Tag Archives: Guerilla Cafe

Berkeley’s first parklet opens in the Gourmet Ghetto

Berkeley's first parklet has opened outside the Cheese Board Collective at xxxx Shattuck Ave. Photo: Colleen Neff
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It’s been a long time coming, but Berkeley today welcomed its first ever permanent parklet.

The enclosed sitting and eating area is located outside the ever-popular Cheese Board Collective at 1520 Shattuck Ave. in the city’s Gourmet Ghetto neighborhood.

“It is lovely!” said Colleen Neff who took some of the photos shown here. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley’s first 2 parklets to open this fall

An artist's conception of the new parklet in front of Philz Coffee and Guerilla Cafe. Photo courtesy of the North Shattuck Association.
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Sometime in the early fall, coffee-sippers and pizza-eaters may find themselves sitting outside at one of Berkeley’s two new parklets.

If all things go to plan, the first one is set to open in front of the Cheese Board Collective at 1520 Shattuck Ave. in the city’s Gourmet Ghetto, according to the North Shattuck Association’s Executive Director Heather Hensley. A second parklet will open in front of Philz Coffee at 1600 Shattuck, and at Guerilla Café (1620 Shattuck) soon after. They will be maintained by the adjacent businesses but will be open to non-customers too.

No bigger than a few parking spaces, these miniature urban parks are extensions of the existing sidewalk and provide additional seating and green space for pedestrians. … Continue reading »

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North Berkeley merchants want parklets for the people

A parklet in San Francisco's Noe Valley neighborhood. Photo: San Francisco Pavement to Parks
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Businesses in the Gourmet Ghetto are keen to jump on the parklet bandwagon — bringing outdoor seating to the streets for espresso sippers, pizza eaters, and world watchers in lieu of parking spots — but must first wait for the city to come up with a process for making the spaces available.

So-called parklets — slivers of open space sprouting in cities around the globe — are a big trend in urban design, with San Francisco’s Pavement to Parks leading the way locally, and Oakland following suit (a pilot program is under review there.) Berkeley is a little late to the take-back-the-public-space movement but eager to come up with its own ideas to beautify public areas where community members can congregate. Leading the charge is the North Shattuck Association, which is helping businesses in its café- and restaurant-heavy district organize around the concept.

“The parklets pilot project was conceived by the association based on our experience with hosting temporary parklets during past years on Park(ing) Day and the Spice of Life Festival,” said Heather Hensley, executive director of the association.

Park(ing) Day is an international movement conceived to help city residents around the world reimagine the humble parking space. One day each fall, D.I.Y., creative urbanistas are encouraged to transform parking spots into parks, playgrounds, pop-up cafés — anything other than a lowly (though coveted) place for cars. Park(ing) Day parklets have sprouted in Berkeley in past years in front of the Cheese Board Collective and the late Amanda’s Feel Good Fresh Food. … Continue reading »

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Cool Berkeley coffee joints to get your caffeine on

Guerilla Cafe. Photo by Christine Tang/Refinery29
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As home to the first Peet’s, opened in 1966, Berkeley has always been a coffee lovers’ town. Espresso, Americano, soy lattes — you can find almost any variation on brewed coffee in almost any neighborhood in Berkeley.

Some call the recent resurgence in coffee connoisseurship the Third Wave of coffee. First came Peet’s. Then came Starbucks. And now there are a host of independent coffee roasters – Blue Bottle, Four Barrel, Ritual, Ecco, Sightglass, and Barefoot among them.

Refinery29, an online fashion and lifestyle magazine, recently ran a feature titled “13 Cool East Bay Coffee Joints To Get Your Caffeine On,” detailing some of the great coffee shops in the region. Four were from Berkeley.

Here’s an excerpt from Angela Tafayo’s piece:

Guerilla Café

Guerilla Café is an earthy café nestled in the heart of Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto. Pouring Blue Bottle coffee and boasting a wide range of preparations (from European to Latin American), this spot oozes the worldly vibe that coffee enthusiasts crave. Its noms are nothing to sneeze at either — fresh, healthy ingredients, and a clear view of the kitchen means great food in a warm and cozy environment, marked by a stunning bright-blue mural.

Guerilla Café, 1620 Shattuck Avenue (between Lincoln and Cedar streets), Berkeley; 510-845-2233.Continue reading »

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Local food names sign up for Berkeley Off The Grid truck

OTG
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Lush Gelato, voted by Berkeleyside readers as the best ice cream shop in Berkeley, will be going mobile tonight and serving its scoops from the guest truck at street food-fest Off The Grid — and a number of other local food names have signed up for future Wednesdays.

The Juice Bar Collective is planning on offering tamales for the Gourmet Ghetto’s Dia de Los Muertos celebration on November 2nd, and Berkeley’s new Local Butcher Shopopened by former Chez Panisse chef Aaron Rocchino and his wife Monica in August — will host the guest truck on November 9th. Other possibles for future dates include Guerilla Café and Taste of the Himalayas.

The truck is owned by Off The Grid and offered to guest hosts at whichever location the street food fair is taking place. Saul Deli‘s Executive Chef Peter Levitt rustled up pickle plates and potato latkes from the truck in June.

