Sliver Pizzeria kicked off the new year by opening its Shattuck Avenue doors to the public for the first time during its soft opening Jan. 2.
After leaving Center Street in Downtown Berkeley in December 2017, Sliver has returned to the Downtown area nearly a year after opening its Telegraph Avenue location. The popular pizzeria has set up shop at 2174 Shattuck Ave., next to the Downtown Berkeley BART station. A date for the pizzeria’s official opening is not currently available. Sliver now has a total of three locations with the third situated in Rockridge.
The new Sliver location served up slices of its Tuesday special — corn, zucchini, yellow onion, French feta and mozzarella pizza topped with cilantro, garlic olive oil and key limes — during the soft opening, according to the pizzeria’s Facebook page. Sergio Castro, an employee at the new location, said that on opening day, “everything ran perfectly.”
“It went great. A lot of regular customers came in, (and) new ones,” said Katie Gracias, manager-in-training at the Telegraph location. “I feel like the restaurant just brings a lot of smiles to that area.”
Gracias added that Downtown Berkeley is a core area for restaurants in the city. Sliver’s new location is also more “convenient” for Berkeley City College and Berkeley High School students who can now remain in the Downtown area instead of having to walk to Telegraph Avenue, according to Gracias.
Sliver, however, is not just offering new scenery, but also some different pizza options, Gracias said. The “pie of the day” at each Sliver location will be different, so “we can have anyone who comes here have a different experience,” she added. Sliver’s other pizza options, including cheese and vegan, will remain available at both locations.
For Yano Rivera, an employee at Almare Gelato Italiano, an ice cream shop near Sliver’s Downtown location, the new pizzeria is “the church that we worship at.” One of the reasons for this high praise is due to the traffic it brings from high school students during the day.
“It’s spiritually nurturing. It’s the greatest thing ever. We’re so excited,” Rivera said. “It’s just great. They are bringing in a lot of people. They are making pizza. We can go over there and get a pretty cheap slice of pizza whenever we want. We’re glad to have them.”
Not all nearby restaurants had such positive feedback, however. Fernando Esquivias, general manager at the nearby Ike’s Love and Sandwiches, said that he believes Sliver’s new location has hurt their customer flow.
But Sliver’s employees seem to be happy with the new location’s reception.
“The people are excited that we are here,” Castro said. “That is what makes me the most excited.”