Artis Sici
Artis Coffee Roasters opens Saturday Dec. 7 on Fourth Street (at Virginia) in Berkeley. Photo: Siciliana Trevino

Openings, closings…

ARTIS COFFEE ROASTERS Artis Coffee Roasters, a new coffee shop (pictured top), which also sells coffee beans roasted to order, opens tomorrow, Saturday Dec. 7 at 1717B Fourth St. in Berkeley. The clean, modern space, designed by Berkeley architects Kahn Associates, encompasses a counter, fronted by bins of fresh green coffee beans, a seating area, and walls of shelves with all manner of coffee accoutrements for sale — from gleaming espresso machines to French presses and measuring spoons. What makes the place different from, say, Peet’s down the street, is that customers can have their beans roasted for them in one of Artis’ Roast Master machines. Roasting takes about six minutes, according to co-founder James Gutierrez, and, with guidance from the barristas, he said, customers can achieve their perfect roast over time. The three founders conceived of the idea for the shop in business school in Boston where they won a business competition for the plan. That gave them the seed money to launch Artis (Latin for “craft”), and they chose Berkeley, Gutierrez said, because they recognized Berkeleyans’ appreciation for local, handmade products. The partners want their first store to become part of the neighborhood and community before they think about possibly scaling to other cities like San Francisco, Gutierrez said.


DOUGHNUT DOLLY Hannah Hoffman, owner of the popular Doughnut Dolly in Oakland’s Temescal Alley, has signed a lease to open a new store in the emerging Gilman District project at 10th and Gilman in West Berkeley. Hoffman will move all her production into the new space, according to Matt Holmes from Retail West who is developing the site. Doughnut Dolly doughnuts are all hand-rolled and filled to order. The sweet treat spot will join Philz Coffee who are also opening a new Berkeley store there, as well as several other yet-to-be announced merchants. The retail complex also houses Office Depot which moved there so that Whole Foods could take over its former site one block east on 10th St. Construction on the new Whole Foods, Berkeley’s second, is expected to be completed by this time next year.


BLEECKER STREET BISTRO Bleecker Street Bistro has now opened in the former Ann’s Soup Kitchen & Restaurant space at 2498 Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley. (Councilman Kriss Worthington cut the ribbon at its grand opening, pictured right.) Chef/owner Jason Kwon, who also helms Joshu-ya Brasserie around the corner, is offering a menu of classic American comfort food in a counter-service format. On the menu: buttermilk fried chicken, country-style meatloaf sandwich, oversized breakfast burritos, gourmet burgers, and beer battered fish tacos. Plans are under way to eventually offer beer and wine and a program of live music and DJ entertainment. 10% percent of all the bistro’s proceeds are donated to provide support to orphanages via Build Hope International. Bleecker Street Bistro is at 2498 Telegraph Ave. on the corner of Dwight Way. Tel: 510 548 8885.

SOUTH BERKELEY PRODUCE AND MEAT As reported on Shop Talk earlier this week, Nagi Homran has just opened a new grocery and meat store at 3120 Sacramento St. (at 67th). The shop specializes in Middle Eastern foods, including Halal meats. Homran said it’s his first store in Berkeley and he chose the location as he lives in the neighborhood. The shop has two storefronts, so there is a lot of space for the well-stocked shelves. Opening hours are 8 a.m to 8 p.m. Tel: 510-705-1733.

DREXEL A new bar is set to open in Uptown Oakland in February called Drexel, according to Tablehopper. Demetrius “Deech” Chapin-Rienzo, a partner in Vintage 415, is behind the new venture, along with his friend Adi Taylor. The pair met back when they were both at Berkeley High. Sam Strand, who did of the design work at nearby Duende, is working on the 1,500 sq ft high-ceilinged space. Drexel will be at 382 19th St. at Franklin, not far from the Fox Theater.

What else is going on…


NORA SPANISH CUISINE LA PEÑA POPUP  Mobile catering company Nora Spanish Cuisine is holding a popup restaurant at  La Peña Cultural Center  (3105 Shattuck Ave. Berkeley) on Saturday, Dec. 7. Dinner seating is available between 5:30-9pm and the menu includes Piquillos Rellenos (Piquillo peppers filled with fresh dungeness crab, organic greens, citrus vinaigrette), Paella, Spanish cheeses, including Manchego, Mahón curado, Truffle Tremor, local honey, membrillo, and Churros with  chocolate. After dinner stay to enjoy Zambomba Gitana, a traditional flamenco holiday celebration.

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TAKE FIVE CAFÉ GRAND OPENING Take Five Café, which opened a few weeks ago at 3130 Sacramento St. (at Woolsey), will have its official grand opening on Saturday Dec. 7 at 11am. There’ll be live music by Berkeley’s Alice Gair, free cold brew Bicycle Coffee, free samples from Del Monte Meat Company, Framani Handcrafted Foods, Ultimate Cookies, and Semifreddi’s. The café is owned by partners Glynis Fairley and Karen Rosen. Berkeley councilman Darryl Moore will officiate at the ribbon cutting. All are welcome.


THE COMET FROM DASHE CELLARS Chabot Space & Science Center has collaborated with Dashe Cellars to produce a limited-edition Zinfandel called The Comet. The wine, made from 50-year-old vines located in Geyserville, was conceived to benefit Chabot, with 10% of the proceeds from The Comet sales going to education programs there. The Comet commemorates the passage of Comet ISON, whose daredevil trip around the sun took place just a few days ago on Thanksgivukkah. Since the early 1800s, certain exceptional wines made in a year of a comet are called Comet Wines. It’s 80% Zin and 20% Petite Sirah and retails at $35.00 a bottle. Details at Dashe Cellars.

Recent Nosh stories (in case you missed them):

Egg nog cream pie for a scrumptious season
Contest: Name that nosh!
All systems go for West Berkeley biergarten
Organic Greek restaurant Pathos opens in Berkeley
Holiday turkey: Chop it up before cooking it, it tastes better!
Caravaggio: Italian gelato spot opens in Berkeley

Bites is Nosh’s round-up of restaurant openings, happenings and closings in the East Bay. Got a tip or scoop? Send it our way to Catch up with previous Bites columns.

Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...