Tag Archives: Solano Avenue

Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

YJM Photography and Gallery of Fine Arts. Photo: Yves Mozelsio
Print Friendly

NEW: GALLERY OF FINE ARTS Yves Mozelsio has just opened YJM Photography and Gallery of Fine Arts at 1865 Solano Ave. (a few doors west of the Oaks Theater in the former KNA Copy Center). Monday was the first day for the gallery which, Mozelsio says, he opened as a way to provide people with an alternative to online shopping, as well as a space for him to continue practicing his photography (a third of the space is devoted to his photography studio). The gallery has a lovely turn-of-the-century style décor, with Mozelsio’s personal collection of European paintings (dating from 1850-1950) on the walls. The gallery sells paintings by local artists and Mozelsio himself, sculptures by Mozelsio’s uncle, and 11 Queen Anne-style cases of jewelry, mostly silver, crafted by local jewelers. “This is a dream space for me,” said Mozelsio shortly after he made his first sale of a bracelet to his first customer. He said he hoped he has created a feel-good environment for people to enjoy, surrounded by wonderful art. He is happy to hear from local artists who might want to collaborate. Connect with YJM Photography on Facebook. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Berkeley merchants: New minimum wage proposal would ‘decimate’ businesses

Elmwood by Sharon Hahn Darlin
Print Friendly

Berkeley business owners say a new proposed minimum wage hike will quite simply drive them out of business and, in the process, destroy the unique flavor of shopping districts such as the Elmwood, Telegraph Avenue, downtown and Fourth Street.

At the same time, given that the city is at the forefront of progressive politics on so many issues, many merchants fear they will appear politically incorrect for opposing a higher minimum wage.

“A living wage is a great and lofty goal, but the business community feels very, very intimidated,” said Ky J. Boyd, proprietor of the Rialto Cinemas Elmwood. “People feel they will be retaliated against. Somebody’s got to stand up and speak out about this.”

The current minimum wage in Berkeley, which took effect Oct. 1, 2015, is $11 per hour. Last year, the Berkeley City Council voted to increase the minimum wage annually to $12.53 by October 2016, but the city’s Labor Commission is calling for a higher wage than that (annual increases up to $19, to take effect in 2020) and has called for local enhancements to California’s new paid sick leave amendment.

Council will hold a special meeting to discuss proposed changes to the minimum wage and sick leave policy Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. at Longfellow Middle School Auditorium, at 1500 Derby St. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Man arrested in Pharmaca robbery linked to second case

Police have arrested a man they believe is linked to two Berkeley robberies, including one at Pharmaca, at Solano and Ensenada, in late August. Photo: Michael Patrick
Print Friendly

Police have arrested a 22-year-old San Pablo man in connection with a robbery at Pharmaca on Solano Avenue in late August, and say they believe he is linked to another Berkeley robbery two days later.

In response to a request from Berkeleyside, police confirmed the arrest of Covan VanHook in connection with the Aug. 29 robbery at Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy, at Solano and Ensenada avenues.

Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats said another agency arrested VanHook in Contra Costa County on Sept. 3 in connection with a different case.

In the Pharmaca incident, a man entered the North Berkeley business with a gun and demanded prescription medication from the pharmacist, Coats said previously. The robber “jumped over the counter with a gun pointed at the employees and told them to fill his backpack,” according to unconfirmed scanner traffic. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Pharmaca in North Berkeley held up at gunpoint

Berkeley Police cruiser, Officer Jennifer Coats. Photo: Emilie Raguso
Print Friendly

Police are investigating a robbery at gunpoint at a Solano Avenue pharmacy over the weekend.

The robbery took place at 5:10 p.m. Saturday at Pharmaca at 1744 Solano Ave., at Ensenada Avenue.

According to Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats, a man entered the North Berkeley business with a gun and demanded prescription medication from the pharmacist.

