I Heart David Berkley

1937

It’s been more than a year since grocer David Berkley sold his iconic gourmet takeout shop in Pavilions and quietly left the Sacramento food scene that he practically invented. I tracked him down by phone today and asked how he’s been. “I’m marvelous,” said Berkley, who has spent the past 5 ½ months recuperating from experimental wrist surgery to correct nerve damage caused by some bones that were floating around in his wrist. He hopes the wrist eventually will be good as new. Right now it’s not. “It feels like somebody has attached a cadaver hand to my arm,” Berkley said. He wasn’t complaining; in fact, he sounded downright jovial.

Next up for Berkley: not one but two knee replacements. “I’m going for a body transplant from the neck down,” he joked. “If that works, I might try from the neck up.” Ba-dum-bum. His pal Biba Caggiano told him, “Please keep a part of you that I know and love.” That would have to be his nose, said Berkley—he needs it for his work.

Which led to me to ask when he plans to return to work—and doing what exactly. He said he doesn’t know. He no longer owns David Berkley, which isn’t even called David Berkley any longer. It’s now The Market at Pavilions. But there are plenty of people in Sacramento (myself included) who would follow him anywhere and buy anything he’s selling.

We miss you, David Berkley.