Gourmet Ghetto restaurant Source Mini closes doors

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Mitzi Perez/Staff

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Source Mini, a vegetarian and vegan restaurant in Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto, closed its doors abruptly July 18.

The restaurant was located in the Epicurious Garden food court on northern Shattuck Avenue and was an offshoot of the Source restaurant in San Francisco, which closed in January.

According to a July 19 post on Source Mini’s Facebook page, the restaurant closed because it “wasn’t able to do enough business.” The owner of the restaurant could not be reached for comment.

Josh Weinstein, a UC Berkeley senior who lives near the Gourmet Ghetto, said he used to visit the restaurant quite often and was sad about its closure.

“It’s a unique offering to the Berkeley community,” Weinstein said. “You can have the same feeling of comfort food from their wonderful, healthy veggie burgers and burritos.”

The restaurant redesigned its menu and raised its prices before it closed, according to Weinstein.

Sean Lindsey, a former employee at Source Mini, said things started to “spiral down” after owner Mitchell Fox came to Berkeley from the main restaurant in San Francisco in December.

Lindsey said his guess was that the restaurant was not making money because of a decline in the quality of ingredients and friendly environment.

“They don’t have someone truly running it, truly caring about the place,” Lindsey said.

According to a notice from the Epicurious Garden posted in Source Mini’s former location, in late August, another restaurant in the complex, Tigerlily, will open a salad bar with rotisserie chicken at the site.

Deepak Aggarwal, co-owner of Tigerlily, said the new salad bar will stick to local and organic ingredients and will feature homemade salad dressing as well as fresh uses of Indian spices.

“We have a lot of respect for Source Mini, their support for the vegan movement and the sacrifice they make,” said Joel DiGiorgio, co-owner of a group that oversees operations at Tigerlily. “We want to make sure that we are able to give the Source Mini customer base a concept that they can embrace as well.”

Contact Tianyi Dong at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @dong_tianyi.

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