Tag Archives: Shattuck Avenue
The city of Berkeley is hoping to dramatically rethink many elements of South Berkeley, thanks to a $750,000 planning grant it received from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission in May.
South Shattuck Avenue and nearly 1 mile of Adeline Street in South Berkeley might see more affordable housing, pedestrian- and bike-friendly neighborhoods, more park areas, a new theater, mass transit improvements, and more.
Those are just some of the ideas that have been proposed so far. Before any plan is adopted, officials will hold community meetings and do other outreach to gather ideas from residents, businesses and local groups and institutions. The grant will also permit Berkeley to do an environmental study, the city said earlier this year. (That study would “allow streamlined CEQA review for future projects on Adeline and south Shattuck Avenue,” according to project materials.) … Continue reading »
Walking into Shattuck Avenue Spats in downtown Berkeley, it’s hard to believe it’s been out of operation since 2009. Tables and chairs are still in place, there’s liquor behind the bar. The quirky decor — complete with, among many other touches, taxidermy trophies and a Greco-Roman-styled mannequin woman — appears to be free of dust and ready to entertain once again.
It looks like all it might take is the flip of a switch to get the business running and, with a new team of owners having recently bought the building where Spats operated for decades, the bar may be poised to open again this fall.
Nathan George, a local developer who describes his approach as “Berkeley building Berkeley,” is one partner of about a dozen people who bought 1974 Shattuck Ave. with the goal of reopening Spats under its old name. The team is also exploring, longer term, the possibility of housing on the property. … Continue reading »
We all knew it wouldn’t last. My dalliance with popular comedy was truly an aberration — and as the song goes, after laughter comes tears. This week, we return to our regularly scheduled programming with The Kill Team, a grim new documentary opening at Landmark’s Shattuck Cinemas on Friday, Aug. 1.
Directed by Dan Krauss (who previously shot the Paul Krugman-focused doc Inequality for All), The Kill Team examines the moral rot affecting a platoon of American infantrymen engaged in combat in Afghanistan. Uncomfortable playing the role of school builders and well diggers, the platoon lost its collective moral compass and began indulging in a deadly sport involving the murder of innocent Afghanis. … Continue reading »
About five years ago, Yrmis Barroeta learned she had two auto-immune disorders. Her husband, Bobby Chang, was having some digestive issues. Meanwhile, his daughter’s energy would often crash before lunch.
“It’s not that we were sick, but we were not functioning right,” said Barroeta. “A friend of ours told us we have to read Robb Wolfe’s ‘The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet,’ and that opened up a whole world of exploration for us.”
It was no small thing, given that Chang is of Taiwanese descent and, to him, giving up rice was unthinkable. Growing up in Venezuela, Barroeta had long ago learned she was allergic to legumes. Yet, within two weeks of eating the Paleo way, in which grains, gluten and soy are avoided, they were feeling better.
That world of exploration led the two former design-world refugees — they both realized they wanted to do something more meaningful with their lives — to launch Mission: Heirloom Garden Café, a business they hope will become a new fixture in North Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto when it opens in September. The name implies that it’s something worth passing down to future generations. And, while you are welcome to consider it a Paleo eatery, Barroeta says it’s much more than that. … Continue reading »
Berkeley zoning board members voted 6-3 last week to reject an application from a San Francisco-based development firm that hopes to build the city’s first micro-unit housing project.
In September, many zoning board commissioners told Axis Development Group that the proposal, at 2701 Shattuck Ave., was too large and too dense for the neighborhood. They asked Axis to consider a four-story alternative, and to make more room on the northeast corner of the site, which is close to an adjacent single-family home. City staff had earlier suggested the removal of up to 12 units from the project.
Thursday night, Axis presented its latest version of the five-story project, currently set to include 67 units that range in size from 269 to 344 square feet, as well as a roughly 2,000-square-foot full service restaurant with valet parking, and a small parking garage. (Read more about the latest plans here.) Following the September zoning board meeting, Axis removed three units from the project’s fifth story. Company representatives said they felt this change addressed the board’s concerns.
Commissioners who voted against the project Thursday criticized Axis for failing to take their feedback in September seriously.
“I’m astonished at how fully the applicant has ignored our very clear suggestions. Very clear,” Commissioner Shoshana O’Keefe said. “From staff, from us. I was at the last meeting, I know what was said. I can’t believe you would come up here with a straight face and say you were confused as to what we were asking for.” … Continue reading »
A controversial micro-unit mixed-used proposal aimed for a quiet stretch of Shattuck Avenue, south of downtown, is still too big, say Berkeley city staff, who advised zoning board members to deny the application later this week.
The project, at 2701 Shattuck, at Derby, is scheduled for its third review by the city Zoning Adjustments Board on Thursday. The project has received extensive feedback from city commissioners, who asked developers to shrink the project in September, citing concerns about its compatibility with the nearby residential neighborhood. … Continue reading »
Update, 7 p.m. As per a notice released by the Berkeley Police Department at 4:11 p.m., “The Bomb Squad examined the package, rendering it safe and determined it to be harmless. The investigation into this matter is ongoing.”
At approximately 3:55 p.m., Shattuck Avenue was opened to all traffic and pedestrians.
