Berkeley Dog at University Town Center Closes to Make Way for Slapfish

Photo by Charles Lam

Well, this is a weird kind of bummer. Berkeley Dog, the pretty awesome hot dog spot across the street from UC Irvine, is now closed, and will become UTC's Slapfish location, once construction is finished.

I still remember when Berkeley Dog opened in, I think, 2011. It was really the first new, hip restaurant in UTC, which would pave the way for Chipotle, Chik-Fil-A, and a whole mess of other new restaurants in the plaza. The food, inspired by Cal's Top Dog, was great, and it was one of the first restaurants I reviewed as the New University's food critic. The only problem was that, apparently after my generation of anteaters graduated, it just wasn't that popular of a spot.

Really, it was unfortunate that they opened when they did. They had no real competition for novel food in 2011, but with Blaze and at least another half dozen new restaurants opening between then and now, they really had barely a chance. The hot dogs were great, their happy hour menu was awesome, the funnel cake fries were my favorite, but next to a Chipotle? Anyone's going to struggle.

The thing that bums me out the most is that barely anyone will miss it. When Lee's got demolished, people were sad. When Paradise Perk's closed, people were mad. Berkeley Dog?

Well, it's time to look forward to Slapfish, I guess.

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You can also follow Charles Lam on Twitter @charlesnlam and Instagram @charlesnlam. He's less sardonic there, we swear.

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