[Photo: Caffe Mediterraneum/Facebook]
It's an iconic and longstanding storefront on Telegraph, but Berkeley institution Caffe Mediterraneum, known for its appearance in The Graduate, could be in for a change. Owner Craig Becker has put the place up for lease with a sales component, telling Berkeleyside that, after eight years, he's ready to move on to new projects. He bought the building after becoming a Caffe Med regular in the 80s, and updated the bathrooms, interior and coffee selection. Now, the 3,200 square foot space is available to lease for $3 per square foot, plus a $115,000 up-front fee which covers, among other things, the historical nature of the location.
The cafe, which served as the backdrop for Dustin Hoffman's postcollegiate brooding in this scene in The Graduate, has been around since the mid-1950s. It's played host to members of the Black Panther and free-speech movements, as well as various Beat poets, who no doubt dropped in to try what the cafe claims was the world's first latte.
Though he hopes something great claims the historic spot, Becker joked to the Berkeley Reporter that Starbucks would be wise to snap up Caffe Med (though he personally thinks their coffee tastes burnt). Perhaps noted historic location savers April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman can intervene? We'll keep you posted with updates as the lease moves forward.
· Berkeley's iconic Caffe Mediterraneum up for grabs [Berkeleyside]
· Berkeley's Oldest Cafe Could Become Starbucks [Berkeley Reporter]