A new restaurant called The Northside Café has opened on the corner of Hearst and Euclid in the newly renovated B. Schapiro building.

Vinnie’s Cheesesteaks is right next door.

So far, most of the reviews on Yelp have been good.

The Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association recently gave the building an award, and provided this bit of history:

“The one-block Northgate commercial district on Euclid Avenue was built in the 1920s, following the big Berkeley Fire. In 1926, developer B. Schapiro constructed a one-story, seven-store building at the corner of Euclid and Hearst Avenues. In the 1930s, the building passed into the hands of the Grodin family, who held onto it for more than seventy years. Over the decades, some of the more memorable tenants here included the Euclid Avenue Pharmacy (later Reid’s), Euclid Book Company, Colonial Donuts, Rather Ripped Records, and Northside Books.

With the passage of time, the storefronts became increasingly derelict, developing a mishmash of different façades—all ugly and blighted with graffiti. The sad state of neglect cast a pall on the entire commercial block. Neighbors despaired of ever seeing a change for the better.

Enter North Gate Partners, LLC, who acquired the property, now comprising two buildings, in October 2008. Led by John Gordon, they had the vision to renovate and re-tenant their acquisition while retaining its original dimensions and historic features. The renovated storefronts preserve or replicate the charming clerestory windows and have been enhanced with a rich palette of colors in a design that brings out the architectural details. New store windows, glazed wooden doors, and attractive tile panels unify the façade and convey an image of quality.”

Frances Dinkelspiel, Berkeleyside and CItyside co-founder, is a journalist and author. Her first book, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman...