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Two New Coffee Spots May Be Coming To Solano Avenue

Tuesday night, the Planning & Zoning Commission approved permits related to two new coffee-related shops on Solano Avenue.

Caffeine fans, take note: Two new coffee businesses could be destined for the avenue in the coming months.

Fans of Local 123, a Berkeley coffee shop just south of Albany on San Pablo Avenue, will be pleased to hear that an Airstream trailer run by Local 123's owner won approval Tuesday night to be parked permanently at . 

Customers can expect to find locally made pastries and coffee, with more items possibly available in the future. There will be limited on-site seating, and all items will be served to go. Proposed hours are 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends. 

Local 123 owner Frieda Hoffman, 32, said exactly when the Airstream opens will depend largely on the Alameda County health department. 

Tuesday night, planning commissioners granted a conditional use permit to allow the truck to park permanently at Flowerland. (.)

But the health department will be responsible for somewhat more complicated decisions, which include a county inspection to allow the trailer to become a permanently parked mobile food unit, as well as approval for Flowerland to be classified as a commissary, said Hoffman. 

She said the process could take from four to 12 weeks. 

If approved, the Local 123 Airstream will join Albany favorite on the 1300 block of Solano Avenue. 

Cafeina owner Maria Myers, speaking to the commission Tuesday, described the block as "a residential sleepy area but never truly thriving." She said she hoped the area could support both businesses, which have a similar approach to high-quality locally-made, sustainable goods.

Several others, who live or work nearby, said they thought Local 123 would be a great addition to the neighborhood, adding variety and also making the area more of a destination, which likely would increase customers for everyone. 

"I don't think direct competition is going to be a detrimental thing," Albany resident Megan Beyon told commissioners. "I use , , the , all of them... I think lots of times that can bring more business to the block."

SUZETTE CREPE & COFFEE SHOP, JUST DOWN THE WAY

A take-out cafe offering crepes and coffee also won approval, for 1226 Solano, on Tuesday. 

City code would have required the business to have four parking spots. City staff determined that there was enough parking available within a 500-foot radius to allow the commission to waive the requirement.

Suzette Crepe & Coffee will take the place of a former yoga studio, and owners said they plan to be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week. 

During public comment on the matter, nearby business owner David Krebs, of , shared photographs of the limited parking on the block, and asked the commission to consider adding several 20-minute spots to help shoppers make quick purchases. 

Planning commissioners asked staff to follow up with members of the Traffic & Safety Commission to investigate adding 20-minute spots nearby. 

Interested in stories related to Solano Avenue? Click the "Keep me posted" button below. Read more about the avenue here.

If there's something in this article you think , or if something else is amiss, call editor Emilie Raguso at 510-459-8325 or email her at albany@patch.com.

Janet Delaney March 16, 2012 at 01:05 AM
Local 123 is just south of University Avenue at 2049 San Pablo Ave. in Berkeley
JW March 16, 2012 at 01:47 AM
I went to Local 123 once, soon after they opened. They had very small pastries for rather high prices. Perhaps now that they have their groove going with a second location, they will be a little more generous and offer more for the buck.
Dover March 17, 2012 at 01:29 AM
I think the take-out crepe shop is a brilliant idea and if they have their act together at lunchtime, they will really benefit from the Albany High student rush.

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