Tag Archives: San Pablo Avenue

The Ivy Room in Albany is returning to its roots

Summer Gerbing (left) and Lani Torres are the new owners of Albany's Ivy Room. Photo: Kate Williams
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The Ivy Room‘s iconic neon shines like a welcoming beacon as you drive north on San Pablo Avenue into Albany. The bar is the first of a few in the half mile-long stretch of the avenue between Solano and the El Cerrito border — Club Mallard, the Hotsy Totsy Club and newcomer Albany Taproom all share this space — but it has, for the last several weeks, been closed.

Don’t miss the Nosh Guide to Drinking Around Berkeley!

If you manage to peek behind the butcher paper taped on the windows, you will see a transformation taking place. Again.

Over the last decade, the Ivy Room has shifted hands — and identities — three times. Throughout the 90s and early 2000s, the bar was a small music venue and neighborhood watering hole run by Dot MacBeath and, later, her son Bill. In 2006, the MacBeaths sold the space to the owner of Kingman’s Lucky Lounge (now The Libertine), who transformed the dive bar into a lounge-like club. It continued to putter along in this way until 2012, when Tanya and Ronaldo Colli took over, decked out the space in reclaimed wood and rebar, and started pouring scratch-made cocktails. … Continue reading »

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West Berkeley fire causes $100,000 in damage

The Berkeley Fire Department responded to an apartment fire Monday. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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The Berkeley Fire Department responded Monday to an apartment fire on University Avenue that caused $100,000 in damage.

Interim Berkeley Fire Chief Avery Webb said the fire department received a report just before 10:40 a.m. of a water-flow alarm from the fire suppression system at 1122 University, just east of San Pablo Avenue.

The city dispatched a single-alarm assignment for a possible structure fire.

When firefighters got to the 5-story building — four stories of residential over ground-floor commercial — they found light smoke on the fourth floor, and water flowing from under an apartment door.  … Continue reading »

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Pepper spray, less-lethal rounds used in 2 recent arrests

Berkeley Police station. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Berkeley police officers used pepper spray to subdue a mentally ill man, described as belligerent and threatening, who refused to allow himself to be handcuffed, according to a document posted Friday on the city website.

In another recent case, Berkeley police used less-lethal rounds and baton strikes to detain a mentally ill man who advanced on them with a piece of wood, then later tried to escape police custody, authorities reported last week in response to a query from Berkeleyside.

The pepper spray incident took place Aug. 6 on Camelia Street west of San Pablo Avenue after an officer had stopped a man who was “acting violent and causing a disturbance” around 8:30 a.m. The welfare check involved someone possibly affected by mental health issues, and a second officer responded to the scene to assist.

The man’s name was redacted from the report posted on the city website.

According to the report, the officers tried to communicate with the man but he was belligerent and threatening, “saying he would become violent if we approached him.” The man “flexed his chest, shoulder, and arm muscles, and made fists with both his hands.”  … Continue reading »

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Teen charged in shooting at Berkeley party on Carleton

Police handcuffing suspects on the corner of San Pablo Avenue and Derby Street on August 22, 2015. Photo: Dan Lurie
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A Berkeley teenager arrested in August after being found by police with a loaded gun has been charged in connection with a shooting on Carleton Street two days prior to his arrest, authorities said.

Emauj Roos, 18, has been charged by the Alameda County district attorney’s office with five felonies related to the handgun, Teresa Drenick, spokeswoman for the DA’s office, confirmed Tuesday.

According to court papers, Berkeley Police Officer Donovan Edwards responded Monday, Aug. 24, at 7:15 p.m. to Seventh Street and Channing Way in West Berkeley for a report of a suspicious vehicle. Inside the vehicle were Roos, in the backseat, and three juveniles. Roos just turned 18 in August.

Edwards wrote that the vehicle’s driver consented to a search of the silver sedan. During the search, one of the juveniles told Edwards he had a loaded gun in a black backpack.  … Continue reading »

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Police make arrest after gunshots, disturbance on Carleton Street near San Pablo Avenue

Dan Lurie photo
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Update Aug. 24: Berkeley Police Officer Byron White said Monday that police arrested two juveniles Aug. 22 on suspicion of being minors in possession of a firearm and stolen property. Part of the press release is below:

“On August 22nd at about 9 pm, officers responded to the 1100 block of Carleton Street after receiving multiples calls of gunfire in the area—with a large group of juveniles leaving the area.”

