New cafe will open at Bancroft and Ellsworth

Gracie Malley/Staff
The Berkeley Floor Cafe, located at 2244 Bancroft Way, is scheduled to open for business this week.

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The Berkeley Floor Cafe is scheduled to open for business this week across the street from campus, adding a new dining option for both the campus and city  communities.

The cafe, located at 2244 Bancroft Way, is currently holding a soft opening, during which it is starting with a few menu items and will gradually add more options for customers. According to owner and UCSD alumna Razan Faraj, the cafe will likely hold a grand opening event to coincide with the beginning of the school year.

According to Faraj, the cafe will be a multifunctional space. Although the cafe will at first be opened from the hours of 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., according to restaurant manager Manjid Al Diyyat, the cafe will eventually start being regularly open until midnight or later.

The cafe will serve typical coffeehouse fare such as hot and cold drinks and pastries, as well as many other items, including dishes made in-house. One special thing about the cafe, Al Diyyat said, is the cafe’s liquor license, which will allow the cafe to serve beer and wine, making it unique among other eateries in the area.

“We want this to be a place where everyone from the university can do anything they want,” Faraj said.

The cafe will offer an extensive menu and large space with free wireless Internet, according to Faraj, who said the cafe will be a great place for students to do homework and study. According to Al Diyyat, the cafe will be tuned in to events happening on campus and will also have televisions by the time the Olympics start so that patrons can watch the games at the cafe.

“This is the place for everyone,” Al Diyyat said.

Dave Fogarty, economic development project coordinator for the city of Berkeley, said having a cafe in the Bancroft Way and Ellsworth Street location will be useful in linking the Telegraph Avenue area businesses with the Downtown Berkeley businesses.

“We are pleased to see vacancies in the area filled in,” Fogarty said.

According to Faraj, people from the surrounding neighborhood with whom Faraj has spoken are excited about the cafe’s opening, and although the cafe is in a quieter part of Bancroft, she hopes the cafe’s opening will inspire further development in the area.

“The area needs us,” Faraj said. “They just don’t know it yet.”