510 Retirement Report: New Owners Slated to Take Over Ajanta in Berkeley, a Farewell from BayWolf, Bucci's Closing


The dining room at Ajanta. Facebook photo by Marty Snortum.

I know people deserve their retirement, especially folks in the restaurant industry, because it’s like dog years. But still, it’s tough to learn about folks like the kind Lachu Moorjani of ~AJANTA~ leaving us! (He opened the restaurant in 1993.) I noticed an ABC filing, and reached out to Lachu, who confirmed that the owner of Taste of the Himalayas, Rajan Thapa, is buying Ajanta, along with partner Al Satake. The sale is not final at this time—it’s contingent upon transfer of all the licenses and the lease. The guess is that it will probably take about month and a half for all the transfers.

The good news is, the buyers want to keep everything exactly the way it is and have asked Lachu to stay for a while (the man is a font of recipes and special dishes!). He will be working with them full time for about 15 days after close of escrow and has committed to work part-time for at least 6 months thereafter. After that, he says, “My wife and I are both very fond of travelling and we want to travel as much as we can, before both of us are too old. I am so looking forward to doing that.” And they so deserve it. Thank you, Lachu and Shanti, for everything you have done to promote beautiful eating and cooking! This just means we’ll all need to cook more from their book, Ajanta: Regional Feasts of India.

Another retirement: the team behind ~BAY WOLF~ has closed the restaurant after 40 years. We mentioned the closure was imminent a couple of months ago, but we wanted to be sure you saw the farewell letter from Michael Wild, Larry Goldman, and Michael Phelps. Enjoy your vacations, gents! 3853 Piedmont Ave. at Rio Vista, Oakland.

One more retirement to hit the 510: Amelia Bucci, Paul Camardo, and Les Julian of ~BUCCI’S~ in Emeryville will be closing the much-adored restaurant on September 30th, after serving more pasta and meatballs than anyone could possibly count (since 1988!). You can read more in the Mercury News. Again, enjoy your well-earned vacation and travels! 6121 Hollis St. at Doyle, Emeryville, 510-547-4725.