Okay folks, it's time for us to make a decision.
The time is ripe for us to decide on a new place for the BerkeleyLUG meetup *besides
* Bobby G's, and to decide on this ASAP
For those of you who still may not realize this, Bobby G's Pizzeria has been under new ownership since this past Winter. The new owners have kept things they way they were before under the restaurant's founder Bobby G -- well, *mostly* that way -- until they made some key renovations this Summer. Among the most significant renovations the owners made during the last couple of months that have significantly affected our BerkeleyLUG meetups were their adding more TV screens around the restuarant, adding more TV speakers all around the place routinely blaring televised sports, and making enough structural renovations to the place (e.g., raising the ceiling) so that the televised sports sounds heavily reverberate all around the place.
The key decision we must make is based upon our inability to actively participate in BerkeleyLUG discussion at Bobby G's given all the ambient noise and sound discordancy ("vibrations" as someone put it this afternoon.) At least one current BerkeleyLUG participant actually left the meetups *both
* today and two weeks ago due to the level of noise preventing even simple conversation!
That is simply unacceptable.
And we received a clear indication this afternoon that Bobby G's management isn't liable to accommodate us by lowering the speakers volume on the televised sportsgames just for us, while other paying customers are cheering on their sports teams and enjoying their beers.
We would prefer to meet in a place 1) NUMERO UNO(!!!), that is *much
* quieter than Bobby G's so we can actually talk and hear one another, 2) that is located in or near Downtown Berkeley so we can all easily get there , 3) that has good-to-great WiFi access, 4) that can physically accomodate a group of we participants (6ppl, 8ppl, 10ppl+ ??) along with our Linux and/or Android devices, and 5) that will provide or at least allow sufficient power outlets/extensions so that we can actually run and recharge our Linux and/or Android devices.
Follow-thru on Alternatives.
To that end, about a half-dozen of us went out and checked out a couple of places about a one-block radius around Bobby G's Pizzeria to see which might look like the best meetup alternative for now.
The first place we looked at was 85c Bakery at 21 Shattuck Square just across the street from Bobby G's. Its website is www.85cbakerycafe.com/
and its direct contact telephone number is 510.540.8585.
85c definitely fulfills preferences 1) thru 3), and its certainlly the most spacious -- as a whole -- among the pair of places we visited. Duhavamir approached the 85c Manager or Assistant Manager and verbally presented our case to try to RSVP a place for our Sunday meetups, and acquired the [Assistant] Manager's business contact card. Apparently, from Duhavamir's efforts, Michael P is one of the key point contacts for this possibility.
Thru 85c Bakery's contact info page www.85cbakerycafe.com/contact-us/ , the RSVP possibility might involve contacting its headquarters in SoCals's Orange County:
Monday - Friday 9:00 AM to 05:00 PM
mailto: customerservice at 85cbakerycafe dot
My own RSVP preferences for 85c Bakery are threefold:
A. that 85c could indeed physically accommodate a group of we participants at one seating all-together; maybe by putting up a big table or putting together several smaller ones for seating 8 or more people
B. that the 85c staff could actually at least allow sufficient power outlets/extensions so that we can actually run and recharge our Linux and/or Android device
C that preferably *nobody
* has to pay an out-of-pocket fee (e.g., Duhavamir, Michael P or others) for making successful reservations for BerkeleyLUG meetups at 85cwww.85cbakerycafe.com/
The second place all six or so of us visited was the nearby Berkeley Coffee Company at 61 Shattuck Square, see www.berkeleycoffeecompany.com/
The Berkeley Coffee Company definitely fulfilled above preferences 1), 2), and 5) . AAMOF, right behind each of the two dozen or so tables were *at least* two power outlets, so if anything, there would be more than sufficient power outlets for our various Linux/Android devices. Also, the place had a definite low-key vibe with gentle background music playing. Berkeley Coffee Company's most serious drawbacks, however, are its apparent physical inability to accommodate participants all-together as a group +and+ its questionably-flaky WiFi when in high-demand. www.berkeleycoffeecompany.com/
I think that the consensus people reached when I departed, was that we'll be meeting at 85c Bakery for the next BerkeleyLUG meetup on October 9th.
If Michael P, Duhavamir R, Tom L, Alan T, Bill L, Earl M, Ilsa B, Karen, David, or really anyone else wishes to respond with any corrections, suggestions opinions/feedback, or other ideas here, then by all means please do pipe right in!