Caramello, the year-and-a-half-old gelato and baked goods shop on Fifth between Union and Berkeley, closed down unexpectedly at the end of September. A note went up on their Facebook page soon after saying that "things are a brewin,'" and since then there's been sporadic work in the space but no real word on what's going on.
I did some digging and was able to track down Benny, the owner, who filled me in on the situation. He said that they've renamed the shop Cafe Sant Edesia, and it should be back in business in about a week or so. There will still be baked goods and coffee, along with bagels, salads, sandwiches, and free wifi. Disappointingly, the wide selection of gelato options has been cut drastically, and the large gelato case has been removed to make way for a communal table. Benny was previous owner/ gelato maker Nicoletta Grippo's business partner, but she's no longer associated with the shop and it appears as if she was forced out over financial issues.
While her gelato was delicious, he made it clear that there were too many varieties available, and because they weren't selling well the selection had to be cut back (most likely the price of the top-notch ingredients was high as well). It seems like a handful of selections will still be available, but I'm not sure if it will be made on-premises.
The gelato was arguably the best part of Caramello, but when it reopens it appears as if it'll be essentially be a completely new shop, more a place to hang out with your laptop, a bagel, and a coffee than a place to stop into and get a gelato and pastry to go.
Until then, they're hiring!