Tag Archives: Whole Foods Berkeley

Bites: Alcohol-free bar set for Berkeley (say what?)

Kava. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Openings, closings…

BERKELEY’S FIRST ALCOHOL-FREE BAR? Nosh has the scoop about a business that hopes to be Berkeley’s “first and only alcohol-alternative bar.” It’s called MeloMelo Kava Bar and is aiming to open on University Avenue at McGee. The owner is Berkeley resident Nicolas Rivard, according to a permit application posted on the city of Berkeley website. Rivard says in the application that “We will be serving Kava, tea, and kombucha in a relaxed, yet enticing, setting.” For those not in the know, kava is a Polynesian plant, the roots of which are “used to produce a drink with sedative and anesthetic properties,” says Wikipedia. The business is seeking a parking waiver for two spots, given its proximity to transit, bike-friendly features (vertical wall-mounted bike racks), and an employee bus pass program. Writes Rivard, “Although we anticipate this to be a wild success, being the first and only Kava bar location in the Bay Area, we will ensure that the impact on the convenience for the community will be kept to a minimum.” The business does not plan to serve food “or any coffee bean related products.” MeloMelo has asked for operating hours of noon to midnight seven days a week, has proposed seating for 27 in the 1,200-square-foot space, and expects to have three employees. According to a brief business profile on gust.com, Andrew Procyk is a co-owner, and Anneliese Valery is the manager. The trio says MeloMelo will “provide an alternative to coffee houses and alcohol bars. We aspire to nothing less than changing the way Americans work — and how they spend their leisure hours in more productive and healthy ways.” MeloMelo Kava Bar hopes to open at 1701 University Ave. in Berkeley. Update, Sept. 12: Learn more about MeloMelo on its website.Continue reading »

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West Berkeley Philz Coffee: Now officially open

West Berkeley Philz on Gilman Street. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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West Berkeley’s Gilman Street commercial corridor is getting busy, with Whole Foods Market set to open in November, and a new Philz Coffee outlet officially opening today, July 29.

Philz, at 1313 Ninth St., held a soft opening celebration Monday, and gave away free cookies and coffee to attendees from noon to 4 p.m. It’s the second Philz location in Berkeley, joining the Shattuck Avenue Philz in the Gourmet Ghetto, which opened in 2010.

Philz founder Phil Jaber was in attendance Monday, along with his son, Philz CEO Jacob Jaber, and many other members of the Philz team. Dozens of friends, supporters and other community members stopped by for a sip and a bite, and to check out the new shop throughout the afternoon. … Continue reading »

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West Berkeley Whole Foods to open Nov. 4

An architectural rendering for the West Berkeley Whole Foods. Image: Field Paoli
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Whole Foods Market has announced the opening date for its new West Berkeley location on Gilman Street.

The 47,800-square-foot complex is scheduled to open on Gilman at 10th Street on Nov. 4, the company said Tuesday.

It’s the second Whole Foods location in Berkeley, and the 41st in the region. The company’s other Berkeley store is at Telegraph and Ashby avenues.

Read more about the new Gilman shopping district on Berkeleyside.

In addition to the 31,000-square-foot grocery store, the complex is slated to include a 1,666-square foot coffee roastery and 2,000 square feet of retail offices on site, according to project documents submitted earlier this year.

The grocery store, at 1025 Gilman, is expected to bring 180 to 200 new jobs to the area, said Jen Monaco, store team leader. … Continue reading »

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Bites: Good Hop, Mr. Delivery, Bacano Bakery, more

The wall of beer at The Good Hop Bottle Shop. Photo: The Good Hop
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Openings, closings…

THE GOOD HOP BOTTLE SHOP  The beer renaissance continues apace with the opening of The Good Hop Bottle Shop at 2421 Telegraph Ave., at 24th Street. (As we reported in January, the all-things-beer shop had hoped to open in February in time for SF Beer Week, but eventually slung open its doors June 15.) The shop offers roughly 600 bottled and canned craft beers from around the world, and 16 taps, featuring primarily local and California brewers’ special beers, and seasonal beers. There’s an impressive “wall of beer” to peruse (pictured above), and you can take away your preferred brew or consume it on site. Owner Melissa Myers, who started working as a professional brewer 16 years ago, is planning monthly events featuring beer and cheese pairings, as well as Meet the Brewer nights. Connect with The Good Hop on Facebook for updates. … Continue reading »

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Bites: Westbrae Biergarten, The Cook and Her Farmer

Westbrae Biergarten, May 2014. Photo -Tracey Taylor
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Openings, closings…

WESTBRAE BIERGARTEN West Berkeley’s much-anticipated beer garden on the corner of Gilman and Curtis streets is set to have its official opening June 12, Joel Di-Giorgio, who’s helping launch the place, tells us. In the run up, you might find the gate to the outdoor eating and drinking space ajar — and, during this soft opening phase, you just may be able to slip in and enjoy food from anchor tenant Brazil Café, as well sipping a brew of course. Owners Linda and Carl Lasagna — whose family founded Westbrae Nursery next door to the lot and are behind the venture — want to make sure they iron out any wrinkles before the hordes descend. And descend they will: Local residents seem universally happy that the beer garden, modeled on the Hayes Valley Biergarten on Octavia Street in San Francisco, is coming to their neighborhood. “From my neighborhood conversations we predict the place will be mobbed,” said Steven Donaldson who lives nearby. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley rolling out electric vehicle charging stations

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Berkeley’s Whole Foods market unveiled two new, powerful charging stations for electric vehicles yesterday at its store at the intersection of Telegraph at Ashby. The move brings the total number of public stations in the city to four, and Berkeley is on track to gain at least a further seven stations in the not too distant future.

