Tag Archives: Sketch

Berkeley’s soft scoop spot Sketch to close for good

Sketch soft serve cacao nib ice cream with olive oil and sea salt. Photo: lelseyk
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It’s the end of the road for Sketch. The popular soft-serve ice cream shop on Berkeley’s Fourth Street will close its doors for good on Sunday, July 6.

Eric Shelton, co-owner of the store with his wife Ruthie Planar-Shelton, said the reason is purely personal. “It’s a decision we have made as a family,” he said. “We don’t want to sacrifice more time spent with our daughter and any other kids we may have down the road.”

The couple, who both have a fine dining culinary background, opened the current store, their second, at 2080 Fourth St. in the Fourth & U complex two years ago. They opened the original Sketch two blocks north of their current location, also on Fourth Street, in 2004 when Planar-Shelton was pregnant with their daughter Audrey. That store, with its vintage cart outside, was open for five years before the pair closed it in 2009, citing similar reasons to the ones they expressed this week: a desire to put family first. At the time, the store was one of the first small-batch, organic ice cream purveyors in the area. … Continue reading »

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Bites: What’s new in East Bay food, XXV

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THE STATION It’s been a long gestation period (we first tipped you about it in July 2012), but it looks like the former Viva Taqueria building in the triangle where Russell, Claremont Avenue, and Claremont Boulevard meet in Berkeley will soon be reborn as The Station. The painters are hard at work and the opening is slated for next month. [Hat tip: Sandy Friedland.] Think hamburgers and salads with coffee and pastries in the morning. The name refers to the spot’s original role as a train station, and later a gas station… and still later, a beloved burger spot named, appropriately enough, ‘The Station.” The Korean-American owner of The Station back in the 80s, Fred, specialized in delicious fresh blueberry milkshakes, but also introduced a generation of Berkeley youngsters to the wonders of bulgogi. [Ed: This last sentence comes courtesy of reader "Bishop George Berkeley."]

Screen shot 2013-06-07 at 11.57.37 AMBITTERSWEET BERKELEY The popular Bittersweet, which has cafés in Rockridge and downtown Oakland, is set to open a new Berkeley location in the former New Amsterdam Coffeeshop spot at 1952 University Ave. (Hat-tip: Diablo Dish.) Bittersweet, which specializes in chocolate, also used to make artisanal chocolate in West Berkeley. Expect the same offerings of yummy hot chocolate, coffees, salads, sandwiches, and baked goods. New Amsterdam Coffeeshop closed after three years partly because its owners wanted to spend more time with their children. Bittersweet Berkeley hopes to open by the end of June. … Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

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LINDGREN’S Lindgren’s Coffee and Café (above) in downtown Berkeley opened for business in February. Now it’s having its grand opening celebration — on Thursday, April 18, at 5 p.m. and all are welcome. There will be the chance to feast on house-made delicacies, enjoy a sparkling beverage and get a free chair massage — as well as the requisite ribbon cutting. Lindgren’s, 2120 Dwight Way (at Shattuck).Continue reading »

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Chew on this: John Birdsall on Berkeley’s food scene

John Birdsall Photo: Roxanne Webber
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John Birdsall knows his way around the Bay Area’s best food trucks, noodle shops, and unpretentious taco stands. Currently a senior editor at Chow, he was previously the food editor at SF Weekly‘s SFoodie site, and has done two stints as food critic for the East Bay Express.

Along the way he’s penned his fair share of food stories with Berkeley roots, including a profile of Alice Waters for Gilt Taste and an article on the relevancy of Chez Panisse at 40, as well as restaurant reviews, and nods to new food artisans.

Birdsall has a reputation for insightful and stylish — if sometimes provocative — prose. In the flesh he’s soft-spoken and mild-mannered. A professional cook for some 17 years, he switched to the food scribe beat more than a decade ago and, for the record, says cooking for a living is even more all-consuming than food writing. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley food blogger serves up gluten-free food for all

Erin Scott
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Food, portrait, and lifestyle photographer Erin Scott, who lives in North Berkeley, is the voice behind the popular blog Yummy Supper, a source for simple, seasonal, and gluten-free recipes accompanied by sumptuous photos that would whet any eater’s appetite — the gluten-free or not.

Scott is also currently recipe testing for her upcoming cookbook, The Yummy Supper: 100 Fresh, Luscious, and Honest Recipes from a (Gluten-Free) Omnivore.

Many of her ideas feature ingredients picked from her backyard garden, which boasts fragrant herbs, salad and saute greens, and citrus trees.

Scott’s images has been featured on the food porn sites foodgawker and tastespotting and her recipes and photography have gotten nods from sites such as Gourmet Live, Glamour, and Fine Cooking.

With a background in fashion and design, and as the former co-owner of the clothing store August in Oakland, Scott never thought she’d end up spending most days in the kitchen taking pictures.

But her dad gave her a leather-bound Polaroid when she was little so she started snapping photos at an early age.  Scott also enjoyed cooking beside her mom as a young child, and planning, making, and eating a nourishing supper has brought pleasure ever since.

Over nectarine friands and lemon verbena tea, Scott, 41, spoke with Berkeleyside this week about her blog, pending cookbook, and eating well with her husband and two kale-munching kids. … Continue reading »

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Sketch ice cream returns to Berkeley’s Fourth Street

Sketch will serve its signature soft serve, vanilla bean, organic ice cream.
Photo: Courtesy Sketch
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They’re back: and just in time for the passing of Fogest (that’s August to the uninitiated) and the arrival of real summer in Berkeley and elsewhere around the Bay. Sketch returns today — three years to the day that the popular ice cream spot shut up shop (and as tipped by Berkeleyside in June).

A culinary couple with a fine-dining pedigree, Eric Shelton and Ruthie Planas-Shelton opened Sketch on the busy shopping strip along 4th Street back in 2004 (in the slip of a space that’s now home to a Chocolatier Blue outlet). At the time, the store was one of the first small-batch, organic ice cream purveyors in the area — before gourmet cup and cone businesses took off around the Bay.

The pair weren’t planning to return to Berkeley — let along the same street — when they started scouting around for a new location for their signature sweet treats last year. Shelton, 44, and Planas-Shelton, 31, who live in Jack London Square, had their sights set on an Oakland location, but when a deal fell through, they agreed to check out a space in the new 4th & U complex on the quieter end of 4th Street. It felt like a good fit. So, yet again on the food front, Oakland’s loss is Berkeley’s gain. … Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

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FOURTH & U RISES Hold your breath as there is going to be a lot of activity in the next few months in the retail spaces at this complex at 2020 Fourth Street, just a brief stroll from the already busy Fourth Street shopping district. Perhaps the biggest news — to Berkeley foodies, at least — is that the much-loved and long lamented Sketch Ice Cream will be reopening at 2080 Fourth St. Eric Shelton and Ruthie Planar-Shelton closed the original Sketch three years ago so they could spend more time with their daughter. She is going to school, and they hope to open their new 1,400-square-foot space in mid-July. It will be three times larger than the last location, so, in addition to offering artisanal ice cream, Sketch will sell baked goods and candy and offer catering services as well. About 65% of the retail space in the Fourth & U complex has been leased, according to Steve Smith of Norheim & Yost. Keter Salon will also take a spot there, and the 4th Street Studio, an art gallery and shared studio space, will open in September. Rachael Adler’s Waterfront Conservatory, an actors’ training studio featuring the Meisner Technique, will also open later this year. They will join Mark Horner’s Shadow Yoga Studio at 2050 Fourth St. … Continue reading »

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