Here's a copy of a "Press Release" I sent earlier this afternoon to three local players. Maybe some of my on or two hundred loyal readers know somebody who knows somebody who can help stop the further yuppification of North Berkeley. I see it as a plucky immigrants versus rapacious developers story, but maybe that's just me.
For nearly 30 years, seven days a week, Kim Phuong and his wife, My Chan, have operated Vegi Food (2085 Vine St., 510-548-5244), a tiny, unpretentious restaurant, on the fringe of Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto. They both cook; she waits tables. Their inexpensive, high quality food, the attention they pay each dish, and My’s memory for each customer’s preferences and needs have won them the respect and affection of three generations. Their effort has put four children, all of whom worked in the restaurant, through college. And in 2010, it was rewarded when a San Francisco Chronicle Readers’ Poll voted theirs Best Chinese Vegetarian Restaurant in the Bay Area. People who long ago left Berkeley make sure to dine at Vegi Food when they visit.
Now the building’s owners, who live in Hong Kong, have sold it. The new owner wants Vegi Food, which has no lease, out so he can replace it with a trendier, more upscale restaurant. Kim and My have invested significant sums in maintaining and upgrading the premises. They lack the resources to open a new business elsewhere. Their request for an accommodation to allow them to stay at their current location has been rejected.
Now we hope the press will call attention to their plight and lead to a happier result. North Berkeley needs places like Vine Street Vegi..
Causes Bob Levin Supports
Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, ACLU, PEN, Berkeley Emergency Food & Housing Project.