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  • The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley this weekend

    JENNIFER KOH Violinist Jennifer Koh is no stranger to Berkeley, although Berkeley audiences may know her as Einstein, a role she undertook when she played in Einstein on the Beach at Cal Performances. This time she plays as herself — a powerful soloist — when she performs Sibelius’ Violin Concerto with the Berkeley Symphony tonight, Thursday Oct. 2, at 7 p.m. Also on the program are Elgar’s Enigma Variations and Oscar Bettison’s Sea Shaped in its world premiere. Tickets for the Zellerbach Hall show cost $15-$74. (more…)

  • Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

    BLUE NOTE MUSIC After 21 years of service, Blue Note Music, at 2556 Telegraph Ave., is closing down. The store specialized in high-quality new, used and vintage guitars and amplifiers. Workers at Blue Note were trained musicians dedicated to selling — and repairing — quality guitars at discounted prices. The store’s hours were reduced a while back and business has been slow, according to the owner. Employees will still work on an appointment-only basis from an unspecified location on Seventh Street. Tel. 510-644 2583 (Hat tip: Steve Taylor) (more…)

  • Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

    BELLHOPS Moving just got a little easier. In May, Bellhops set up operations in Berkeley. Using a business model akin to Uber or Lyft, the company hires local college students, or “bellhops,” to provide customers with moving help. The company started three years ago in Auburn, Alabama, and rapidly expanded to 145 cities across the country. Currently, around 80 UC Berkeley students are available for customers within 15 miles of campus, according to co-founder Matt Paterson. Operations are decentralized, and the company doesn’t own any trucks or garages, but its employees can rent moving vans if the customer requests it. As Patterson puts it, Bellhops is perfect for those who don’t need a professional service and instead could just use some helping hands. And the company recognizes that letting strangers handle your possessions can be nerve-racking, which is why it sends customers pictures and profiles of bellhops before they arrive. Trust and exceptional customer service are central to the company’s mission, said Patterson.  (more…)

  • Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

    LOOK OUT, AUSTIN  We brought you the news last week that a BBQ spot called Perdition Smokehouse would be taking over the space that was briefly Amadeus at 2050 University Ave. The Chronicle’s Inside Scoop reports that Chuck Stilphen, who runs The Trappist in Oakland, Ol Beercafé & Bottle Shop in Walnut Creek, and Mikkeller Bar in San Francisco, is behind the venture. With chef Michael O’Brien at the grill, the plan is to provide Texas-style barbeque. Stilphen, known for his craft beers, told Inside Scoop: “Our main goal there is to provide good barbeque. The beer just kind of goes with it.” Stilphen hopes Perdition can be open in June.  (more…)