Grand opening of Uranus

Jan Flatley-Feldman/File
Jan Flatley-Feldman/File

WARNING: NSFW

For some time, Berkeley has had three planetary-named restaurants in the Shattuck area: Jupiter, Saturn Cafe and Venus. Now there’s another challenger on the block about to open, and it’s going to be out of this world.

Uranus, the hottest new restaurant on Shattuck Avenue, is having its grand opening this upcoming weekend. We at the Clog reached out to the owners, a young husband and wife, Tom Paine and Peggy Upsilon, about their new restaurant. In response to our questions regarding how big the opening would be, they said, “This is our first grand opening, and it’s going to be huge. We’re expecting the place to be full to capacity. We think there’ll be a big demand.”

Tom and Peggy met as UC Berkeley students several years ago at Jupiter on Shattuck Avenue, where they were each separately celebrating their failures at UC Berkeley and general disappointments in life. They met in the bathroom, then quickly after decided that school was not for them and they should both drop out and open up a restaurant together. Their plans were derailed for some time, with Tom getting wrapped up in the real estate market and Peggy trying and failing in the perfume industry.

Eventually, they came back together and decided that they would try their original plan and open up a restaurant together. The last obstacle in the plan, of course, was coming up with a name. For months they struggled — but then, one day, walking back through Berkeley, the idea hit them: Why not go planetary? There was already Jupiter, Saturn and Venus — why not Uranus?

“The idea just hit us out of nowhere,” Peggy said. “We totally weren’t expecting it, and it like came up right behind us. Tom wasn’t really sure if it would be right for us. The idea made him a little uncomfortable. But he came around after a little while — and now he loves it.” Peggy went on to say that when they thought of the idea, she knew right away that it would be perfect.

A few people went to a soft opening last weekend, where Peggy and Tom let a few of their friends and critics try some dishes. The critics gave rave reviews after, saying that the new restaurant “definitely pushes boundaries” and “might not be for everyone,” but that “those who are into it are going to really love this place.” One of their friends commented, more informally, “I love the flavors. So earthy. This place is tight.”

We at the Clog will report back with more information after the grand opening.

Contact Chris Hewitt at [email protected].