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Aug 26, 2006 08:19 PM

As of Saturday - Not Ici yet

Drove by today and they had a handwritten sign apoligizing for the CC Times article saying they would open this weekend.

It says they are waiting for final approval from the city of Berkeley after an inspection. It should be a few days until they open. Slip your business card under the door and they will call you about opening day.

Since I had scheduled today's brunch to be ice cream, I just drove over to Carvel and was quite happy. Skip the chocolate dip though. Not tasty at all ... the plain chocolate soft serve in a chocolate cone is the way to go.

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  1. Yeah, I tried to go on Thursday and was denied.
    I left a message on their phone machine (which had an outdated message that they would open "the beginning of August" but to be fair, they didn't say what year)

    7 Replies
    1. re: Chubby

      They put a big black "X" through the sign that said opening late August.

      This past year, waiting for a number of businesses to open, it seems getting that final approval is the bear and delays some businesses to the point that they never open or go under soon after opening because their businesses are tied up in months of paperwork. So I can have some sympathy for Ici. Given that, they have a website and it would have been nice if they kept people updated about the status on that.

      1. re: rworange

        Are these extreme admin delays happening everywhere or just Berkeley? I've heard about this affecting a few other places here...

        1. re: Agent 510

          Lots of places in the East Bay. A Kosher Market in Albany never made it open and it is supposed to be a mid-Eastern market ... but the paper is still in the windows.

          In Richmond Mr. PolloMex took a year to open and then folded soon after ... for that little business the delay was fatal ... not that they probably would have folded eventually, but the capital just ran out.

          El Sobrante has a few restaurants that seem to be on permament hold. It was really interesting talking to one of the Richmond restuarants about the permit process. Unless you know the ropes, it can be a long and painful process.

          1. re: rworange

            off the main topic.. but isn't EPL still there on San Pablo Ave?

            1. re: rworange

              Yeah, those health and building codes can be a nightmare. Happens everywhere. One advantage chains have is that the out-of-the-box design takes all the standard requirements into account.

              Each city has its own nuances, though. Alameda, for example, made a Lyon's reorient the building because the dining area windows faced the parking lot and mall instead of the beach on the other side.

              Both Berkeley and Alameda have reputations for having permit/inspection departments that are difficult to deal with.

              1. re: rworange

                To kc72 ...

                Made a mistake and corrected it. Yes, EPL is still there. I meant Mr. PolloMex ... RIP ... I still mourn.

              2. re: Agent 510

                Health code regulations are complicated. People often build out a business, install the equipment, get an inspection, and only then learn that say a freezer has to be eight inches off the ground or something odd like that.

                Sometimes delays have nothing to do with regulations. Say the contractor makes a mistake and a crucial piece of equipment won't fit where it needs to go.