This will be welcome news to owners of Leafs, Volts and Teslas whose numbers are on the rise: the city has seen a 70% increase in electric vehicle registrations in the past six months, according to Sarah Moore, Assistant Planner in the city’s Office of Energy and Sustainable Development, who estimates there are around 350 electric vehicles currently registered to Berkeley residents and businesses.

The Whole Foods stations allow customers with electric cars to boost their power from zero to 80% in just 20-30 minutes if they choose their DC-Fast option.

Whole Foods is the first business to participate in a City of Berkeley pilot program to ease the permitting and installation of EV charging stations. … Continue reading »

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Farm Burger, Soccer Pro, Road Runner Sports to Berkeley

Farm Burger veggie
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A new shopping destination is emerging at the intersection of 10th and Gilman streets in West Berkeley. Three new businesses have just signed leases to move into the Gilman District, a commercial hub whose transition was kickstarted by Whole Foods’ decision to move into the area last year.

Soccer Pro and Road Runner Sports are both opening up in the complex formerly known as Gilman Village, and Jason Mann will open the first west coast outlet of Farm Burger, a farm-to-table restaurant that hopes to incorporate a boutique-style craft brewery. They will join Philz Coffee and Doughnut Dolly as new tenants who have already signed leases. … Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

1011 Gilman
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TERRANOVA BODY After operating in Berkeley for 43 years, TerraNova Body, a manufacturer of natural bath and body care products, is moving to Richmond on June 21. Its building at 1011 Gilman St. was sold and the new owner is tearing part of it down to make room for a parking lot for the new Whole Foods.

“I’m sad,” said Kathy Saunders, who runs the company with her sister, Ann Saunders Gordon. “I grew up here.”

Saunders said she thinks it is getting increasingly difficult for manufacturers to stay in Berkeley because rents are high and the city doesn’t seem to care if businesses like hers stay. “They have done nothing to motivate us to stay,” she said.

Dave Fogarty, who works in the city’s economic development program, said the office often works closely with businesses to help them relocate within the city limits. Saunders said she contacted the city a few years ago, but Fogarty said no-one in the office remembers working with her. … Continue reading »

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

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Openings, closings

SISTA SANDWICH New in town: start-up Sista Sandwich, which provides grab-and-go gourmet gluten free sandwiches in Berkeley. Laura Tucker, who founded the company with her sister Sharon Pearlstein, says Sista is one of the few companies to be filling this niche and, so far, business is good.  “Our 100% gluten free sandwiches are made in Oakland and sold in Berkeley,” she says. The idea for Sista Sandwich came in the fall of 2011 while the pair were sitting in a cafe discussing how they would love to start a food related business of their own. While at the cafe Laura, who had been on a gluten free diet for two years already, realized that there was nothing for her to eat, other than yogurt, chips and packs of nuts. The Sista Sandwiches can be found at Berkeley Bowl, in two cafés on the UC Berkeley campus, at the new Café La Renaissance (see below) as well as a couple of small Berkeley markets. … Continue reading »

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Whole Foods confirms rumors of new Berkeley store

Whole Foods telegrah
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Whole Foods has confirmed it will build a second Berkeley store at 10th and Gilman streets on the site currently occupied by Office Depot.

The grocery chain made the announcement after its earnings report today, confirming the news that Berkeleyside reported in November. The tentative opening date is fall 2014.

The store will be an estimated 30,500 square feet, and construction will begin late this year, once Office Depot relocates across the street.

Read more about the new Gilman shopping district on Berkeleyside.

Rob Twyman, president of Whole Foods Market’s Northern California and Reno region, estimates the new store will bring approximately 200 new jobs to Berkeley. … Continue reading »

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Plans to put a beehive in every Berkeley middle school

Bee hive1
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A new initiative, spearheaded by Berkeley’s Edible Schoolyard Project, aims to put beehives in the city’s three middle schools by next spring.

King Middle School’s one-acre garden, home to the Edible Schoolyard, has already jumped in having acquired a hive of Russian bees six weeks ago, under a program the organizers named Bee Experimental Education in Schools (BEES).

The idea, said Edible Schoolyard Director Kyle Cornforth, is to extend King’s existing hands-on gardening and cooking education to include learning about pollination. … Continue reading »

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Whole Foods likely to open second store in Berkeley

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Whole Foods looks set to open a second store in Berkeley after pulling out of negotiations to build a new store in Albany in September. The site would be at 1025 Gilman St., in the location currently occupied by Office Depot.

Read more about the new Gilman shopping district on Berkeleyside.

Office Depot is slated to move across the street to the Gilman District, which will give it about half the space of its current 30,000-square-foot store. “That’s as much space as it needs,” said Doug Wiele of retail developers Foothill Partners, who is about to close on buying both properties this week in partnership with Marin-based property management company The Pratt Company. … Continue reading »

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Officials push UC Berkeley mixed-use project forward

A drawing from an October 2011 University of California presentation on the mixed-use project designed for University Village; Monroe Street splits the project in two. The site is bordered by San Pablo Avenue to the east. Source: University of California, Berkeley
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Plans for a senior living complex, new retail shops and a grocery store in Cal’s University Village in Albany have cleared another hurdle despite a campaign by activists over the summer to stall the development.

The Albany City Council voted Monday night to rescind what some saw as a controversial contract between the city and the property owner, the University of California, rather than to delay further by putting project approval before the voters in a special election.

(Albany City Clerk Nicole Almaguer said an election could cost from about $52,000 to about $122,000, depending whether the city required polling stations or opted for mail-in ballots only.) … Continue reading »

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