Tag Archives: Shop Talk
RASA CAFFE Rasa Caffe, at 3140 Martin Luther King Jr. Way (at Adeline), had its soft opening on Valentine’s Day and will be open intermittently between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. until its official opening on Saturday March 1. Owner Rasa Sun Mott said the soft opening was principally to thank the new business’s crowdsourced backers and the local community. Mott, an Oakland native and the son of two high-profile Black Panther activists, raised $16,252 on Kickstarter to help him open the new coffee shop. As we reported in October 2013, Bicycle Coffee is being served (sweet spiced coffee with nutmeg is a speciality), as well as chai from his own recipe, and a selection of locally sourced pastries. Rasa Caffe is in the former Alchemy Café space, next door to Firehouse Arts Collective with whom Mott intends to collaborate for events. The café will be featuring prints by artist Emory Douglas for its opening. … Continue reading »
YOLO BERRY YOGURT Yolo Berry Yogurt is moving into the old AT&T spot at 2114 Shattuck Ave. — because there is clearly no such thing as too many fro-yo places in a college town, particularly if you’re going to be situated close to a giant open-campus high school, right? Yolo Berry Yogurt, which follows the formula of offering self-serve yogurt with your choice of toppings — was founded by Lee Pflugrath in Davis and this will be the second site for the company.
BERKELEY BIOLABS Berkeley BioLabs, a “hackubator” focused on the development of new biotechnologies, therapeutics, diagnostics and medical devices, has opened up at 600 Bancroft Way, almost on the bay in West Berkeley. The small bio-hacker/incubator space has around 10 benches for proto companies and individual scientists who want to get to their proof of concept quickly. Berkeley BioLabs also offers scientific and business mentoring. The company is currently accepting applications from scientists interested in “accelerating the pace of innovation in medicine through collaborative co-working in a shared biotech lab space.” For details, visit the Berkeley BioLabs website. … Continue reading »
THE STATION It’s been a long time coming (we first tipped you about it in July 2012), but new burger and breakfast joint The Station (pictured above) opened on Saturday Jan. 18 in the former Viva Taqueria building at 2984 Russell St. (in the triangle where Russell, Claremont Avenue, and Claremont Boulevard meet) on southside. Sandy Boyd of Espresso Roma, Milano Café and the French Hotel, is the owner. Chef Gerald Blake is supervising the opening and has devised a simple menu which consists of a burger with optional extras, a hot dog, a grilled cheese sandwich, a veggie sandwich, and a mixed salad. Breakfast options include a scrambled-egg wrap, steel-cut oatmeal and pastries. To drink there’s Anchor Steam on tap among a beer selection, wine by the glass or carafe, house-made cold-pressed juices, smoothies and Espresso Roma coffee. Blake says the beef is sourced from Niman Ranch and the bread and buns from Starter Bakery. There was talk of collaborating with nearby Fournée for buns, but that didn’t work out. Blake said the plan is to source locally as much as possible. Boyd owns an organic farm in Carpinteria and some of the produce comes from there. So far, said Blake, the reception locally has been great. The pastor from the local church has dropped by and the staff have given out nearly 300 menus to passers-by. In its former lives, the spot has been a station on the Key Route line, a gas station, a hamburger joint, also called The Station, and a taqueria. The Station is open 7 a.m-8:30 p.m. … Continue reading »
WEST BERKELEY FENCING CLUB The renovation of the former Freight & Salvage space at 1111 Addison St. (at San Pablo) is now complete and the West Berkeley Fencing Club has launched a new schedule of classes this month. The club, which was founded by Mark Headley, offers four full sized fencing strips and two coaching strips on a compressed bamboo floor, a stretching room with fitness equipment, as well as a lounge area with a big-screen TV showing, of course, fencing. [Disclosure: West Berkeley Fencing Club advertises on Berkeleyside -- and Berkeleyside readers can get 10% off their first month of classes. Click here for details.] … Continue reading »
NATURE’S EXPRESS CLOSING Nature’s Express at 1823 Solano is closing Dec 31 after four years on the Berkeley street. The healthy/vegan fast-food business failed, according to owner Carl Myers, who wrote a long note on the restaurant’s Facebook page. “When ventures fail, it comes down to leadership, so I am painfully aware that the failure has been mine,” he wrote. “I apologize to the employees who have put heart and soul into this venture and the customers who have supported us for our failure to serve them in the future.” Ironically, Myers also salutes McDonald’s who, he writes, “do a lot of things right,” including customer service, locations and advertising. Judging from the response from many loyal customers on Facebook, it will be missed. [Hat tip: Kenneth Goldberg] … Continue reading »