Just before 4 p.m., the University of California Police Department alerted campus to evacuate Sproul Hall, the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union and the lower Sproul construction site, according to a notice posted on the department’s Twitter feed. The UCPD bomb squad responded. … Continue reading »
Crowd-pleasing classics and improv behind the bar: Gather pulls it all together Several weeks ago, we were enjoying a cocktail at another East Bay establishment and engaging in conversation with the bar manager, when the gentleman on the next barstool chimed in. As it happens, this gentleman is a bar chef in his own right, and suggested we visit the bar at Gather in Berkeley. We discovered in the course of our discussion about cocktails and other important issues, that he used to be the star behind the bar at Hudson, a Rockridge favorite that closed a year or so ago. We filed away his suggestion, and finally made our way to Gather.
We visited on a Saturday evening, prior to an event at a local music venue. Once we let the host know we were just planning to visit the bar for cocktails, he directed us to the rear of the restaurant and promised us an enjoyable experience. The bar is cozy, with a small number of tables and barstools inside and a sheltered patio right outside. High shelves bordering the bar area contain jars of colorful pickled vegetables. … Continue reading »
People turned out in their thousands for Berkeley’s second Sunday Streets. There is no doubt that this city likes to go auto-free. Berkeleyside contributing photographer Nancy Rubin was there. (If you haven’t already done so, check out Rubin’s new photo project, Humans of Berkeley and the Bay Area, launched on Berkeleyside last week.) … Continue reading »
OHLONE MURAL CEREMONY The city of Berkeley is holding a rededication ceremony to celebrate the restoration of the Ohlone Mural. The mural, which depicts the creation story of the Ohlone people who once inhabited the Bay Area, was originally painted in 1995 by Jean LaMarr, a Native American artist. Local artist Miranda Bergman began restoring the mural a year and a half ago through the Public Art Mural Restoration program. Bergman used warm water washer and worked with special care to restore vibrant color to the mural’s 1,000-square-foot surface. The rededication ceremony takes place Saturday, Oct. 12, at 11:30 a.m. at the Ohlone Greenway Park on Hearst Street. The event will feature speakers, a blessing ceremony and a reception at Heyday Books on 1633 University Ave. afterwards. … Continue reading »
This weekend, thousands of local residents are expected to leave the car at home, grab friends and family, and walk the city’s beautiful streets for the second Sunday Streets Berkeley.
Also known as Open Streets, Sunday Streets is a day when cars are prohibited from driving on certain roads, opening up space for other activities. On Sunday, Oct. 13, people are invited to treat the Shattuck roadway between Haste and Rose as a giant park: walk, bike, skate, play and greet fellow community members. The space is also open to organizations, businesses, artists and performers who want to mingle with the general public
There are more than 70 Sunday Street events in North America, and many more in cities around the world. Inspired by San Francisco, which has held Sunday Streets for five years, Berkeley held its first Sunday Streets on Oct. 14 last year. The event was widely hailed as a success, with more than 42,000 people taking to the street and local businesses experiencing a 30-50% boost in sales, according to organizers. … Continue reading »
Berkeley zoning board members voted Thursday night to ask developers to reduce the size of a proposed micro-unit project on Shattuck Avenue by either taking units off the upper stories or removing the top story altogether.
The lengthy Zoning Adjustments Board meeting was the panel’s first chance to vote on the project. Throughout the night, the board seemed poised to approve the project as proposed, deny the project altogether or ask for significant changes before moving forward.
At the end of a nearly three-hour discussion, which included comments from more than 20 members of the public, the board voted to affirm the staff recommendation to ask San Francisco-based Axis Development Group to change its designs to make the building fit in better with the neighborhood. Staff had recommended some type of increased “setbacks” — such as a more gradual increase from story to story up to the building’s full height — on the five-story proposal’s upper floors to increase the space between the structure and a nearby single-family home to the east. The zoning board asked mixed-use developer Axis to consider either that approach or a possible reduction to four stories. … Continue reading »
A 70-unit five-story building proposed at Shattuck Avenue and Derby Street faced steep neighborhood opposition at a recent zoning board meeting in Berkeley.
The 60-foot-tall proposal, set to include 35 garage parking spaces, 81 bike spots and a 2,000-square-foot restaurant, has been designed by Lowney Architecture, and comes to the city from Axis Development Group in San Francisco. The project has been scheduled before the city’s Design Review Committee six times since December. Units as currently designed range from 307 to 344 square feet. The project would result in a payment of $1.4 million into the city’s affordable housing fund.
Proponents say these “micro-units” — which have sparked fierce debate in San Francisco — are the way of the future, offering a more viable financial alternative to renters who otherwise would not be able to afford their own apartments. An attorney for the project, Rena Rickles, said at the Aug. 8 Zoning Adjustments Board meeting that micro-units “have been lauded in every design review magazine,” adding that the Berkeley proposal would offer even more amenities than a similarly high-end project, 38 Harriet, in San Francisco (built by Berkeley-based developer Panoramic Interests): “It meets the highest standards for this kind of housing in this area.” Rickles also noted that it would bring some much-needed vibrancy to the area.
Fifteen neighbors who live near the proposal, and spoke before the zoning board, were unconvinced. … Continue reading »