Indian restaurant Jotmahal Palace, Juice Originz to arrive in Berkeley

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Audrey McNamara/Senior Staff

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Berkeley will welcome two new restaurants to its Downtown and south campus landscape in the near future: the Jotmahal Palace of Indian Cuisine and Juice Originz.

The Jotmahal Palace will take over 1543 Shattuck Ave. from its previous occupant, the Cha-Am Thai Restaurant, which is closing. Meanwhile, Juice Originz will conduct business at 2493 Telegraph Ave.

“I am very excited to open my own business,” said Gurnam Singh, owner of Jotmahal Palace. “I’m not nervous because I’m (a) hardworker and I’m 100 percent positive, not negative.”

Singh said he has been a cook in Berkeley for 16 years and decided to open the Jotmahal Palace because he was familiar with the area and the community. He added that his restaurant will be unique because its food will be freshly made, while other restaurants tend to prepare their food beforehand.

“He knows the business inside and out,” said Helen Davis, property realtor for Jotmahal Palace.

The menu and opening day have not yet been finalized, but Singh said vegetarian options and items such as chicken tikka masala will be offered, and the business will likely move in about mid-November.

Renovations are still ongoing, according to Davis. There are plans to clean up the site and bring in interior and exterior designers.

Malik Qudsia, the owner of House of Curries on Durant Avenue, said she welcomes anyone who would like to open a restaurant.

“Since we have Halal menus and we have been in the business for more than 10 years, we are authentic that way,” Qudsia said.

Juice Originz will serve organic acai bowls, almond milk, cold-press juice and smoothies, according to its website. The juice company’s intended location on Telegraph Avenue is currently under construction.

Sunil Mehta, owner of Juice Originz, could not be reached for comment.

According to Yolanda Castillo, manager of the Pieology Pizzeria that is across the street from Juice Originz’s future space, the construction has been going on for about a year and a half.

“(Construction has) been going on for a quite a while,” Castillo said. “It’s been very hard on businesses because a lot of students are scared to come this way if there’s construction.”

Therefore, Castillo is looking forward to when construction will be finished and new businesses will move in, which she estimates would occur about late November or December.

Paul Coletta, CEO of Urban Remedy, an organic food company that also has its own line of cold-press juice, said he supports quality juice stores in the area, but his business is distinct from the competition in that all its products are sourced locally in Northern California and manufactured locally in the East Bay.

Urban Remedy also plans on opening a Berkeley location at 2946 College Ave. in November.

Contact Fionce Siow at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @fioncesiow.

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