspect started following them on foot,” according to BUSD. “The girls started to scream and the suspect got back in his van and drove away south on College Avenue.”

The man was described as Hispanic, 20 to 30 years old, with dark hair and a mustache. He was driving an older model, dark green or blue mini-van with tinted windows. … Continue reading »

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Cali cuisine meets Mediterranean at The Advocate

Blistered squid with padron peppers, yogurt, fried okra, muhammara, and cilantro ($13) at The Advocate. Photo: Benjamin Seto
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By Benjamin Seto/Focus:Snap:Eat

The story: The people behind the successful high-end Mexican restaurant Comal in downtown Berkeley branched out to the tiny Elmwood neighborhood with a splashy new restaurant called The Advocate. (How this name is supposed to make you think of food is beyond me.) Housed in the former Wright’s Garage building, the spacious dining room with wood-fire oven opened earlier this month. … Continue reading »

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Staffing issues led to closure of Nabolom Bakery

Nabolom Bakery sign. Photo, taken on April 14, 20015, by Raymond Yee
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Nabolom Collective Bakery, which operated out of 2708 Russell St. in Berkeley’s Elmwood neighborhood for almost 40 years, shut down last Sunday because four members of the collective departed over a short period of time and the other members did not feel they could continue with such a reduced staff, according to a former collective member.

The loss of four of the 10 collective members within three months was too much to absorb at once, according to Crow Bolt, a former member who lent the business around $80,000 to stay afloat 15 years ago.

“What’s shutting it down now is not the finances, but the staffing,” said Bolt, who is now a hospital emergency room nurse in New Mexico. “Four key members [left] in too short of time to recover.” … Continue reading »

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Philz Coffee on College Avenue opens today

Philz on College Avenue. Photo: Kate Williams
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The third East Bay location of Philz Coffee is officially open for business. The College Avenue location in the new Safeway complex threw a soft opening party Tuesday as a welcoming gesture to the neighborhood, with the full management staff, including founder Phil Jaber, in attendance.

Philz, founded in 2003, has been opening new locations at a rapid clip over the past year; it opened on Gilman Street last summer and it held a grand opening for a Redwood City location last month. And, according to TechCrunch, Philz recently closed on $15 million in funding in order to expand operations beyond California. CEO Jacob Jaber told TechCrunch that he plans to open at least 10 more locations nationwide by the end of the year.

The College Avenue Philz joins the Gourmet Ghetto and Gilman District shops in the East Bay. It is part of the new Safeway shopping complex, and will soon be joined by C.R.E.AM., the popular cookie and ice cream shop. … Continue reading »

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SF’s Millennium aims to open Rockridge restaurant

Millennium, which is closing its Geary Street restaurant, hopes to reopen across the bay in Rockridge. Photo: Google Images
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San Francisco’s Millennium restaurant, which is closing its Geary Street restaurant in a few weeks, hopes to open again in the heart of the East Bay’s Rockridge neighborhood.

The restaurant’s owners — executive chef Eric Tucker and general manager Alison Bagby — have launched a Kickstarter campaign to help raise funds for the move. They are looking to generate $50,000 in donations, and as of this afternoon, have already raised close to $20,000 with 29 days to go. The proposed funds are only part of the money needed: Tucker and Bagby are contributing their own money, and have also raised investment capital.

In January, the venerable vegan restaurant announced that it would be closing its doors this spring. The owners of the hotel in which the restaurant is located decided to sell the building, and the new owners did not want to keep the restaurant. Faced with a deluge of disappointed customers, Tucker and Bagby insisted that they would find a new location.

Today, the pair announced the potential new spot — Rockridge — and it looks like they have their eyes on James Syhabout’s recently shuttered Box and Bells at 5912 College Ave. (at Chabot). … Continue reading »

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Pair arrested in Berkeley after armed robbery spree

Police arrested two men on suspicion of robbery during a vehicle stop in South Berkeley on Friday. Photo: Yvonne Paytosh
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Police have arrested two men they say confessed to three armed robberies — at two Berkeley convenience stores and an El Cerrito fast food shop — over a period of about 10 hours Friday.

One of the men told police he was responsible for two other armed robberies in Alameda County on Jan. 31, according to court papers.

Following a report of Friday’s third robbery, a Berkeley police officer spotted the gold van the men were reported to have been driving, and pulled them over to make the arrest. The Alameda County district attorney’s office charged the pair Monday with four counts of second-degree robbery in connection with the Feb. 6 incidents.

According to court papers, 25-year-old David Tafel and 57-year-old Elmore Shivers robbed the 7-11 at 2887 College Ave. (at Russell Street) at 1:35 a.m. Friday. Video surveillance showed a man entering the store and brandishing a gun at the cashier behind the counter. The gunman was followed inside by a second man, who put a plastic bag on the counter. The man with the gun can be seen, police wrote, pointing the gun at the clerk, who hands over the cash. … Continue reading »

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Bites: More breweries to open; B-Side BBQ closes

Fieldwork growlers
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Openings, closings…

TWO NEW EAST BAY BREWERIES Two new breweries are getting very close to up and running. In Berkeley, Fieldwork Brewing Company, which we reported on in both April and August last year, is putting the final touches on its beers. Fieldwork will be sharing some of its brews during SF Beer Week, and will hold a few private tastings in the coming weeks. Further south, Park Street’s Alameda Island Brewing Company reports on Facebook that all of its tests and inspections of its brewing facility are complete. Its tasting room looks pretty spiffy, too. We’ll keep you posted on the opening days for both of these new spots. Fieldwork Brewing Company will be at 1160 Sixth St. (at Harrison), Berkeley. Follow Fieldwork Brewing on Facebook and Twitter, and on its website. Alameda Island Brewing Company will be at 1716 Park St. (at Eagle), Alameda. Connect with Alameda Island Brewing on Facebook.Continue reading »

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Berkeley movie theater under scrutiny for staff safety

Rialto Cinemas Elmwood has not changed their signs for over a month following a safety investigation. Photo: Seung Y. Lee
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The Rialto Cinemas Elmwood has been ordered not to change the movie titles on its marquee until it develops a safe way for employees to switch out the letters.

The state’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health, also known as Cal/OSHA, sent a Dec. 29 letter to the theater ordering it to stop changing the movie names on its marquee. Since then, the theater, at 2966 College Ave., has not changed its sign. Three of the four movies currently featured outside are no longer playing; only Boyhood is still screening there. … Continue reading »

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Bites: Box and Bells closes, Haven on pause, more

Meats with sauerkraut (Boudin blanc; corned beef with parsley sauce). Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Openings, closings

BOX AND BELLS IS DONE After about 15 months of operation in Rockridge, James Syhabout’s Box and Bells has closed. (Nosh previewed the restaurant in 2013.) The restaurant shut down Wednesday, according to a notice on the company website. Box and Bells, at 5912 College Ave. in Oakland, featured dishes inspired by staff meals at Syhabout’s higher-end Commis — think hearty comfort food like poutine, fried chicken and burgers topped with cheese curds. In an official statement posted on Inside Scoop SF, Syhabout explained that “despite our greatest efforts, the concept simply did not resonate with the neighborhood and result in the success necessary to sustain the restaurant.” Operations at Syhabout’s other Oakland restaurants, the Michelin-starred Commis, Hawker Fare and The Dock at Linden Street, will continue. And the closure appears unlikely to slow him down: Syhabout is gearing up to open a new Hawker Fare location in San Francisco later this month. … Continue reading »

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