Tag Archives: College Avenue

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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New Safeway on College Avenue opens to crowds

A new 45,000-square foot Safeway opened on College Ave. on Jan. 15. Photo: Celia McCarthy
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Hundreds of people jammed into the spanking new Safeway store on College Avenue on Thursday. Most were there to gawk at the shiny surfaces or taste a variety of free samples, but plenty of people were there to shop, happy to have a large grocery store back in the neighborhood.

The new store is 45,000 square feet and cost about $35 million to build, according to Chris Pattillo, chair of the Oakland Planning Commission, who spoke at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. The store employs about 160 people, and 65 of those union jobs are new, she said.

“We’re excited,” Bernard Hardy, Safeway’s vice president of retail operations told the crowd that had assembled for the in-store speeches. “Tell your neighbors we’re back. We’re excited about being back in the neighborhood.” … Continue reading »

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Noah’s Bagels: 25-cent deal for 25th anniversary

noahs 2
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Noah’s Bagels, which was founded by Noah Alper on College Avenue in Berkeley in the summer of 1989, is celebrating its 25th anniversary Aug. 6 with a “today-only” offer of a 25-cent bagel and shmear at participating stores.

Noah’s has several stores in the East Bay, including three in Berkeley — on College, Telegraph and Solano avenues — and two in Oakland, on Lakeshore and in Montclair.

The bagel purveyor specializes in New York-style bagels (although bagel aficionados inevitably like to argue over how authentic they are). The chain is a business success story. Six years after Alper opened the first store in Berkeley, Noah’s Bagels had expanded to dozens of outlets and was sold to Einstein Bagel Bros. for $100 million dollars. Since then, Noah’s stores can be found across the nation. … Continue reading »

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Nosh on the town: Sukho Thai in Rockridge

Sukho Thai, Oakland. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Come along with Nosh as we explore the East Bay food scene in photographs. This week we focus on Sukho Thai in Oakland.

A relative newcomer to Rockridge, Sukho Thai is a welcome addition to the neighborhood, which already boasts many fantastic restaurants to choose from. Sukho Thai opened last fall several blocks south of the Rockridge BART station; those familiar with the neighborhood may recall the previous business, Pearl of Siam, which closed last June after 25 years.

Friendly service, cozy surroundings and outstanding flavors set this Thai restaurant a cut above many others in the area. The flavors pop, with the right amount of heat on the spicy dishes, a satisfying firmness in the cooked vegetables, and masterful seasonings that make each dish memorable. Portions are ample enough for leftovers, especially if your party is small and you want to try a few dishes. Save room for a sweet treat for dessert. … Continue reading »

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Nosh on the town: Bourbon & Beef on College Ave.

Bourbon & Beef. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Come along with Nosh as we explore the East Bay food scene in photographs. This week we focus on Bourbon & Beef on College Avenue close to the Oakland-Berkeley border.

Executive chef and co-owner Munther Massarweh serves up a Latin-inspired meat-focused menu made with seasonal ingredients that are “often” locally sourced, sustainable and organic. The location previously housed Water Lounge and Raw Bar. See the dinner menu here. Weekend brunch items, from $14-$16, include huevos rancheros; pan dulce (stuffed French toast with jalapeño sweet cream); and salmon Florentine. The beverage menu includes an international wine list with more than 71 vintages, about 18 of which are available by the glass. A range of cocktails are a specialty of the house, and at least 20 types of bourbon are poured. … Continue reading »

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Eat the Street: Elmwood Café defines community

Elmwood Cafe at xxxx College Ave. in Berkeley. Photo: Tracey Taylor
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In a new occasional series, Berkeleyside’s Siciliana Trevino sets out to eat, and report on, every restaurant on College Avenue — from Bancroft to Broadway, taking in the gourmet goldmines that are the Elmwood and Rockridge neighborhoods in between. First on the list? The Elmwood Café.

The intersection of College and Russell was oddly absent of the congestion that normally plagues it at dusk. DJ and I were on the sidewalk, at a crossroads about where to get a drink, or maybe have dinner.

DJ and I often wondered what it would be like to eat at every restaurant on College Avenue from Bancroft to Broadway. It was a what if…? that became a real possibility when I left New York City in April to live with him in Berkeley, where we both originate. But that night in June we vowed that if we ate out on College, we would go forward with our long-held plan. … Continue reading »

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Berkeleyside Police Blotter: Crime in Berkeley, June 6-12

Selected calls for service to the Berkeley Police, June 6-12, via CrimeMapping.com. (Scroll down for maps of home burglaries, auto burglaries and auto thefts.) The red icons show physical violence. The blue icons with a white mask are robberies. Yellow icons are reports of a disturbance and green ones are vandalism. Click the map for the full list.
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This is a partial list of recent crimes in Berkeley, compiled by Berkeleyside, and based on reports to the Berkeley Police Department unless otherwise noted. See past crime blotters here. (Note to readers: We always appreciate photographs and tips, about breaking news or neighborhood safety issues, via email at tips@berkeleyside.com.)

The following items represent just a sampling of calls, and times may be approximate. From June 6 to June 12, there were 19 burglary reports29 auto break-in or theft from a vehicle reports, and 14 stolen vehicle reports to the Berkeley Police Department, according to CrimeMapping.comSeven robberies and eight assaults, domestic violence incidents or batteries were reported. These numbers are subject to change. Click the previous links for the most current information. … Continue reading »

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