Nine buildings have been singled out as representing the best new design work in Berkeley for 2010-2012. Berkeley Design Advocates, a volunteer group of architects and urban planners, selected three UC Berkeley buildings, a restaurant, a senior home, two retail spaces — one newly built, one restored — a wine store, and the renovation of a branch library from a list of 15 submissions, and handed out the award certificates at a ceremony on Thursday, March 28. (See the 2013 Awards Brochure for full details.)
SAN PABLO & UNIVERSITY The area around San Pablo and University Avenues is buzzing with new tenants moving in to vacant retail spaces. As previously noted, eco-friendly mattresses and sleep products store Keetsa is moving into the building at 2117 San Pablo, having relocated from the 811 University. Keetsa, which also has stores in New York and San Francisco, is in the process of building out the space and will open in a few months. And a furniture company has taken the lease at the beautifully restored 2001 San Pablo Ave. The identity of the furniture company has not yet been released. Expected move-in date is around April. And the intersection may soon see the arrival of a convenience store if an application by 7-Eleven to take over 2000 San Pablo is approved. (more…)
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] (more…)
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