Telegraph turnover: Remembering some beloved closed food spots

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The Telegraph district has seen a lot of change in the last few years. Some may say it is a poor use of time to be nostalgic, reminiscing on what used to be. Times change, and what was no longer is. But every once in a while, when I walk around the Telegraph area, I remember. I remember the beloved food spots that used to fill the area. But these are no longer open, and it becomes a pain to remember that when you have an old craving that cannot be met.

In honor of the life and death of the food spots that used to be in the Telegraph area, I have sent notes to the graves of a few select establishments. Below you will see what was written. This is to let them know about the loss and grief some of us are feeling in their absence. More than anything, it is to remember and reminisce on their greatness.

Han’s Bistro

You had some bomb pancakes and your orange juice was arguably the best that I have had on Southside. But, you are permanently closed and may never be resurrected. You were always full on Sunday mornings. While it was mostly obnoxious college students needing to nurture themselves back to health after a questionable Saturday night, it was still joyful witnessing the jubilation inside of you on those Sunday mornings. What is left of you I do not really understand. There is a painted wooden blockade that sits in front of you — it is a mural. Behind the mural we can see just the slightest glimpse of where you used to be. You are missed and the fluffiness of your pancakes will always remain a pleasant memory.

Smart Alec’s Intelligent Food

You were a local burger joint and now this corporate power has stolen your reign. Your vegetarian options were so much better than that of the establishment that currently occupies the space. Your prices were reasonable and the authenticity of your singularity made the experience of dining in you all the more worthy. Many people do not even know you existed. But I am letting them know now. I am letting them know that you were and always will be superior to whatever fills your space (however, I will say that Super Duper Burgers has some hella good garlic fries).

Noah’s Bagels

I was so hurt the day I saw the Telegraph Avenue and Durant Avenue location of you was permanently closed. How could they do that to you? How could they do that to us? There were lines out the door almost every morning full of people seeking the pleasures of the plush bagels you provided us with. Now where do we go? You were the most central bagel shop near campus. You were so good, and now you sit empty with boarded-up windows. Many may have forgotten you, but I remember the sweet smells of your freshly made bagels and satisfaction we gained from wiping delectable schmears on their bodies.

Gordo Taqueria

I know that you still have multiple locations around the Bay Area, but I miss the ease of walking to you. Now I am forced to take the 51B just to get to your location on College Avenue. I have never seen the place as vibrant as it was when you were there.

Tivoli Caffe

It wasn’t too long ago that I was talking to your owner. He was so proud to have you, to create a space that welcomed the community to delicious, homey and underrated Italian food. The eggplant parmesan sandwich put together inside of your walls was mouthwatering. The sense of belonging when you walked into the café was heartwarming. The owner was so gregarious and it really felt like a family every time we entered your walls. Now you and all of your neighboring businesses have been knocked down and the remembrance of you is wavering. The localities that made that strip of Bancroft Way what it was, no longer are. You are missed, Tivoli.

While these spots do not exist in the Telegraph area anymore, their greatness will not be forgotten by those who appreciated and loved their presence. For those of us who remember, let’s all raise one to the life and death of these food establishments.

Contact Gina Wright [email protected].