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ZAB Eases Liquor Restrictions at Two Venues: By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

Tuesday October 19, 2004

Zoning Adjustments Board members voted Thursday to allow an upscale Shattuck Avenue pasta eatery to sell take-out vino along with their penne and linguini. 

Neighbors turned out to support Carole and Eric Sartenaer, the owners of Phoenix Pastificio at 1786-1788 Shattuck Ave., and plead with the board to grant the extension.  

The vote was one of two actions the board took loosening restrictions on liquor sales. 

The board also voted to extend the on-site liquor sales hours at Kip’s, a popular bar at 2439 Durant Ave. frequented by UC Berkeley students. 

Phoenix Pastificio’s bill of fare drew rave reviews from neighbors who often buy takeout meals to eat at home and yearned for a chance to bring home an offering from the restaurant’s wine list to compliment the gustatory treats. 

ZAB members were reluctant to allow the restaurant to advertise or display the beer and wines so they would be visible from the street, and the Sartenaers agreed. 

The board also mandated that alcohol sales must be accompanied by a food purchase. 

Member David Blake worried that allowing takeout sales would set a precedent for other Berkeley restaurants. “We’d be creating a new use,” he said. 

Colleague Deborah Matthews countered that ZAB can regulate each use at each establishment. 

New member Tim Perry pointed out that at least two delicatessens offer wine and beer on display. 

Only Blake and Carrie Sprague opposed the plan. 

Representing Kip’s owner Calvin Wong, Oakland attorney Rena Rickles assembled a sizable complement of Cal students to sing the praises of her client’s establishment—including Jesse Arreguin, a candidate for the city’s Rent Control Board.  

Unlike other taverns near the campus, Kip’s had to sound “last call” before 1 a.m. rather than the usual 2 a.m. allowed at most other watering holes. 

The 1 a.m. closing time had been decreed decades ago, then ignored by all the previous owners who had kept open until 2 a.m. The Wongs adopted the same hours when they bought the tavern four years ago, and continued to do so until May 2003, when the owner of another area bar alerted city officials to the original use permit and the city ordered compliance. 

Since the new closing hours were enforced, revenues have dropped 40 percent and three employees have been laid off, said a representative of the owners. 

“Kip’s is only asking you to legalize what Kip’s has been doing for 40 years,” Rickles said. 

Arreguin, the first of the students to speak for the owners, said that the extended hours would serve as a deterrent to crimes against women and as an opportunity for students to socialize. 

Precisely how sales of more alcohol would prevent abuse of women wasn’t clear, considering that alcohol is cited as a factor in many assaults, rapes and sexual batteries. 

Also testifying for the additional hour was Elizabeth Hall, ASUC Vice President for External Affairs. 

Rickles also sought and won permission for the establishment to serve alcohol to customers at weekend brunch between the hours of 9 and 11 a.m. 

The Berkeley Police Department had opposed both proposals. ›