The robber “jumped over the counter with a gun pointed at the employees and told them to fill his backpack,” according to unconfirmed scanner traffic. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Hal’s Office coffee shop headed to Solano Avenue

Hal's Office will be located next door to Bonnee and Abraham Elterman's As You Like Frozen Yogurt on Solano Avenue. Photo: Sam Alcabes
Print Friendly

Albany is about to get a bit more caffeinated.

Construction has begun on a new coffee shop at 1207 Solano Ave., the former location of Hal Hoffman’s notary and real-estate business. Called, appropriately, Hal’s Office, the new café is a project of Bonnee and Abraham Elterman, the owners of As You Wish, the frozen yogurt joint next door.

“We wanted to honor Hal and hope to maintain this location as a meeting place for locals to gather,” said Bonnee Elterman this week.

Read more about East Bay coffee roasters.

Hal’s Office will be serving coffee from Bay Area newcomer Counter Culture Coffee. The North Carolina-based company opened its first West Coast roasting and training facility in Emeryville this spring. (Learn more about Counter Culture coffee in our tour of the roasting facility.) Counter Culture is still only in a few local coffee shops, so Hal’s Office will stand out. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Burger Depot on Solano Ave to close after 35 years

David and Daisy Cheng have announced plans to retire and close a Solano Avenue institution. Photo: Kady Rachlin
Print Friendly

A family-run burger shop and ice cream parlor that’s been a fixture on Solano Avenue for 35 years is closing its doors at the end of the night Saturday, July 11.

David and Daisy Cheng said, in a note posted Tuesday at the restaurant, they have decided it’s time “to retire and enjoy life.”

Their daughter, Kady Rachlin, said Thursday that her parents had been entertaining the idea of retirement for some time, but had not set a firm date. 

“It’s hard to say goodbye to people, and also so hard to say goodbye to something that’s such a big part of their life,” said Rachlin. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , ,

Bites: Vegan butcher shop plans go kaput, more

The former La Farine location on Solano Avenue. Photo: Whitney Moss/Twitter
Print Friendly

Openings, closings

VEGAN BUTCHER SHOP NO LONGER COMING TO SOLANO Last fall, we brought you news of a vegan butcher shop and deli called The Butcher’s Son that was moving into the former La Farine location on Solano Avenue. We’re sorry to report that the butcher shop has pulled out of the location. According to a Twitter tip, there is a sign up on the building indicating that it is now for lease. On the Butcher’s Son Facebook page, the owners Peter Fikaris and Christina Stobing have stated that they decided to abandon the location due to “a number of disagreements with the property owners.” Fikaris and Stobing are currently hosting pop-ups and delivering lunchtime meals on Mondays while they look for a new location. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

In Berkeley the Blue Glove Crew clean up — at speed

Karen Nierlich shows trash she cleared from a storm drain's grate.
Print Friendly

It all started with a desire to lose weight. Six years ago, Allen Cain, Executive Director of the Solano Avenue Association and Solano Stroll, decided as a New Year’s resolution to shed some pounds, set an example for his daughter, and help tidy up the North Berkeley street at the heart of his organization. How would he do this? With regular power walks/trash pick-up expeditions.

Cain spent roughly three years walking, at a feverish pace, up and then back down Solano, cleaning up en route. Eventually others joined him and, thus, the Blue Glove Crew was born.

Berkeleyside contributing photographer Pete Rosos joined the crew for several of their walks recently, and created the photo essay published here. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , ,

Mother–daughter duo makes Vanessa’s Bistro soar

Vanessa's duo
Print Friendly

Vanessa Dang briskly chops a pile of red and yellow peppers, speedily stir-fries chicken slices in a steaming wok, and tosses a tangle of rice noodles into a bowl in the compact kitchen of her Berkeley restaurant, Vanessa’s Bistro. Meanwhile, her daughter, Vi Nguyen, greets and seats customers, takes orders and shakes up a mojito while chatting with the regulars sitting at the bar. Both mother and daughter operate in a blur of continual motion, like two speeding comets whose orbits occasionally intersect. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , ,

