Tag Archives: North Berkeley

Guacamole 61 opens in Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto

Guacamole 61. Photo: Nancy Rubin
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By Nancy Rubin

Bay Area native Willy Perez (Berkeley High, class of 1995) knows two things well: cars and food. Summoning inspiration from his love of restoring vintage cars, specifically his 1961 Chevy Impala convertible, Perez began to picture a place that expressed the loyalty of true vintage car culture mixed with the essence of his mother’s savory Mexican spices he knew growing up.

Thus was born the idea of Guacamole 61, whose name was, of course, inspired by his beloved car. The diminutive take-out restaurant opened this week at Epicurious Garden in North Berkeley. It took over the space from the short-lived Herb n’ Chicken, which itself was preceded by Source Mini. It’s not the first time the kitchen has served up Mexican dishes: Picoso Taqueria occupied the spot before Flavor Mediterranean Food, which was itself replaced by Source Mini.

It’s not the first Berkeley restaurant venture for Perez, either. He was one of the group, along with Artemio Maldonado and Dwight Ferron — all former Cheese Board alums  — that opened Sliver in January 2013, the popular pizza destination on Center Street in downtown Berkeley. … Continue reading »

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Saul’s Deli is for sale, but there’s no need to panic

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When news broke on Thursday that the owners of Saul’s Deli were hoping to find a buyer for the 30-year-old North Berkeley restaurant, disappointment and shock hit social media channels in equal measure.

“Nooooooooooo,” exclaimed Jayson Elliott on Berkeleyside’s Facebook post about the news, which has reached over 42,000 people.

“Ahhhh,” wrote Pam Herman Bush simply.

“Can I make an offer for just The Pastrami?” joked David Handler.

And Anne-Marie Dumaresq admitted to a significant transgression: “My husband and I have avoided going because I’m a vegetarian, but lately, I’ve sinned a little bit here and there. I keep having this craving for a pastrami on rye (I’m licking my lips while I type) with mustard and a big pickle and I’ve always said, ‘If I’m gonna have it, we have to go to Saul’s!’ How long have we got??”

But Peter Levitt, who has co-owned the deli at 1475 Shattuck Ave. with Karen Adelman since 1996, urged the Berkeley populace not to panic. While the pair are looking for someone to take over the business eventually, they are not in a rush to sell, and they are not going anywhere, he told Berkeleyside.

Or put another way: “Perk up! Like barnacles it’s hard to pry us away,” he wrote on the Berkeleyside Facebook post about the hunt for a new owner, first reported by J-Weekly. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Man arrested after fleeing police, hit-and-run crash

Image: Google Maps
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A man who injured another driver during a hit-and-run crash in a rental car while trying to evade Berkeley police was arrested Tuesday morning after officers found him hiding on a roof, authorities said.

Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats said police were called to the 2700 block of Ridge Road at 8:30 a.m. for a report of a man who was sleeping in his vehicle.

According to scanner traffic reviewed by Berkeleyside, someone spotted the man in a white sedan in the parking garage on the block. He was unresponsive but appeared to be breathing. Police sent an officer to check on the man to see if he was all right.

“As the officer contacted him, he provided a false number,” said Coats. “He suddenly started up the vehicle and fled.”

The officer did not pursue the vehicle. According to scanner recordings, police identified it as an Enterprise rental car that left the scene at a high rate of speed.

Within minutes, police got a report of an injury hit-and-run collision near Cedar Street and Euclid Avenue. Coats said that crash involved the vehicle of the man contacted on Ridge. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Man found guilty of attempted manslaughter after brutal beating, high-speed car chase in Berkeley

Duane Nailor (via Facebook)
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Update, March 9, 1:15 p.m. Nailor was sentenced Wednesday to 12 years in prison, according to Bay City News. Said his mother in court, “We know he went over the top, but we’d like to see some light at the end of the tunnel.”

Original story, March 4, 9 a.m. A man who led police on a high-speed car chase through Berkeley that reached up to 90 mph, after trying to kill a man by beating him with a metal pipe in a prolonged attack, is scheduled to be sentenced next week after being found guilty of attempted manslaughter, mayhem and other charges.

Duane Nailor, 56, was arrested by Berkeley officers after the chase — on Oct. 23, 2013 — when they found him trying to hide near the site of his totaled SUV by covering himself in sand and other home renovation materials, according to court testimony.

Police said Nailor sped away from the scene of the beating, in front of the downtown Berkeley Bank of America, struck a police cruiser by the Public Safety Building, then sped up Martin Luther King Jr. Way into North Berkeley before crashing into a tree on the Alameda near Hopkins Street. The impact of the crash ripped open the right side of the 2003 Ford Explorer.

