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Jan 3, 2001 05:15 PM

Where's Bernie??? (late/great Mex stand in Emeryville Market)

  • j

Speaking of the Emeryville Public Marketplace, it's time for me to restate a quest I've been on for a decade.

I was in the very first jazz group to play at Kimball's East in Emeryville. Right next door was a huge public market (perhaps the one being discussed in another thread right now...I'm not sure). It was a wonderful market, lots of different cuisines and hard-to-find imported food goods, but the best thing was Bernie.

Bernie was a middle-aged intellectual Mexican dude who ran a Mexican taqueria in the middle of the market. He spoke unaccented English and was such a jazz fan that he recognized, on sight, half the members of our band when they strolled through the market. He was an extremely cool guy, and his food was KILLING. He took great pride in his cooking...used to come over to me with an angry look on his face, waving chunks of meat at me and demanding "Try this! TRY this!!!" (I was always very very glad I did). I learned a lot about Mexican food from Bernie. I remember his saying that he had several other locations around the Bay area, but remember no details.

The operation closed quite a while ago. I lost track of Bernie, he evaporated like a dream. Somebody out there must have memories of this place, and maybe can connect us with where Bernie's currently working....?

Come to think of it, the best way to track him might be via the management of Kimball's East. Bernie was such a huge jazzbo that they must have known him. Maybe I'll send them a fax (are they even still in biz?)


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  1. m
    Melanie Wong

    I knew that any mention of Emeryville would draw this story out of you (which you tell here better than the verbal version). Yes, this is the marketplace next to Kimball's East and the jazz club is still in business.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Melanie Wong

      So what's the name of the jazz place? I'm going to be visitng the east bay in the next couple of weeks. Is this the kind of place where one could have dinner at the marketplace and then go next door for good music?

      1. re: notcindyanymore

        It's a fancy, expensive, large club featuring big-name talent (I don't have a big name, by the way...I just coasted in with someone who does!). If that's the sort of thing you're into, and someone you like's playing there (call (510) 658-2555 for the roster), go fer it. Good sounds system, good sight lines.

        As for dining in the market, check out the parallel thread for what's going on in there these days. I haven't been there for about 11 years. And, once again, Bernie's gone. Alas.


        1. re: notcindyanymore
          Melanie Wong

          Yes, you can have dinner at the marketplace, then walk across the parking lot to Kimballs East.

          The Marketplace is a collection of food stalls with shared tables. Many offer combination plates for about $6. Good for a quick and inexpensive meal, it will be hard to spend more than $10 per person here.