TERRA FIRMA GALLERY: RELOCATED Terra Firma Gallery has moved from the Claremont Hotel Club & Spa to Shattuck Avenue in the Gourmet Ghetto. The gallery specializes in contemporary African art and features, among other things, a collection of Shona sculpture from Zimbabwe and works by “Smithsonian acclaimed painter” Wosene Worke Kosrof, who will be giving a talk about newly released paintings at the gallery on the evening of Nov. 12. There are also museum-quality masks, colorful Zulu wire baskets, as well as the work of several Bay Area artists. Terra Firma Gallery is at 1801 Shattuck Ave. (between Hearst and Delaware), Suite B. Tel: 510-486 9050. (more…)
So much to share this week: La Marcha is open in West Berkeley, Mamacitas Café is doing a preview for its brick-and-mortar location, a new brewery is headed to North Oakland and more.
We've got good news and bad news in this week's Bites: Mr. Dewie's has found a permanent location while University Avenue's Kobani Grill is remodeling. Read on for these details and more.
AMAZON TO OPEN TWO BRICK AND MORTAR LOCATIONS IN BERKELEY Amazon is moving to Berkeley in a big way by opening two locations – one a store on the UC Berkeley campus and the other a distribution center in West Berkeley. The store, part of Amazon’s roll out of campus pick-up points, will be located near the new ASUC center on the UC Berkeley campus, according to university officials. The idea is to smooth delivery of packages to students who live in dorm rooms or who are on the go. Students can specify that a package goes to the Berkeley store, and they can pick it up from a clerk or request a combination for a locker so they can go by on off-hours. The store will be on the Upper Sproul Plaza level, according to Emily Marthinsen, an assistant vice-chancellor for physical and environmental planning. Amazon has also signed a letter of intent to lease 20,000 square feet in the old Marchant Buiding on San Pablo Avenue, according to Darrell de Tienne, whose de Tienne Associates is expediting the permitting process. The building, which straddles Berkeley, Oakland and Emeryville, is right near the freeway, which is perfect for Amazon’s business, he said. The company has applied for a construction permit to fix up the space, which has the address of 1000 Folger Ave., said de Tienne. It will be a distribution center. (more…)
TELEGRAPH MERCHANTS MEET NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Members of the Telegraph Business Improvement District (TBID) gathered June 29 to meet their new executive director, Stuart Baker, and to discuss ways to improve the stretch of Telegraph between Bancroft Way and Dwight Way. Baker introduced himself to the group of 15-20 merchants who attended and invited them to get in touch with him with any ideas or concerns regarding TBID. They also announced that Sundays on Telegraph, the weekly summer street festival, will be limited to seven weeks this year. (Last year it ran for 11 weeks). Matthew Taecker of Taecker Planning and Design spoke to the group in a presentation outlining possible steps to make the Telegraph area more pedestrian-friendly and welcoming. Some of the suggestions included raised planters, informational installations describing the history of the area and painting the street, sidewalks, and crosswalks in bright colors. The Telegraph Business Improvement District is a non-profit that sponsors local events and advocates for positive change along Telegraph Avenue. (more…)
SCRAPBOOK TERRITORY CLOSES Arts and crafts supply store Scrapbook Territory on Fourth Street has closed after 12 years. Its last day was Sunday May 3. The store’s owners explained why they were shuttering on their Facebook page: “Well, I wish it weren’t so,” they wrote, “but our sales are below 50% of what they once were. Combine that with the number of scrapbooking companies that have gone out of business, and it’s just too hard to maintain a 4,000 sq ft store.” Before they closed for good, the store attracted crowds with a 50%-off sale and discounts across the board. Fans posted on Facebook about how sad they were to see the place go. “Best scrapbook store ever! You will be missed,” wrote Jeth Gold. Scrapbook Territory was at 1717A Fourth St., Berkeley. (more…)
Fieldwork Brewing Company opens its taproom, a board game cafe signs a lease in Berkeley, and more in this week's Bites.
NEW: KAFFA ETHIOPIAN CUISINE Kaffa, the popular Ethiopian vendor who sells vegan food at the South Berkeley farmers market, now has a brick-and-mortar restaurant on Sacramento Street. Open Tuesday to Sunday, Kaffa has a short menu, selling nothing but a large, medium and small plate, and a side dish called sambusa. But in the very short time it has been open, Kaffa and its owner have received high marks on Yelp: “It’s as if you’re sitting down in her kitchen and she cooks you up a meal,” says Elli N. describing the experience of eating there. Kaffa Ethiopian Restaurant is at 2987 Sacramento St. (at Ashby Avenue). (more…)