CASHIERS NO MORE Laz Parking, which operates Berkeley’s three parking facilities, is installing prepay ticket machines in all of its garages, which should help eliminate that long backup of cars waiting to get out of the Center Street garage after a play or concert. Patrons can also just use a credit card to get in and out, said Farid Javandel, manager of the City of Berkeley’s Transportation Division. Laz Parking will install the first machines March 12 on Center Street (and permanently open the second exit as well), and in the Oxford and Telegraph/Channing garages soon after. New lights, signs, and paint are on the way, too. There will no longer be any cashiers in the garages, but there will be security patrols and customer assistants, said Javandel.
WHITE OR DARK? Chicken is central to the menu at Brasa: A Peruvian Joint, at 1960 University Avenue. As tipped in December, Chris and Veronica Laramie shuttered eVe, their “artisanal American” restaurant to start a place that draws on Veronica’s Peruvian roots. Customers can buy a whole, half, or quarter of a rotisserie chicken, and order sweet potato fries, Caesar salad, or rice as sides. Other items include salchipapas, a combination of pan-fried sausage, French fries and different sauces, and sandwiches and rice bowls. Brasa is open for lunch and dinner
GRACE, NOT STRENGTH After a nine-year sojourn in Richmond, Aikido of Berkeley (which first opened here in 1990) returned to town in January. The owner, Kayla Feder (Sensei), who began Aikido at age 9 and has trained and taught in Japan, Europe and the U.S., has designed her dojo to look like a Japanese temple. Feder says that in two months the new studio at 1514 University Avenue has already grown and flourished. “The students love the new location and space with its sprung floor!”
POPPING THE CORK The proper way to store Donkey & Goat’s new sparkling wine is upside down. And don’t be put off by the sediment. Oh, and be sure to open it underwater. That unusual approach to wine might scare off some winemakers, but not Tracey and Jared Brandt, the owners of Donkey & Goat. Many of their highly regarded wines contain grapes the casual Cabernet lover has never tried, including Cinsault and Counoise. This natural sparkling wine, a Petillant, or Pet’Nat for short, is named Lily’s Cuvée after the Brandts’ youngest daughter. It is made from Chardonnay grapes and is only available at the Donkey & Goat tasting room at 1340 Fifth Street. Their oldest daughter, Isabel, has drawn a helpful set of instructions on how to open the bottle upside down and underwater. There’s a video, too.
Shop Talk is our regular column in which we post updates on Berkeley businesses — openings, closings, new directions, relaunches, relocations. 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 here.
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