Bites: Fieldwork Brewing opens in Berkeley, more

Fieldwork Brewing Company menu. Photo: Fieldwork Brewing's Facebook
Print Friendly

Openings, closings…

FIELDWORK BREWING OPENS The newest West Berkeley brewery is up and running after previewing its beers during SF Beer Week. Fieldwork Brewing Company‘s taproom, at Sixth and Harrison streets, offers guests a rotating selection of seasonal and limited release brews in addition to its flagship offerings. Beers on tap right now include Fieldwork’s Double IPA, Rye Pale Ale, Burning Daylight IPA, Morning Time Breakfast Stout, and Hella Revolutionary, a collaboration with Altamont Beer Works in Livermore. On the food menu are British-style meat, vegetable and vegan pies (“pasties”) made by Oakland’s The Pie Shop. Fieldwork plans to host beer-pairing dinners in the future, as well as pairing seminars and scheduled tours. It is also selling beer to-go in 32- and 64-ounce refillable Fieldwork growlers. Leading the beer program is Alex Tweet, formerly of Modern Times Beer and Ballast Point Brewing, both in San Diego. Fieldwork Brewing is at 1160 Sixth St. (at Harrison Street), Berkeley. Connect with the brewery on Facebook and Twitter.Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Community effort may see Berkeley’s Oaks Theatre reopen with Bakesale Betty on board

The Oaks Theater at xxxx Solano Ave. has been empty for several years. New plans may see it reopen if a deal can ben reached. Photo: Ian Ransley
Print Friendly

The Oaks Theatre on Solano Avenue may have a future after all, after five years of sitting vacant. Jim Whitty, a Berkeley local and his non-profit group, From Little Acorns Grow, is working with Gordon Commercial Real Estate Services to lease and re-open the theater in what will be a true community effort if it succeeds.

Speaking at the Thousand Oaks Neighborhood Association (TONA) meeting Thursday night at the Thousand Oaks Baptist Church Auditorim, Whitty, a veteran Oakland firefighter and Secretary Treasurer of the Oakland Firefighters’ Union for the past ten years, said he was well down the path of negotiations with John and Kevin Gordon who were being very supportive of the initiative.

“The rental negotiations are up in the air, but we are not too far apart,” said Whitty who said he was well used to negotiating as a union leader. He is at the “letter of intent” stage, he said. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Bites: Johnny B’s, Habit Burger Grill open, more

Johnny B's Café. Photo: John Bajek
Print Friendly

Openings, closings

JOHNNY B’S COMES TO WEST BERKELEY There’s a new spot to grab sandwiches and coffee in West Berkeley. Johnny B’s Café has just opened up shop next to Strawberry Creek Park on Addison Street, in the former Café Zeste location. Owner John Bajek tells us that his corned beef and roasted chicken sandwiches are his bestsellers so far. In addition, he is serving soups, freshly made salads and pastries, with plenty of gluten-free options. Johnny B’s is at 1250 Addison St., Suite 110 (near Bonar Street), Berkeley.Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

Himalayan Tandoori and Curry House. Photo: Nancy Rubin
Print Friendly

NEW: HIMALAYAN TANDOORI AND CURRY HOUSE Himalayan Tandoori and Curry House had a grand opening buffet on Feb. 2 in the space that used to be Everest Café on Solano Avenue. Former patrons of Everest Café, and other friends in the community, were invited in for a free meal. Says manager Umesh Manandhar: “The restaurant serves authentic Nepalese and Indian cuisine. We hope that our friendly environment will be a place in the community for neighbors to come for tea or a delicious meal. All the pumpkin that we serve here is from our farm in Sebastopol and we are trying to grow most of the vegetables from the same farm. We also serve some vegan meals. Our main objective is to serve healthy food with friendly service.” Himalayan Tandoori and Curry House  is at 1645 Solano Ave., Berkeley. [By Nancy Rubin] … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , ,