Telegraph Ave. Ice Cream Wars
by Steed Dropout
Dec. 24, 2013
SQUISHY OPENING FOR LATEST ICE-CREAM CONTENDER
Rasputin music’s ice-cream opened squishy, Monday, with its chilly rival to Cream, an ice-cream avenue cult.
Soft openings usually are announced to precede a grand-opening. Rapsputin’s controversial ice-cream challenge to its across-the-street rival–in the midst of Telegraph’s holiday street fair–was more of a happening than an opening.
Rasputin sold its first Dream ice-cream sandwiched between two plump oatmeal cookies, Saturday, at 3 p.m., ending months of challenges from across the street.
Fifteen employees from both stores showed up March 22 at a city-council zoning hearing to support their employers. Calling Dream, a “predatory big (chain) businessman,” and themselves a mom and pop, Cream owners said the avenue was not big enough for ice-cream rivals.
Dream, cream argued, was encroaching its name and product and would block the Channing Way side walk.
Emotions at the hearing could have melted ice-cream.
Proclaiming that Berkeley hosts such name-alikes as Dryer’s and Brier’s (ice-creams), councilmen authorized an in-store Dream but killed Dream’s dream of a server-window–citing side walk blockage.
Photographs and daily monitoring, by this reporter, of Teley side-walks outside both stores reveal blocking infractions mostly at Cream (some now corrected).
Telegraph Avenue’s dozen ice-cream/yoghurt stops mean that ice-cream is never more than a few steps away.
If you know your scoops, you can get a generous mound for $1. Dream and Cream sandwiches are $2.
Meanwhile, coffee houses, once plentiful as ice-cream on the avenue, are rare. A planned night-club at Telegraph/Haste is progressing at a snail’s pace.
But, with a new pizza slice salon (near Teley) and another about to open, Telegraph is about to host yet another food war.
Telegraph pizza wars upcoming. Stay tuned.
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