“At the scene, officers learned that there was a party at a nearby residence and someone fired several shots into the air afterward,” according to a Berkeley Police Department press release. “While contacting a group of juveniles near the scene, officers discovered one of them in possession of a handgun.”

“After further investigation into the incident, officers arrested two juveniles for minors in possession of concealed firearm, possession of stolen property, as well as the willful discharge of a firearm in a negligent manner.” … Continue reading »

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Coming soon: Less traffic with a smart Interstate 80

When the I-80 Smart Corridor Project is completed in late 2015, motorists will see signs telling them about the traffic flow before them. Photo:  Smart Corridor Project
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Motorists driving south on Interstate 80 near Gilman might have been surprised recently by a new sign with flashing “Xs,” yellow and green arrows, or a “30” or “55.”

The sign is part of the I-80 Smart Corridor Project, an ambitious and technologically advanced $79 million endeavor to smooth the travel of the 270,000 cars that traverse from the Carquinez Bridge to the Bay Bridge each day. … Continue reading »

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3 men held to answer after fatal Berkeley shooting

Kamahl Middleton
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An Alameda County Superior Court judge ruled Monday that three young men charged in the fatal shooting of a Pinole man in Berkeley in December must now stand trial.

Judge Thomas Reardon said Monday afternoon, after a lengthy preliminary hearing that began in May, that the prosecution had presented enough evidence to demonstrate a “strong suspicion” that Gregory Foote, Carl Young and Khalil Phanor were responsible for the shooting that killed 36-year-old Kamahl Middleton, who grew up in Berkeley, and wounded his fiancée, Rebekah Cleberg, during a robbery Dec. 29, 2014.

According to evidence presented during the hearing, the couple had arranged, after posting an ad on Craigslist, to trade 1½ pounds of a strain of medical marijuana called “Girl Scout Cookies,” for a donation of $3,200, to a man who had provided a verified medical cannabis card and state ID card.

The man pictured in that ID card was identified as Carl Young, 20, of San Leandro. According to Alameda County deputy district attorney Rebecca Warren, 19-year-old Foote of Oakland had acted as the driver on the night of the shooting, Young had been assigned to interact with the couple prior to the robbery, and 18-year-old Phanor of San Leandro had been the gunman.  … Continue reading »

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University Village, Sprouts get (final) green light

A rendering of the new University Village development. Image: courtesy the City of Albany
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The disputed UC Berkeley land next to Albany’s Gill Tract is in contention no more. Last week, the California Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the university to build a senior housing development and Sprouts Farmers Market grocery store on San Pablo Avenue in University Village.

Read more on Berkeleyside’s coverage of Occupy the Farm.

The development, on a long-vacant lot next to the Gill Tract research field, has been the site of protests since April 2012 on the part of Occupy the Farm, which has stated that UC Berkeley’s plans would “pave over a rare natural resource” and that the Gill Tract is “public farmland that belongs to the people.”

Stefanie Rawlings, of Occupy the Farm, originally filed a lawsuit against the city of Albany and UC Berkeley that alleged that the city’s approved Environmental Impact Report was deficient. When Rawlings lost the suit, she filed an appeal on the grounds that the report did not lay out appropriate alternatives for the building plan, and that the city did not appropriately consider the alternatives listed. … Continue reading »

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Photos: Love Our Neighborhood day on San Pablo Avenue

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On Saturday, a one-mile stretch of San Pablo Avenue, from Ashby to Stanford, was closed to traffic for the second annual East Bay Open Streets’ Love Our Neighborhood Day. The event was a production of Walk Oakland Bike Oakland (WOBO) in association with the Downtown Berkeley Association and the North Shattuck Association. (We flagged it up on our weekend It List.)

