Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Alert Bay Area folks: Café de la Paz is closing

We interrupt this alleged blog break with a communiqué especially for Bay Area people and their friends.

Click to enlarge.

One of my favorite neighborhood restaurants is closing. Alas. I have had many fine meals there with good friends, and I know the owner. See below. And go there before the finale if you can. Also note the sale and the catering business. And the employee transition fund.

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Café de la Paz
P.O. Box 9144 Berkeley, CA 94709
FAX 510/843-0669

Dear Friends and Cutomers,

Sadly, after 15 years of operation in North Berkeley, Café de la Paz and Country Joe's Café & Music Hall are closing their doors. The recession turned the Café's moderately profitable business into one with unsustainable losses. We simply ran out of money and we're having difficulty refinancing. Given the dour projections for the economy in the coming year, there didn't seem to be any real alternative but to say farewell to our location at Cedar and Shattuck in North Berkeley.

There have been many joyful and memorable occasions and moments at Café de la Paz over the years. I thank everyone who has been part of that for their support. We will be continuing our catering business and perhaps the spirit that has animated the Café will re-surface in the another form and location in the time to come.

January 4 will be our final day of operation. We hope you will make it in to enjoy your favorite dishes once or twice more before we close. If you will pay with cash or personal check it will help. We will be open every night for dinner through January 4 and also for weekend brunch/lunch December 27, 28 & January 3, 4. There will be no more weekday breakfast and lunch except by reservation.

New Year's Eve Celebration. Come Ring in the New Year, next Wednesday evening, December 31, with music, dancing, poetry, great Cafe food and a festive countdown to midnight and then celebrate Country Joe McDonald's 67th Birthday (January 1) with cake. Country Joe will also be one of the featured performers (please see attachment).

Country Joe McDonald's Tribute to Woody Guthrie, Saturday, January 3, at 7:30 PM. Joe McDonald has kindly agreed to give a final, benefit performance of This Land is Our Land in support of the Cafe's Employee Transition Fund. Joe premiered this one man show of stories and songs at Café de la Paz in January of 2007 and has since gone on to perform it around the country to much critical acclaim. Tickets for concert style seating are $25 ($35 for front rows). Dinner reservations at 6 or 6:15 PM, before the show, are encouraged.

Open House, Goodby Party, and Garage Sale, January 4th, 12 Noon to 5 PM. On our final day of operation, in addition to regular Café dining upstairs, we are going to have a Farewell Party in the Fiesta room and Bar featuring:
· Free live music.
· An Everything Still in Stock Buffet including many Café favorites for the bargain price of $10 per guest
· à la carte Sangria, Wines, Margaritas and Mojitos
· A fabulous Garage sale of most everything still in the Café.

We have lots of things to sell. You can buy everything from Huichol yarn art to Fiesta Ware, tables and chairs, an espresso machine, remaining wine inventory, etc. If you would like a list, please send your request by reply email. If you have interest in the Huichol yarn art particularly, you don't have to wait. Everything we don't need to serve or sit on is for sale now.

We are going to publish a Café Recipe Booklet. Several people have asked for various signature Café recipes. A publisher friend has offered to help us produce a recipe booklet of the Café's favorite dishes, salsas and desserts, which we are using to help us raise money for a Transition Fund to pay some severance benefits to our staff during this difficult transition. We are therefore asking our friends to make a donation of $25 to $100 to provide a fund for helping all the Café's staff. You can mail a check (made payable to Café de la Paz, write "Transition Fund" in the memo space) or make donation by cash or check when you come to dine. We cannot accept credit cards for this.

It has been our profound privilege to serve North Berkeley and the East Bay progressive community for the past 15 years. This is a very special place on the planet and it has been great to be part of the fabric of its everyday life. I thank you for your patronage over the years and for many cherished memories.

If you'd like to talk about dates and locations for a catered event or any aspect of this transition, please give me a call: 510 843 0662.

Best wishes,

Russell Bass

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