But with profit margins down, a five-year lease coming due and a partner who wants to retire, Pretari, 49, may have to seek a vocation less perfectly suited to a Berkeley-educated polymath.
Last week, he sent up a trial balloon, inviting someone, anyone, to buy one or both Black Oaks stores — the Berkeley location on Shattuck Avenue or the San Francisco store on Irving Street. (A short-lived third store in North Beach closed last year.)
“We’d like Black Oak to keep going,” he says, adjusting his round glasses and settling into a chair in the back office, a warren of books. “We’re exploring every possibility, even if that means someone else has to come in and own it.”
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