Yali’s Cafe opens at Sutardja Dai Hall bringing avocado toast, new juices

Elise Ulwelling/Staff

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Students are once again filling the tables of Qualcomm Cafe after its recent reopening Feb. 28 with a new vendor — Yali’s Cafe.

The cafe boasts a large variety of juices, pastries, coffee and sandwiches. Yali’s Cafe has two other locations on campus: Stanley Hall and the Valley Life Sciences Building. The new location, however, is slightly different from the company’s other locations, according to Yali’s Cafe co-owner and manager Elan Lieber.

“When we got the opportunity to work with the space and saw how big it was, we decided to look at it as a way to revamp the entire Yali’s brand,” Lieber said.

The renovation took about six months and included both indoor and outdoor changes. Before the renovation, Qualcomm Cafe stationed its ready-made sandwiches and wraps in the front and espresso machines in the back, but Lieber flipped this setup.

What used to be umbrella-covered circular tables were replaced with large wooden tables to provide outdoor seating.

The new location offers the largest menu range — including an expanded sandwich selection featuring pitas and panini, and a breakfast menu that now offers avocado toast and cinnamon toast.

Patrons can also find two new juices: “citrus kick,” a blend of orange, ginger, celery, carrot and apple, and “beet booster.” Lieber said the cafe wants customers to have a variety of healthy options.

Also new to this location is coffee on tap. The coffee is infused with nitrogen, which gives it a smoother texture, Lieber said.

Yali’s Cafe works with local vendors, such as Equator Coffees and Teas, and aims to create a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, according to Lieber. Like its other locations, about 25 UC Berkeley students are hired to work at the cafe.

Qualcomm Cafe closed in late May for renovations and was set to reopen in January.

Gabrielle Maudiere, a campus junior, said she loves to study at Qualcomm Cafe. Maudiere said she comes to the cafe three times a week, adding that she likes that the location is conveniently located near her classes.

“I really like it — it’s really open and spacious, and it’s modern-looking,” Maudiere said. “It’s better compared to other coffee shops that are too crowded.”

Since the location is no longer owned by Cal Dining, it will not be accepting meal points.

Jaime Diaz, manager of Free Speech Movement Cafe, was unaware that Qualcomm Cafe had reopened. He said he is not concerned about the reopening, and added that he has so many customers that he can barely seat them.

“We’d love to see people come try it,” said Lieber. “I think it is a unique, cool place. The menu speaks for itself, and the tables fit many people to make it a communal work environment.”

Contact Isabella Sabri at [email protected].