North Shattuck “Gourmet Ghetto” Chronology

Illustration “Berkeley Cuisine,” by Madeline Rohner (painted for the Berkeley Historical Society, 2020).
Exhibit Intro and Contents

1959 Shattuck Ave. Co-op grocery opens.

1966 Alfred Peet opens Peet’s Coffee, Tea and Spices at Walnut and Vine and launches a new American coffee culture.

1967 Sahag and Elizabeth Avedisian, formerly kibbutz members in Israel, open the Cheese Board in a small space on Vine near Peet’s.

1971 Alice Waters opens Chez Panisse. First chefs are Paul Aratow and Victoria Kroyer (Wise), with Lindsey Shere for desserts. • The Cheese Board becomes an employee-owned collective.

1972 Jeremiah Tower is hired as a chef at Chez Panisse. • David Lance Goines posters begin drawing attention to Chez Panisse and the neighborhood.

1973 Victoria Wise (formerly of Chez Panisse) opens Pig by the Tail charcuterie on Shattuck next to future Cheese Board home.

1975 Poulet opens. Sausage maker Bruce Aidells begins working there and eventually establishes his own business. • The Cheese Board Collective moves from Vine to Shattuck.

Chez Panisse presents Northern California Regional Dinner, often credited as birth of “California cuisine.”• Juice Bar Collective opens in former Cheese Board space on Vine. • Alice Medrich opens Cocolat on Shattuck north of Vine.

Late 1970s Cheese Board staffer and actor Darryl Henriques coins the name “Gourmet Ghetto” and journalist Alice Kahn popularizes it. • Eric Sartenaer and Bob Waks start baking bread at Cheese Board and volunteering at Chez Panisse.

1998 Richard Mazzera (formerly of Chez Panisse) opens César tapas restaurant.

2004 Epicurious Garden opens in former Dale Sanford TV store.

2008 Wendy Brucker and Roscoe Skipper open Corso restaurant.

2011 Aaron and Monica Rocchino open The Local Butcher Shop.

2016 Sicilian restaurant Agrodolce opens in former location of vegan Café Gratitude.

Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters owner Nick Cho, new to the neighborhood, objects to “Gourmet Ghetto” name. Alice Waters shares his criticism, and North Shattuck Association stops using the term and takes down the Gourmet Ghetto banners.1 

2020 COVID-19 pandemic is hard on food establishments. Berkeley restaurants offer takeout, then some have outdoor dining and, in November, limited indoor dining. Chez Panisse sues insurance carrier for denying business interruption claim. Corso closes.

Illustration depicting the front of The Cheeseboard

[1] See Berkeleyside, Aug. 22 2019; Sept. 11, 2019; Sept. 17, 2019; Sept. 26, 2019; Oct. 15, 2019; Oct. 25, 2019.

By Ann Harlow and Chuck Wollenberg

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