Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Remedy Coffee is Closed

By Luke Tsai
Tue, Jul 17, 2012 at 8:00 AM

Sad news out of Temescal, as Remedy Coffee’s last day of business was this past Friday, and it still isn’t clear what happened. Less than one week prior, someone at Remedy was still posting updates to the cafe’s Facebook page and Twitter feed. Then, suddenly there was a video of baristas toasting the coffee shop goodbye (“Das it!”) and — just like that — the windows were papered over and the website was dead.

I'd featured Remedy in a story on East Bay coffee shops that I wrote a couple of years ago, just as the so-called “third wave” coffee trend was really taking hold in the Bay Area. At that point, Todd Spitzer, the owner, was selling Ritual Roasters drip coffee and espresso drinks from a sidewalk cart while he completed the build-out of the cafe.

Remedy Coffee, back when it was just a sidewalk cart.
  • Luke Tsai
  • Remedy Coffee, back when it was just a sidewalk cart.
Once the coffee shop opened, it quickly became one of the area’s more popular spots to hang out and get a solid cup of coffee, with or without laptop in tow. I always found the cappuccinos to be reliably great, and the place usually seemed packed — so news of the sudden closure came as a big surprise.

Meanwhile, over the weekend Josh Levine, owner of Pepples Donuts, put up an Instagram photo of the shuttered shop, with the caption, “Watch for our new location in the Temescal district coming very soon! Jk.”

Apparently, lots of people didn’t pick up on the “jk” (it was kind of a weird joke), so the rumor gained a little bit of traction online. But I called Levine, and he confirmed that no, he isn’t planning on moving his donut shop to Temescal.

Whatever the fate of 4316 Telegraph Avenue will be in the months to come, at this point I’m much more curious to find out what — if anything — beyond the usual challenges of keeping a small business afloat happened to cause Remedy to shut its doors. As of this posting I haven’t been able to touch base with Spitzer, so stay tuned for further updates.

Got tips or suggestions? Email me at Luke (dot) Tsai (at) EastBayExpress (dot) com. Otherwise, keep in touch by following me on Twitter @theluketsai, or simply by posting a comment. I'll read ‘em all.

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