Tonight, Lush will be serving gelato and chocolate sandwiches, a special-menu item designed specifically for Off the Grid, as well as basil, fresh mint chip and salted chocolate chip gelatos. … Continue reading »

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Homegrown truths: Sunny Side Café chef Aaron French

Aaron French
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Aaron French, a self-described eco-chef, has headed up the kitchen at The Sunny Side Café on Solano Avenue in Albany since it opened in 2004.

For the past two years he’s served up breakfast standards (think pancakes and eggs) and simple lunch fare (burgers, sandwiches, salads) at a satellite café of the same name in Berkeley.

French bounces between the two popular spots several times a day and jokes that the breakfast-brunch shift is the Rodney Dangerfield of cooking (it don’t get no respect).

Still, he’s proudest of his low carbon emissions menu options and his weekend food specials, a short, seasonal list that emphasizes local farms and calculates food miles.

French isn’t your typical chef. Before he cooked for a living he worked as a scientist. His interest in ecology led him to spend two years living among pygmies in Cameroon, where he studied seed dispersal by monkeys and birds.

An avid nature photographer, he’s also written about the relationship between ecology and food for the Bay Area News Group, where he penned the EcoChef column, as well as for Civil Eats and Fungi Magazine. … Continue reading »

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Pop-up restaurants are popping up around town

Faiza Farah (L) and Tsedey Seifu (R) of Afro-Bites./Photo: Adenike Amin/Poster:Nick James
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Listen up locavores in search of the next edible experience: Berkeleysiders have no fewer than three pop-up dining options, each with their own unique flavor, from which to pick from the first weekend in May.

Friday May 7, self-taught chef Nigel Jones offers his Jamaican cuisine with island classics like jerk chicken, plaintains with black bean sauce and sweet potato fries at his pop-up Kingston 11, (starters $7, mains $11-$14), which runs weekly, at the Guerilla Cafe in North Berkeley. (Kingston 11 is Jones’ postcode from home, Bob Marley’s, in case you’re curious, was Kingston 12.)

On the same night, longtime restaurant industry worker Suzanne Drexhage is hosting a seasonal spring supper ($50, sold out) at Local 123 in West Berkeley. On the menu: Backyard borage cocktail, nettle and sheep’s milk ricotta crostini, local lamb shoulder with artichoke and fava bean ragout. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley Bites: Berkeley Student Food Collective

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It seems unthinkable that the People’s Republic of Berkeley has existed without a food co-operative for more than two decades. Well, try not to choke on your non-GMO, organic, fair trade, soymilk chai latte, but the co-op is coming back to Berkeley.

The Consumer’s Cooperative of Berkeley was the place to shop for the politically correct for 51 years. It opened in the heart of the Depression, when families came together to form buying clubs so they could afford to put … Continue reading »

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Eat Real Lit Fest features Berkeley scribes

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The second annual Eat Real Festival, a three-day showcase of the best of the Bay Area’s street food carts, local growers, artisan beer and wine purveyors, cheese makers, urban homesteaders, and other local food crafters kicks off tomorrow at Jack London Square in downtown Oakland.

The event that promises to “Put the Food Back in Fast,” is the brainchild of Anya Fernald, the executive director of Slow Food Nation, a 2008 gathering of gourmands held in … Continue reading »

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Berkeley Bites: Novella Carpenter

Guerrilla gardener Novella Carpenter./Photo: Sarah Henry.
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Each Friday in this space food writer Sarah Henry asks a well-known, up-and-coming, or under-the-radar food aficionado about their favorite tastes in town, preferred food purveyors and other local culinary gems worth sharing.

Novella Carpenter grows greens and raises rabbits, goats, chickens, and bees on a dead-end street in the ghetto. The dumpster diver and salty-mouthed author of Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer (paperback due out May 25) has cultivated land for the … Continue reading »

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Berkeley Bites: Keba Konte

Keba Konte use
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Each Friday in this space food writer Sarah Henry asks a well-known, up-and-coming, or under-the-radar food aficionado about their favorite tastes in town, preferred food purveyors and other local culinary gems worth sharing.

In 2006, Keba Konte and company took over the space on Shattuck Avenue in North Berkeley which had housed the vegetarian Smokey Joe’s Cafe for three decades, and transformed the slip of a store into the Guerilla Cafe, a nosh spot with a cool artist-activist … Continue reading »

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Berkeley Bites: Ari Derfel and Eric Fenster

ari.derfel.eric.fenster.gather
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Each Friday in this space food writer Sarah Henry asks a well-known, up-and-coming, or under-the-radar food aficionado about their favorite tastes in town, preferred food purveyors and other local culinary gems worth sharing.

Ari Derfel and Eric Fenster, who run the recently opened Gather restaurant, met at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on Eric’s first week on campus. A road trip to the Rockies cemented the friendship. A few years later, they bumped into each other at a … Continue reading »

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Peko-Peko pop-up in North Berkeley on Monday (not Sunday)

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Sylvan Mishima Brackett, the owner of Peko-Peko Japanese Catering and formerly Alice Waters’ right-hand man, will host a pop-up izakaya this Monday, January 18, from 5.30pm at the Guerilla Cafe in North Berkeley (hat-tip: SFoodie).

SFoodie reports:

With its shoebox size and wraparound counter, Guerrilla Cafe should be the perfect place to recreate that crowded, Sapporo’d-up izakaya feel. However, the small room also means that the dinners sell out fast. Brackett says that he is no longer … Continue reading »

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