In February, a jury convicted Nailor of attempted voluntary manslaughter, mayhem, assault with a deadly weapon and evasion of a peace officer. The conviction came two days after he withdrew his plea of not guilty by reason of insanity. He is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday.

According to court transcripts from Nailor’s preliminary hearing in 2014, two men described how they had approached Nailor to bum a cigarette the night of the attack after he pulled up to the corner of Center Street and Shattuck Avenue, at the Bank of America building.

One of the men, Deshaun Montgomery — a homeless man who had been staying at the shelter across from Berkeley High and Civic Center Park — said he had seen Nailor around town, and they had exchanged a few words. He was familiar with Nailor and his vehicle, which he’d been driving around Berkeley, packed with stuff. An officer testified it looked like Nailor was living in the SUV; it was jammed with so many items, no one else could fit into it. … Continue reading »

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Huge price tag projected for homeless storage bin plan

Bates wants the city council to adopt a zoning overlay to protect historic buildings in the civic center area, like Veterans' Memorial Hall. He admits he hopes the push will undermine support for a Downtown Green Initiative scheduled for November ballot. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
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An innovative program to offer secure storage containers for the possessions of Berkeley’s homeless could cost nearly $350,000 a year in staffing, along with $50,000 in start-up costs.

Interim City Manager Dee Williams-Ridley provided the City Council with the estimates in a Feb. 26 memo that has been posted on the city website.

Read more coverage of homelessness in Berkeley.

The storage program must be in place before the city can begin enforcing a slate of other new rules designed to clean up Berkeley’s sidewalks and limit problematic behavior on them. Advocates for the homeless have said the laws will only serve to criminalize the community’s most vulnerable and downtrodden. Council voted to approve the new rules in December.

According to the memo, the city is looking at a six-month pilot program at 1931 Center St.: “The plan is to re-open the lockers currently located behind the Veteran’s Building and to add a structure in the same location to house an additional fifty (50) 64-gallon storage containers.”

The area would be secured, and staff would be on site daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. to allow access. The city says it is also looking at additional sites “to ensure we locate the program in the most appropriate place.” … Continue reading »

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Crime

4 catalytic converters stolen from North Berkeley BART

The North Berkeley BART station. Image: Google Maps
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In less than 12 hours, a thief or thieves stole four catalytic converters from Hondas parked at the North Berkeley BART station earlier this week, authorities have reported.

All four thefts took place Tuesday between about 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., the BART Police reported. In the past few weeks, Hondas at several East Bay BART stations have been targeted by thieves who have removed the auto part.

BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost said property crime overall was down 10% for the transit agency in 2015 compared to 2014. Larceny was down 11% and auto theft was down 9%.

According to a quick tally of catalytic converter thefts reported in recent months in the BART Police Department’s daily crime log, however, the agency overall saw 15 in December, six in January and 23 so far in February.

Tuesday, catalytic converters — which help control emissions — were stolen from a 2000 Honda Accord and a 2000 Honda Element, both of which were parked in the east lot at the North Berkeley BART station.

Catalytic converters were also taken from a 2016 Honda Accord and a 1999 Honda Accord on Tuesday. The parking areas for those vehicles were not specified. … Continue reading »

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They’re off: Candidates file campaign finance statements

Election 2014
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The Berkeley political jostling has begun, even though elections will, of course, only be held in November.

City Councilman Jesse Arreguín has raised close to $25,000 for his race for mayor, almost four times as much as City Councilman Laurie Capitelli, his strongest opponent.

Capitelli, who has been endorsed by a majority of the city council, raised $6,380 in the six months leading up to Dec. 31, 2105, according to campaign finance statements.

Read more about the 2016 Berkeley election.

There is a $250 limit for individual contributions in Berkeley candidate elections. Businesses cannot contribute.

Some of those who contributed $250 to Capitelli’s campaign are those involved with Berkeley’s current construction boom. They include Denise Pinkston, a developer and vice-chair of the Zoning Adjustments Board; David Trachtenberg, an architect who has designed a number of the multi-family apartment buildings now rising in Berkeley; Richard Millikan, who helped develop the Fourth Street shopping district; Aileen Dolby, a commercial realtor for Colliers International; and Patrick Leaper, a colleague of Capitelli’s at Red Oak Realty. Capitelli told Berkeleyside that he just started his fundraising the last two weeks of December, a holiday period, and he is “confident” he will eventually have the funds to get his message out to voters. … Continue reading »

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Update: Person dies after being struck by BART train; North Berkeley station re-opens

Mary Kuntz-Cote
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UPDATES: At 3:30 p.m. the North Berkeley BART station has now reopened. Expect delays of up to 20 minutes on the Fremont and Richmond lines. At 2:30 p.m. Tuesday BART confirmed that a person died after being struck by a train shortly after it had left North Berkeley BART station heading to Richmond. The initial report came in at 1:15 p.m. on Tuesday, according to BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost. At 3 p.m. BART confirmed the coroner was on scene and the station remained closed. As only select trains are going through the station on a single track, some riders are being asked to disembark at MacArthur station to take another train.

