TSUNAMI DOGS The food stand that sits at the entrance to a parking lot at 2109 Milvia St. is now occupied by Tsunami Dogs, an Asian-themed hot dog eatery with a very unique menu. On top of a beef, Polish, turkey, chicken apple, or vegetarian frank, lunch-goers can choose from a long list of toppings — many of which they won’t likely find anywhere else. Standard condiment options are included in the price of a hot dog, but for an extra charge, customers can add rainbow kale salad, roasted seaweed, Asian dried pork sung, cucumber kimchee, or one of their countless other add-ons. Gluten-free options are also available, along with tacos and quesadillas.
Jeremie Rivera, who staffs the hot dog stand, said the store’s “biggest attraction is that we are such a fun place. We’re not, like, a big chain.” Rivera said that owner Vicky Dam is a “hot dog enthusiast.” She opened Tsunami Dogs in April. The store opens at 7:30 a.m. to serve bagels and coffee, before opening up its hot dog menu at 11:30 a.m. It is closed on weekends.
Thurston said that besides having connections to the neighborhood and realtor through Jenkins’ hauling business, the Telegraph area is “a really great commuter corridor.” “It seems like it’s really coming out,” she said. “There’s Whole Foods up the street, we have this coffee shop on the corner.” She added that the nearby hospital might attract people who are interested in biking. “Cycling is one of the things people like to get into when they get injured doing something else, because it’s low-impact,” she said. The store, along with the moving business, is named after Thurston and Jenkins’ pet African Gray parrot, who will be in the shop most days to greet customers.
BITTERSWEET Bittersweet Café is opening its newest outpost at 2015 University Avenue by the middle of next week, according to co-owner Penelope Finnie. In addition to its signature hot chocolate and chocolate desserts, the café will serve sandwiches and salads. A little known secret about Bittersweet is that it makes all its own bread, yogurt, granola and pastries at its kitchen on Broadway in Oakland. The company also roasts its own coffee and has a bean to bar chocolate manufacturing facility. “We have always wanted to be in Berkeley,” said Finnie. Both she and her co-owner Diana MeckFessel live here. “It seemed like a perfect location with the rose garden in the back. So much is changing downtown so it will be fun to be a part of it.” The manager of the café managed the Magnolia Bakery in Los Angeles. Bittersweet is moving into the space once occupied by the New Amsterdam Café and right near Brasa, Chocolatier Blu and Slow.
TOGO’S The sandwich chain Togo’s is opening a new branch at 2172 Shattuck Ave. between Center Street and Allston Way, in the space where All Star Café was previously located. A sign on the door of the storefront says the business is looking to hire and will open in August.
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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-By Camille Baptista