Radici, a new Italian restaurant from the longtime owners of Berkeley Italian cafe PIQ, is set to join a growing Berkeley Italian food scene in early 2017.
Radici, meaning “roots” in Italian, is a project dedicated to creating more organic and environmentally conscious food in a European-style environment, said partner owner Nicola Rivieccio. It will open next door to PIQ, a bakery and coffee shop, which is also set to be renovated, as first reported by Berkeleyside.
New features of Radici will include induction ovens and an open-view kitchen where customers can see the cooking process for themselves, according to Rivieccio. Additionally, the owners are looking into obtaining a liquor license.
PIQ will be temporarily closed while renovations are in progress, but the cafe will remain open while Radici’s location is remodeled.
Rivieccio stated that the goal of Radici is to cater to people who want to eat healthy and to make people aware of what they put into their bodies.
“You don’t have to get an airfare ticket to have a good meal,” Rivieccio said. “You can get a good meal Downtown.”
Rivieccio added that he intends to have incentives to increase student interest in the restaurant.
“I want to try to contain the price as much as possible and want to make sure that they know I care about the students,” Rivieccio said. “I want to make sure students are part of the equation.”
Radici will join several other Italian restaurants in the Berkeley area, including Trattoria La Siciliana, Gypsy’s Trattoria Italiana and Lo Coco’s. In addition to existing establishments, plans are in place for future Italian haunts.
Lucia’s, a pizzeria located on Shattuck Avenue, will be opening in two weeks and will initially offer dinner from 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. The restaurant brings together traditional Italian cuisine with Brooklyn pizza, according to co-owner Steve Dumain. He said he hopes to encourage consumers to stay out later.
“People go to sleep early here,” Dumain said. “We hope that if consumers are willing to stay out and have fun, this will be the place they go.”
Downtown Berkeley is home to multiple Italian restaurants, many of which are frequented by Berkeley residents and UC Berkeley students alike.
“The nice thing about downtown Berkeley is the more the merrier,” Dumain said. “We will attract a restaurant row atmosphere.”
Angelo D’Alo, one of the owners of Trattoria La Siciliana and Agrodolce, said he didn’t think that Radici would pose much competition but expressed confidence in the growing Italian cuisine scene in Berkeley.
“There’s been a renaissance of Italian food in Berkeley in the last couple of years,” D’Alo said. “We’re starting a little Italian revolution.”