Amanda West opened Amanda's Fresh two years ago to serve healthy fast food.

Amanda’s Feel Good Fresh Food, one of the symbols of new life and dynamism in Downtown Berkeley, is to close on December 31. Amanda’s opened two-and-a-half years ago at 2122 Shattuck and won praise for bringing a healthy approach to fast food. Earlier this year, Amanda West, the eponymous founder, was named woman entrepreneur of the year for her achievements. Last month, the design of the restaurant won a local design award.

But the acclaim seems to have been a feeble defense against a punishing economic climate.

“We’ve been in negotiations with our landlord, but we weren’t able to get to a number that made sense,” West told Berkeleyside. “This isn’t the end of Amanda’s, just the end of us in this particular location.”

Amanda’s will be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas, but other than that plans to use its final week as a “celebration”, with the regular opening hours of 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. West said that since opening, the restaurant had diverted over 125,000 gallons of refuse from landfill to compost and had, by her calculations, saved customers over 10,000 pounds worth of calories compared to regular fast food alternatives.

West said that she was looking at a number of new locations, but her priority now is an orderly closing of the Shattuck restaurant. Since launch, she has been interested in using the Berkeley location as a model to build a chain of restaurants.

“We’d love to stick around Berkeley,” West said. “The community here has been very supportive.”

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Lance Knobel (Berkeleyside co-founder) has been a journalist for nearly 40 years. Much of his career was in business journalism. He was editor-in-chief of both Management Today, the leading business magazine...