Maker’s Common, at long last, has a home!
In October of 2015, after hitting our first fundraising milestone, we began scouring San Francisco for a space to land, contacting countless landlords and brokers, traversing the city to see spaces too many times to count.
To put it mildly, San Francisco was giving us a really hard time. Expensive rents, difficult build-outs, trashed kitchens, and dead rodents were just a few of the challenges we experienced. It was time to broaden our horizons and look East.
About a week into February Eric happened upon a listing in Berkeley that seemed too good to be true. A free-standing, freshly demoed, 2300+ square foot space that was already zoned to be a restaurant with beer and wine, the promise of a private outdoor patio, as well as a shared outdoor space, and owners that seemed to really care about what we do.
When we first saw the space its layout just said “THIS IS IT!”. We all walked and and knew where the retail market would be and where the kitchen would go for the eatery. When we brought an architect in they said the exact same thing — we knew we were onto something.
On May 3rd, after a few months of diligence and negotiation, we signed a ten year lease and we couldn’t be more excited!
With all that, I’m sure some people will still ask, “Why Berkeley? Why not San Francisco?” Here’s why:
• Downtown Berkeley is currently undergoing a serious residential and commercial revitalization
• There are ~500 new units going in within 2 blocks of us
• We will be 2 blocks from Downtown Berkeley BART
• We will be 1 block from the new UC Theatre & the Berkeley Repertory Theatre
• It is exactly what we were looking for: perfect layout, great size, good light, in a neighborhood that needs it
• It comes with a private back patio, plus a parklet and bike parking
• It is already permitted for our use, which saves us serious time and money
• The rent is <65% of the rates we were seeing in SF
• The landlord has an amazing reputation and couldn’t be more on the same page with us
We are incredibly excited to dig into our new East Bay surroundings, meet our neighbors, and get this train rolling. We thank all of our existing Founders for their patience and support and look forward to meeting new ones in in the Bay Area. We still need your support in reaching our fundraising goals so be sure to head on over to the INVEST page and Become a Founder!