The Melt, a sandwich eatery at 2400 Telegraph Ave., closed Monday after more than five years in Berkeley.
The Melt was the second soup-and-sandwich store to open on Telegraph Avenue after Toaster Oven. According to Stuart Baker, the executive director of the Telegraph Business Improvement District, the restaurant’s closure was sudden. The employees were notified last weekend and the business was closed by Monday, Baker said.
The area has suffered a significant loss of business ever since the Haste Street fire in November 2011, said Al Geyer, the owner of Annapurna, in a previous interview with The Daily Californian. The fire resulted in two popular eateries — Raleigh’s and Cafe Intermezzo — burning down, as well as other nearby stores closing temporarily.
Baker said the reason for the closure is unknown but added that sales may not have met expectations as a result of The Melt’s high price point for students.
“There’s no real difference with other districts, but we have higher volumes of food services and restraints and food generally turns over more than retail,” Baker said. “But when a food business goes out there’s usually someone who quickly goes in and replaces (it).”
Paul Coletta, The Melt’s former chief marketing officer, previously told the Daily Cal that he acknowledges that $5 for their melt sandwich and almost $9 for soup is more than some students can afford. He said, however, the store’s goal is not to offer the lowest price, but rather the best value.
“To be honest, I didn’t ever go there too often. It was expensive, considering it was just a grilled cheese sandwich,” said campus senior Waverly Runion in an email. “However I have a friend whose favorite restaurant is the melt.”
The Melt could not be reached for comment as of press time.
“We’re sad to see them go,” Baker said. “But we’re looking forward to what’s coming in.”