People came out to walk, bike, skate, dance, stroll, play and experience the neighborhood, that takes in North Oakland and Southwest Berkeley, in a new way. There were health, fitness and arts activities hosted by local artists, performers, community organizations, churches, neighborhood groups and area businesses, as well as live music and great food.

We sent Melati Citrawireja to capture the day. The results speak for themselves. … Continue reading »

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Man tried to shield fiancée during fatal Berkeley shooting

Kamahl Middleton
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Moments before being struck by a fatal shotgun blast, a Pinole man killed in Berkeley in December used his body to try to shield his fiancée from the gunman, she testified in court Wednesday.

Rebekah Cleberg of Pinole described the Dec. 29, 2014, shooting in West Berkeley as a medical marijuana exchange that quickly became an armed robbery in the parking lot by the 99 Cents store on San Pablo and University avenues.

Cleberg, 29, said she and her fiancé, 36-year-old Kamahl Middleton, drove to Berkeley from Pinole after arranging to trade about 1½ pounds of a strain of medical marijuana called “Girl Scout Cookies,” for a donation of $3,200, to a man who had provided a verified medical cannabis card and state ID card.

“We told him we were going to give him all the nicest ones,” she said. … Continue reading »

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NOSH neighborhood guide: Berkeley Design Loop

Missouri Lounge at night. Photo: Steve Hanna/Flickr
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We know that there’s more to East Bay dining than Temescal, Rockridge and the Gourmet Ghetto. NOSH’s neighborhood guides explore the best of the rest. This month, we explore the south side of Berkeley’s San Pablo Avenue, a.k.a. the West Berkeley Design Loop.

West Berkeley’s dining scene has been on fire the last few years. With the opening of the Gilman Whole Foods came a slew of restaurants on the city’s northwest corner. Yet the southern end of West Berkeley’s San Pablo Avenue has long been a destination for barbecue and dive bars. Today, the neighborhood advertises itself as a design and antiques mecca — furniture stores, salvage yards and antique shops are everywhere — but there many great restaurants and bars, both new and old, to visit after shopping. Below are our picks for the best in the area, and we’ve included a handy map so you know precisely where they are. … Continue reading »

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Ms Barstool: Spirits aplenty at Longbranch Saloon

Longbranch Saloon. Photo: Risa Nye
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While the décor at Longbranch Saloon may be minimal, the bar menu is not. If you’re looking for a staggering array of whiskeys (or “whiskies,” and more about that distinction later), you need look no further than Longbranch, now occupying the former location of Sea Salt restaurant on San Pablo Avenue in West Berkeley.

Longtime Berkeley residents and fans of Asleep at the Wheel may be confused by the reappearance of the Longbranch name. There may be mixed feelings about the long-gone $1 cover charge, the sawdust on the floor, the free draft beer and the indoor motorcycle parking — none of which feature at the new incarnation. (Our server informed us that the old joint was further up the street on San Pablo anyway.) So those with long memories are advised to come around and see what the 21st-century version is all about. … Continue reading »

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Apartment, townhouse complex slated for San Pablo Ave.

A rendering of Shorenstein Properties proposed complex. This would be the view from San Pablo Avenue and Jones Street. Pyatok Architects
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One of the region’s biggest developers has set its sights on Berkeley and is proposing to build a 5-story, 170-unit mixed-use complex at 1500 San Pablo Ave.

Shorenstein Properties is developing the 1.65-acre-site that covers most of a square block and is bounded by San Pablo Avenue to the east, Jones Street to the north, 10th Street to the west, and is near Hopkins. The land, long owned by Michael McNevin, once served as the home of McNevin Cadillac and is now the service department of Berkeley Honda.

The complex, which would be just a short walk to Acme Bread, Bartavelle Café, and the Kermit Lynch wine shop, will be a mix of two-and-a-half-bedroom townhouses, two-bedroom apartments, one-bedroom, junior one-bedroom, and studio apartments. The average unit size would be more than 800 square feet, according to documents submitted to the city, and should appeal to singles, professionals, couples, families, and retirees. The building will also have space for either offices or retail. The developer is including applications for permits for a restaurant with a bar, a café, and outdoor eating space. … Continue reading »

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