Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

ShareTea
ShareTea, a bubble tea specialist, opened at 2440 Bancroft Way on Saturday April 19,2014. Photo: Ted Friedman

SHARETEA Taiwanese bubble milk tea chain ShareTea opened at 2440 Bancroft Way (between Telegraph and Dana) over the weekend and the “buy one get one free” offer had people lining up out the door. ShareTea was founded in 1992 with its first store in Taipei City, and has expanded globally since then. It offers a variety of iced and blended teas, fruit and milk teas, as well as a few hot brews.

Hoi PolloiHOI POLLOI BREWPUB The Hoi Polloi Brewpub & Beat Lounge is getting closer to opening at 1763 Alcatraz Ave. (at Adeline, next door to Easy Creole restaurant). We first told you about this nano-brewery in March last year. Founder Viet Vu envisions the place to be “a neighborhood gathering space where everyone can enjoy craft beer and good beats.” That means a soundtrack that will run the gamut from underground hip hop to indie rock, he said. The space, with room for 30-40 people, will feature a bar and a few tables, with brew kettles and fermentation tanks in the back. The build-out of the space is proceeding well. Follow Hoi Polloi on Facebook during the countdown to opening.

Screen shot 2014-04-22 at 11.12.07 AMTHE MONKEY HOUSE Last time we wrote about The Monkey House, in July 2012, shortly after it had opened, it was something of a clandestine operation. Now the music and entertainment venue, founded by musician Ira Marlowe, has a storefront presence on University Avenue and a calendar of events. Tomorrow night, for instance, is a a ‘Masters of the Acoustic Guitar’ concert with Teja Gerkin, Pete Madsen, and Steve Baughman. As the location is a private residence, tickets need to be reserved via email (when you will be told the street number), and the venue doesn’t sell alcohol — though you are welcome to bring your own. Marlowe describes the place as “a cozy East Bay home for songwriters, comedians, storytellers, and other thoughtful and entertaining performers,” with great acoustics. Connect with the Monkey House online.

Shop Talk is our regular column in which we post updates on Berkeley businesses. If you’re a Berkeley business with news, or a Berkeleysider who has spotted a change in your neighborhood or on your travels, shoot us an email with the details. Read previous Shop Talk columns, and check out Bites for the latest East Bay restaurant news.