Original story, 2:23 p.m. BART closed the North Berkeley BART station Tuesday afternoon, and passengers were experiencing significant delays on the Richmond line, while the transit agency investigated whether a person was possibly on the tracks. … Continue reading »

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With mayor and two councilmen stepping aside, Berkeley’s election is heating up

Max Anderson
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After serving 12 years on the Berkeley City Council — and another 12 on various city commissions — Max Anderson has decided not to run for another council term.

Anderson’s exit from the race for District 3 in South Berkeley has already attracted two strong candidates and more are certain to file their election papers in the next few months. John Selawsky, who served on the Berkeley Unified School District School Board for 12 years and who currently sits on the Rent Stabilization Board, is running. So is Deborah Matthews, a Realtor who has served on numerous city boards, including the Planning and Housing commissions and the Zoning Adjustments Board.

Ben Bartlett, who currently sits on the Planning Commission and is a former member of the Police Review Commission, has also said he will run for the District 3 seat, although he has not yet filed papers. The last date to file papers for a Berkeley council seat is July 18. … Continue reading »

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Update: Power restored to 5,800 in Berkeley after outage

Power outage at Peet's Coffee in North Berkeley. Photo: Colleen Neff
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Readers are reporting a power outage in North Berkeley that has knocked out electricity to Peet’s Coffee and a number of homes in the area.

Berkeley residents reported outages around Shattuck Avenue and Delaware Street, Cedar Street and Euclid Avenue, and Milvia Street between Cedar and Virginia. Power at Bonita and Berryman streets, Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Delaware, and Cedar and MLK was also out, readers said.

Scroll down for live updates and more outage information.

Berkeleyside has requested information from PG&E and will update this post when we hear back.  … Continue reading »

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Sponsored post

Shop Talk Spotlight: Grove Salon and Blow-Dry Bar

The salon offers a special glass-walled ventilated room for keratin treatments. Photo: Grove Salon
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[This story is sponsored by Grove Salon. Visit Grove Salon’s website for more information.]

Once people discover Grove Salon on Solano Avenue, they often don’t want to leave — literally.

“It’s not uncommon for clients to ask if they can stay longer even after their service is complete,” says Christina Lameraner, who opened the stylish salon and blow-dry bar last year with her husband, Chris Speer.

“They say it’s because of how much they enjoy the experience of being in such a vibrant, yet peaceful space and the genuine and warm service they receive,” she adds.

As one client put it: “Christina has created an oasis on Solano.” … Continue reading »

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Homeless man arrested after daytime robbery, attempted rape of UC Berkeley student

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Police arrested a 51-year-old homeless man after the robbery and attempted rape of a UC Berkeley student Monday, authorities said.

The incident took place at 11:30 a.m., said Officer Jennifer Coats, Berkeley Police spokeswoman, when the female Cal student was walking near Arch and Virginia streets, not far from the northern border of campus.

Coats said the man, later identified as Wilfred Allen, “approached the victim from behind and pushed her off a public walkway into a secluded grassy area. The suspect pinned the victim on the ground and when the victim attempted to scream he covered her mouth and attempted to sexually assault her.”Continue reading »

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Berkeley imposes new laws on homeless behavior

Homeless advocates held a rally outside city council chambers on Tuesday night to call attention to proposed laws they said would criminalize the homeless. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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The Berkeley City Council passed a series of measures early Wednesday morning to address issues raised by the behavior of some members of the homeless population, including a new rule that will limit the amount of space on which people can spread their stuff on the sidewalk.

Under the new law — which won’t go into effect immediately — people on sidewalks or plazas will have to confine their belongings to a 2-by-2-foot area between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. This does not include cushions or dogs.

To make this work, council pledged to provide convenient and secure storage bins in which homeless people can store their possessions. The new rules will kick in only after the city installs the bins. Berkeley has not yet determined where they might go and how many there will be, although there will be 50 to 100 to start. … Continue reading »

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