New festival turns Center Street into ‘fun central’

Photo: Downtown Berkeley Association
The first Eats, Beats and Brews on Oct. 13, 2013. The festival will be coming back every Sunday this June. Photo: Downtown Berkeley Association

By Jasper Burget

Every Sunday this June, Center Street in downtown Berkeley will become the site of the new Eats, Beats & Brews block party. The restaurant-laden part of the street between Shattuck and Oxford will be closed to cars between noon and 6 p.m. on June 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29. There will be live music, an outdoor beer garden, and a bounty of delicious food offerings.

Eats, Beats & Brews was given a test run last year for one day, but this year it will run for five Sundays in June. The event is part of Sunday Streets Berkeley, which is itself part of a national movement to close down streets for events that benefit the community. 

Center Street at sunset, downtown Berkeley. Photo: Emilie Raguso
Center Street at sunset, downtown Berkeley. Photo: Emilie Raguso

Center Street’s “restaurant row” will offer special meals and bites specially made for the event, drawing from over 15 different international cuisines. Local street vendors and food trucks will provide even more international and locally-sourced food options. The outdoor beer garden will cover the entire block, and will feature Drake’s Brewing Company, a Bay Area favorite. There will be plenty of seating, no cars and great music, say the organizers.


“The Downtown Berkeley Association is producing this event for the Berkeley and Bay Area community to gather on a Sunday afternoon to eat, drink and listen to good local bands here in the heart of Berkeley,” said the association’s Shifra de Benedictis-Kessner.

The free outdoor concert line-up includes a diverse selection of local and internationally touring bands, and genres running the gamut from reggae, indie rock, neo-funk and salsa to folk. Here’s the schedule for the music:

June 1: Black Bones, Fito Reinoso and Su Ritmo y Armonia with DJ Antonio
June 8: Callaghan, Into The Pacific with DJ O Aces
June 15: The Blondies, Muir Valley Settlers — Justin Ancheta Band
June 22: Mojo Daisies, MAD NOISE with DJ O Aces
June 29 FINALE: Saving Cadence, The Boston Boys with DJ O Aces

Eats, Beats & Brews is close to the Downtown Berkeley BART station, and attendees are encouraged to take public transportation, walk or bike, though there are also parking lots and garages nearby. This is a free event open to the entire community. Berkeleyside is a media sponsor of Eats, Beats & Brews.

Related:
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Update: Rowdy high schoolers disrupt Berkeley downtown
Strawberry Creek honored, mourned in weekend ritual
Photos: Berkeley revels in car-free buzz of Sunday Streets

Jasper Burget, a senior at Head-Royce School, is currently interning at Berkeleyside. He will be attending Williams College this fall. 

To find out what is going on in Berkeley and nearby, visit Berkeleyside’s Events Calendar. We also encourage you to submit your own events.