Modern Marketing Notes

A weekend morning ritual has evolved since The Dog’s arrival in 2006: On Saturdays, we walk up to Fatapple’s, a restaurant with a take-out shop, and pick up coffee and a pastry, walk over to the local school garden for the four-legged family member to scope out the chicken coop and the squirrels, then sit in the little amphitheater next to the playground (it’s got a view out to the bay) and eat. Sunday, we’ve started walking the other direction, to a place called Fellini, on University Avenue, that has a take-out window. We buy coffee and skip the pastries, then walk down to the old Santa Fe right -of-way and circle back home. All of the above is habit-forming. ledgers030809.jpg

Across the street from Fellini is Ledger’s Liquor, one of the few remaining liquor stores on University. In olden times, city ordinances forbade alcohol sales within a mile of the Berkeley campus. You know the reason: the pernicious effect of drink on youth and so forth. Those laws were scrapped long ago, but their legacy — a dearth of taverns and liquor outlets and a subdued night life — remains. The big liquor market on the street, Jay-Vee, closed about a decade ago and is now a synagogue. Another place a few blocks away, B&W, which was attached to a bar and seemed to have a corner on the down-and-outer crowd, has been a vacant lot for two or three years. The stores have gone out of business mostly because surrounding neighborhoods, and the city, have become unfriendly: University Avenue liquor stores are seen as magnets for crime and trash.

Ledger’s had been around awhile when I got here in the ’70s. It was known for stocking exotic beers, which back then only meant brews free of the taint of St. Louis, Milwaukee, or Golden, Colorado. I can’t remember the last time I was in there; I’ll bet it was in the ’80s. But it’s still kicking along, though what draws my attention now is the assortment of goods advertised and the slick way they’re presented.

The message on the marquee is semi-permanent and perhaps immortal. Anyone know a source for that?


3 Replies to “Modern Marketing Notes”

  1. Ooh! I’ve heard that. What is it from. I’m not Googling it because I’m sure it will come to me and probably someone else who comments here knows.
    Elsewhere, what is the big deal with whiskey and whisky. I recently saw someone going to great pains to make sure everyone knew his preference was for whisky without an “e”. Of course, this happened on Twitter so it went over my head until now. Obviously, I’m not with the whisky in-crowd.

  2. The distinction I heard re: whisky and whiskey was that the product from Scotland is always whisky and everything else is whiskey. Why, I don’t know, but how far do you really have to search for a plausible and perhaps true story?
    (The Wikipedia entry suggests that Scotch, Canadian and Japanese products are called whisky and Irish and American are whiskey. I haven’t delved into that much, but Suntory, which is probably the biggest maker of Japanese whatchamacallit, does not observe that distinction and appears to use both spellings. Of course, in Japanese characters, the western spelling doesn’t matter.)

  3. Love the place. Nice pictures. I was in there late Friday afternoon to pick up some beers. Current favorites are the beers from Russian River (Pliny The Elder, Blind Pig), Dogfish Head, and of course Stone. But it’s always fun to pick up bottles from breweries around the West that I haven’t heard from before.

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