New physical venue: Sodoi Coffee Tasting House

Effective 2022-06-12 we’ve got a new physical meeting venue.

Sodoi Coffee Tasting House

That should serve us well – at least until Cal’s regular academic sessions start up again (in the Fall) – we may then want to revisit the question if it’s still the best location. But looks likely at least for the academic Summer to be the best location for us.

One can presently see fair bit about location, accessibility, parking, etc. on our Meetings page, so I’ll try not to be too redundant here. So, key advantages it has (and some minor drawbacks, and some comparisons to venues we’ve used):

  • Good location: Berkeley, good public transportation, walkability, pretty good parking – there’s also fairly economical parking structure above it
  • It’s open (BlueDoor apparently closed for the academic Summer)
  • not too crowded
  • not too loud (mostly plays some soft-ish music not too loud … we start up some conversations we may be the loudest there … but it’s not like the place is dead silent, Bobby G.’s was so loud we had to give up on it, Blue Door and Strada are sometimes rather loud)
  • good Wi-Fi
  • good access to power (that can be a bit challenging at Strada)
  • some nice large tables, so can be quite excellent for a fair bunch of us there (Strada and many venues lack that or it’s quite limited)
  • good/excellent clean restroom (85C devolved to a zero paper products too many people one restroom disaster)
  • It has some pretty cool interesting decor – including many cool antiques.
  • they definitely have coffee (and some other beverages and food). But the non-coffee options are rather limited, e.g. mostly just hot/iced teas, hot chocolate, some pastries, ice cream, nothing like sandwiches/wraps/salads/pizza or the like – though other food is nearby. There’s a (Cheese ‘n Stuff, 2442 Durant) sandwich place right across from Sodoi – but it’s (currently) closed on Sundays – but there are many options nearby along Durant and Telegraph – probably well over 20+ food/beverage /restaurant businesses within a block or two.
  • At present, proof of vaccination is required for dine-in and they have no outdoor dining.
  • It doesn’t have views/air, like e.g. outdoor Strada … but it has a roof, and reasonable temperature control, so if/when California ever gets rain again … (Strada has very limited indoor space, and outdoor space at Strada can get warm/hot/cold/windy/loud)
  • Sodoi has very good accessibility (BlueDoor and Strada more challenging, notably crowded and difficult to navigate, and Strada some uneven surfaces and more challenging entry)

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