An East Bay version of San Francisco’s famous Mediterranean sidewalk cafe Enrico’s was supposed to be the cornerstone eatery in Berkeley’s emerging downtown Arts District.
Instead, there is a new alliance between the players at Enrico’s and Berkeley’s own Cesar. They are collaborating to create a new restaurant at 2100 Shattuck, which, like Enrico’s, figures to feature Mediterranean cuisine
It will offer a “Parisian slant,” said Mark McLeod, co-founder of Enrico’s and a partner in the new restaurant, tentatively called “the 2100.” It’s planned to open by mid-November.
McLeod, Enrico’s head chef David Stevenson teamed up with Richard Mazzera, Dennis LaPayaude and Steven Singer of Cesar, when McLeod’s turned the lease over to the new partnership, formally called Restaurant Holdings Inc. in June. McLeod said he got involved in a number of business ventures and couldn’t take on any more, so he decided to sell the lease to the new partnership.
The “Parisian slant” will be more informal and “brassarie,” as opposed to “French high cuisine,” McCloud said.
“It will all be done very informally, like a big party,” he said. “It won’t be a classical French restaurant with hushed tones and formal service.”
Stevenson will oversee cuisine at the new establishment, but will continue to cook at Enrico’s.
“Dave and I will still be involved in Enrico’s,” McLeod said. “And they (Mazzera, LaPayaude and Singer) will still be involved at Cesar’s.”
The restaurant is planned to serve as a gateway to the city’s developing Arts District, which is currently in the works along Addison Street. The entire block will display art, from poetry underfoot on the sidewalk to visual art on the window’s of the Addison Street Garage. It will accompany the 600-plus seat expansion of the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, which will serve as the Arts District anchor.
McLeod said the new restaurant will be “moderately priced and serve a lot of different food.” A large bar and an indoor/outdoor patio seating for 40 will be nestled against the corner of Shattuck Avenue and Addison Street. But “you won’t be sitting on the sidewalk,” McLeod said. “You’re protected, but it feels like you’re outside.”
On the inside, there will be an area where a jazz band will play from 8 p.m. until midnight. Downstairs a 40-seat private dining room is planned, which will also serve as a conference room.