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History

soda

We are honored to be the new chapter in a long and rich history.

Our beautiful space, designed by famed architect John A. Bischoff, first opened its doors on January 15th, 1921, as the Elmwood Soda Fountain. They served sandwiches, soup, and coffee to the Berkeley community.

Upon returning from World War II, aviator Charles “Ozzie” Osborne transformed the sleepy corner soda fountain into a wonderful community gathering spot. For decades, Ozzie fostered an environment where neighbors could get together for more than just food, but also friendship and conversation.

It has been our pleasure to meet many people who frequented the soda fountain in those days, and to hear their extraordinary stories. In completing our extensive restoration of this historic location, we sought the input of those who have frequented and cherished it over the years.

We saved as much of the building’s original character as we could, including the display cabinets and the original oak paneling. While bringing everything up to date, we were careful to preserve the original finish and patina. We were also able to save Ozzie’s counter, with its fabulously uneven little red stools.

We wish to thank all the people who have enthusiastically supported our efforts. Whether you have been coming here for many years, or are a new part of our history, your support is truly heartwarming.