SOUTH BERKELEY PRODUCE AND MEAT Nagi Homran has just opened this new grocery and meat store at 3120 Sacramento St. (at 67th) — in the space where Recycle Bicycle used to be before it closed last year. The shop specializes in Middle Eastern foods, including Halal meats. Homran said it’s his first store in Berkeley and he chose the location as he lives in the neighborhood. The shop has two storefronts, so there is a lot of space for the well-stocked shelves. Opening hours are 8 a.m to 8 p.m. Tel: 510-705-1733. (Read more on Berkeleyside about recent business activity on Sacramento Street.) … Continue reading »
PHILZ COFFEE Philz Coffee is set to open a second Berkeley shop (its first is at 1600 Shattuck Ave. at Cedar) in the Gilman District Project at 9th and Gilman in West Berkeley that will also house Whole Foods and Office Depot. Matt Holmes from Retail West, who is working with the developers of the project, said they could have chosen any major coffee chain but decided to select “a more artisan and community minded tenant like Philz Coffee.” Philz, which has 14 Bay Area locations, is expanding following a multi-million dollar investment announced earlier this year. More businesses look likely to move in to the Gilman District Project. According to Holmes, they are still looking for a “unique chef-driven fast casual concept” for a 3,100 square foot space in the building, which used to be a bread factory. The new Philz Coffee will be at 1313 9th Street, Suite 110, near Gilman. … Continue reading »
UC PRESS After 30 years at 2120 Berkeley Way near Shattuck Avenue, the University of California Press is moving this spring to a new location near Lake Merritt in Oakland. One of the reasons for the move is that upcoming construction on the Acheson Commons development will be disruptive, according to Alison Mudditt, the press’s director. The completed apartment complex will surround UC Press on three sides, and the building will “lose much of our existing natural light,” she said in a letter. The current building is also not large enough to handle UC Press’ projected growth. “There is no available Class A office space in Berkeley that meets our needs,” Mudditt wrote in a recent newsletter. UC Press plans to lease, not buy, the new space. … Continue reading »
EUREKA! Eureka! restaurant at 2068 Center St. will open its doors on Monday, Oct. 28. The restaurant aims to provide ”an unforgettable, value-driven dining experience defined as “‘eatertainment,’ combining gourmet food, an innovative bar program, live sports, and live entertainment in a modern yet rustic setting.” The restaurant, part of a 10-location chain owned by Robert Suzuki, will have “locally sourced food, locally sourced music and locally brewed beer whenever available.” Eureka! will serve 30 American craft beers on tap, 21 small-batch American whiskeys, and many different hamburgers, including the Fig Burger, with fig marmalade, bacon, and melted goat cheese, and the San Joaquin Veggie Burger served with arugula, tomato, lemon vinaigrette, and homemade zucchini pickles. … Continue reading »
LOOKING GLASS PHOTO The venerable Berkeley camera store is having a grand opening celebration Oct. 19-20, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., to celebrate its new location at 1045 Ashby Ave. in the old Heinz family complex. The store had been at 2848 Telegraph Ave. for 30 years, but had grown so popular that, on some days, there was a line outside the 4,000-square-foot space, said Jen Waicukauski, who owns Looking Glass Photo with her father. The new store is twice that size and is offering “a better customer experience.” There will be free workshops, seminars and a raffle at the celebration. Reps from Canon, Nikon, Sony and elsewhere will be on hand, too. … Continue reading »
ALPHA DESIGN A new custom upholstery store has opened at 2001 San Pablo Ave., on the corner of University Avenue). Alpha Design has over 250 frame styles for chairs and sofas and over 1,000 types of fabric. Typical frame jobs take about two to three weeks on average, with a company in Los Angeles handling the actual upholstery. The product styles range from traditional and modern to more unusual frames, like a seven-foot tall “Dr. Seuss” chair. Owner Hans Reinhardt said Alpha Design will be launching a new website in the next two weeks.
NOURISH Healing arts collective Nourish moved into a three-room suite this May at 1285 Gilman St., above Berkeley Bagels. The owner, Heather Lind, runs another Nourish location in San Francisco that offers therapeutic massage and skin care services. Lind said Nourish has four licensed practitioners, including herself, who provide services including holistic massages, facials, eye lash extensions, yoga, birth services, and nutrition. By appointment only, no walk-ins. … Continue reading »