Downtown Berkeley Spotlight
Celebrating Our Community
Randeep and Karan Rekhi
Owners of Bobby G's
"Every month is Pizza Month at Bobby G’s!"
Thank you for agreeing to answer a few questions for us! Please introduce yourself! What’s your story? Where are you from and what brought you to Downtown Berkeley?
We are brothers from the South Bay who come from a retail family. Before moving to Berkeley and taking over Bobby G’s in May 2016, Karan was working at the family wine shop in Cupertino while Randeep was working as a financial analyst in a Denver. Both ready for a change and to branch out on their own, we started to look into opening a beer garden somewhere in the Bay Area. We quickly found that our lack of industry experience was a problem, so we decided to look for an existing business to learn the ropes. That’s when we found the Berkeley institution that is Bobby G’s Pizzeria and Draft House.
Why did you decide to pursue a career in the restaurant business?
We were both looking for a change in what we were doing and had always discussed opening a restaurant of our own. Something that was more of a community hangout rather than just a place to eat. Karan has always had an interest in creative cooking while Randeep wanted to bring his experience and memories of hanging out all day with family and friends to a physical location.
Have you had any other roles in a restaurant beside management/owner?
While we had no experience in the restaurant industry before taking over BG’s, since we took over we both have done literally every job necessary, from accounting, HR, legal, marketing, cooking, and bar tending to bussing tables, washing dishes, taking out trash, and cleaning the bathrooms.
When growing up what kind of pizza did you and/or family eat?
Growing up, as a family we ate a lot of pizza. We preferred specialty combination pizzas like a Supreme or Ranch Garlic Chicken. Two frequented pizzerias were T-Birds and Jake’s, two local pizzerias which made CA Style pizza with quality toppings, a thick and doughy crust, and a crunchy bottom. Not quite what we serve here at BG’s but still lip-smacking good.
What is your favorite part about owning/managing a restaurant in Downtown Berkeley?
Our favorite part of owning a pizzeria in downtown Berkeley is the customer base. We like to get creative in the kitchen and use high quality and unique ingredients, which Berkeleyites are quite receptive to. Our customers are very intelligent and interesting, so chatting with them at the bar is always a pleasure. Also, the local community - including Cal, the UC Theatre and other local performance arts venues, Downtown Berkeley events, etc. - bring in a diverse and eclectic crowd on a regular basis.
What are your favorite pizza toppings?
Karan- spinach, red onion, sub-dried tomatoe, and feta, with a drizzle of housemade hot sauce.
Randeep - pepperoni, jalapeño, and goat cheese.
What are your specials that you want readers to know about for Pizza LOVERS Month?
Every month is Pizza Month at Bobby G’s! When we took over, we introduced a special pizza of the month that has a more unique and seasonal character than our regular pies. The point is to rethink what a slice of pizza can be, and as such we try to use untraditional toppings and concepts. We are very excited to use Impossible Meat in our pizza this month and to also showcase a new Pizza of the Month.
Special thank you to Randeep and Karan Rekhi for their time, insight, and efforts in creating delicious and creative food right here in Downtown Berkeley!
Head over to Bobby G's to experience first-hand and tell us what you think!