Beta Lounge, Berkeley
This place opened about 2 months ago. It was my first visit. I liked the vibe a lot. It is a place for a glass of wine, a beer, a snack, a late night snack, a light dinner, a bottle of wine, etc etc. They have a small but decent sake selection.
They have about 15 bottles of wine to choose from - a simple but decent list, everything is $8 glass/$30 bottle. Glasses are $5 daily 4-7pm. Wednesdays all wine is $20/bottle.
The food menu is simple - sandwiches, salads, hummus, pizza. We tried the hummus plate, which was fine.
They are open until 2 on the weekends (I asked, and food is served until 1-something) so it seems like a place I'd definitely go for a light something and a glass of wine on the way home, if not quite ready to go home, or go before dinner (like tonight). Or just hang out and have a light dinner. Or stop before or after a movie.
The whole wine thing there is totally unpretentious. There was a tasty looking sangria there, but after a glass of wine and a pear cider, I stopped.
They make Shochu and Sake cocktails. (Not my thing, but others may like them) It is the kind of place I hope makes it.
They have a website:
On Durant, east of Shattuck.
I went back for a second and third visit. On the 3d visit (Wednesday, which is $20 for any bottle of wine) - we shared (1) a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, (2) A turkey sandwich with mixed greens, and (3) veggie spring rolls.
(1) It was a label I've previously had and enjoyed, and at less than 2x retail on Wednesdays, quite the deal.
(2) A generous turkey on what I think was Acme herb slab, with a side salad of mixed greens (and choice of 2 house-made dressings).
(3) This was the big surprise. These are simple fresh spring rolls with an excellent peanut/coconut dipping sauce.