After two decades of New York-style pizza and local craft beer, East Bay institution and homegrown mini-chain Lanesplitter Pizza & Pub will begin downsizing this year, making way for a new location of New York chain Artichoke Basille’s in the process.
Lanesplitter, which currently boasts four full-service spots across Albany, Berkeley and Oakland, has already begun the process of transferring the liquor license at its Temescal location on Telegraph Avenue to Artichoke Basille’s franchisee Jim Trevor. After a refresh, Artichoke plans to begin pouring pints and serving slices under the new logo as soon as this Fall.
Before opening Artichoke’s first West Coast outpost in Berkeley in 2013, Trevor helped open two locations in Chelsea and Greenwich Village, just as the chain was riding a wave of celebrity-fueled popularity in New York City. While there are no firm plans yet, Trevor hopes to spread the Basille’s brand even further throughout the East Bay with more locations around Downtown Oakland, Lakeshore and Berkeley in the near future.
“We observed a large number of customers traveling to the Berkeley store from Oakland,” Trevor said in a statement, “and many of the UC Berkeley students, who are some of our most loyal customers, move to Oakland neighborhoods after they graduate. I’m excited to bring New York’s best pizza to Oakland residents, and I have full confidence that Artichoke will be well-received by the city’s bustling food scene.”
Back on the East Coast, Artichoke Basille’s plans to expand its reach beyond New York City with additional multi-unit franchise deals headed to New Jersey and Connecticut. Meanwhile, in the East Bay, Eater has reached out to Lanesplitters owners Daniel Rogers and Vic Gumper for additional details about the changeup coming to Temescal and what the future might hold for their business. We’ll update when we hear back.
Update, 10:45 am: In a statement, co-founders Rogers and Gumper write that the decision to hand off the Temescal location was a personal one driven by family issues, and complicated by last year’s fires in Sonoma. The change won’t affect the rest of their businesses, however, and “currently, there are no plans to close more locations.” Finally, on a lighter note, the pair are fans of Artichoke’s pizza and see the transition as a great fit. The full statement from Lanesplitter is below.
Over the last twenty years Lanesplitter Pizza has faithfully served the East Bay with great pizza, great beer, and great service. It’s been an honor to serve this community and we are so thankful for the support and relationships that have been created. We look forward to continuing to serve this community as we evolve and improve as a business.
Two years ago, one of the co-founders made the decision to move to the North Bay to help his aging parents through end of life issues which unfortunately was further complicated by the fires in Sonoma County. Due to this change and his family commitment, the decision was made to sell our Temescal restaurant to allow us to focus on our other three locations and be able to manage them more effectively. We have loved being in Temescal and have a great relationship with the community. We have kept our employees in the loop through this process, while attempting to maintain employment for all of the staff who indicated a preference to stay. Currently, there are no plans to close more locations.
We have gotten to know Jim Trevor and encouraged our landlord to enable Artichoke Basille’s to expand into our location. It is very exciting to hear new ideas and we like their pizza. We really look forward to the location’s evolution.
Of course, we will continue to support our East Bay community from our other locations and look forward to serving you!
Thank you to everyone for your continued support! See you all soon!