On Solano, not everyone screams for ice cream

Among the dozen items on tonight’s Zoning Adjustments Board meeting agenda is the seemingly uncontentious proposal to establish a new ice cream parlor on Solano Avenue. Robin Dalrymple, who has lived in Berkeley since working in a downtown restaurant in the early ’70s, wants to open iScream at 1819 Solano, next door to Mechanics Bank and just down from Peet’s and Nature’s Express.  Everyone likes ice cream, don’t they?

For the most part, the answer is yes. But the Thousand Oaks Neighborhood Association is seeking modified approval for the store. The problem, explains TONA vice-president (and Berkeleyside contributor) Jane Tierney, is not the proposed ice cream parlor. It’s that the local quota for “food service establishments” in the neighborhood is 12, but there are already 28 operating.

“Everyone wants the ice cream place,” Tierney says. “But the issue for us is why do we have quotas if they’re not going to enforce them?” Tierney believes that neighborhood associations are put in the invidious position of being obstructive because the council doesn’t want the “open debate” that examining the quota system would entail. “It’s a political sleight of hand,” she says. In the case of iScream, TONA is concerned that a different kind of restaurant could be grandfathered in on the site if the permit is granted without restrictions.

A local listserv is circulating a message (subject line: “ice cream is nice!”) encouraging residents to go to tonight’s meeting in support of iScream. Their pitch: “Believe it or not, there are people opposed to the idea of an ice cream store two doors down from Peet’s. I don’t think any of them are students at Thousand Oaks or King Middle School. This is the tastiest civics lesson I’ve seen in a long time!  Anyway, maybe we’ll go to the public hearing, maybe we’ll make compelling posters and email jpegs of them to the planning department?”

The planning department has recommended approval of the project, since iScream will fill a segment of the market that is not served by any of the other 28 food businesses in the neighborhood. Solano currently has a large number of vacant commercial properties. Dalrymple’s own statement to the planning department emphasizes the loss of family-oriented local places: “I remember picking my kids up from school and going to Ortman’s (now Starbucks) for a milkshake to celebrate good report cards. Coffee houses, for the most part, have replaced those places.” Dalrymple’s oldest daughter will be the ice cream maker and her younger daughters, students at Berkeley High, will be dipping and serving.

If iScream’s plan is approved, it will be the only ice cream parlor in the Berkeley part of Solano. Given the popularity of Ici on College Avenue in the Elmwood, and the crowded competition for ice cream and froyo downtown and in the Gourmet Ghetto, iScream may well have found a good market niche.

Print Friendly
Please keep our community civil. Comments should remain on topic and be respectful.
Read our full comments policy »
  • Christine

    Mmm, good ice cream on Solano.

  • tizzielish

    I love the idea of ice cream on Solano. I am amazed that there is no ice cream shop there now.

    AND. . .. we live in a community that has collectively developed rules, regulations, guidelines and laws that, altogether, comprise shared agreements about how we want to share our lives with one another.

    If there are rules that limit the number of eating establishments, and this ice cream store will violate those rules, it doesn’t seem right to just ignore those rules. Ignoring public rules or codes or guidelines, which represent the city’s collective shared will, dishonors the very nature of what it means to be a community. We all have some ownership in the commons and the quality of our retail environment is something that belongs to the whole, not just to the folks who want to sell ice cream (and those who want to buy it) on Solano.

    Instead of working around the system to shove an ice cream store down the throats of the whole community, because the ice cream people are well connected to the right city insiders, . .. and, as boring as I know this is . . . we should have a process that allows all concerned to weigh in on the regulations already in existence related to how many eateries are allowed on Solano. If we develop the habit of respecting the previous shared agreements (that’s what laws are, shared agreements), in the long run, we will have not just a better community but a more ‘whole’ one, we would have a much more meaningful shared place that is known as ‘a city’.

    I love ice cream. I empathize with people who live within walking distance of Solano where there is a dearth of ice cream shops. Truly I do. But, as neighbors (we are all neighbors if we live in Berkeley) find a neighborly, collectively way to resolve this zoning decision, folks living near Solano can walk downtown for ice cream. .. and this would also help grow good community in Berkeley by contributing to the health of the walkers and contributing to the friendliness quotient. The walkers can talk to other walkers and get to know new neighbors.

    Our mayor gave up his car (altho not his wife’s car, which I bet he uses whenever he needs a car) setting a good example. Walk for that ice cream, folks. If you want to reward your kids for a job well done at school, reward them with exercise AND ice cream, reward them by setting a good example: show them that you respect your neighbors, respect your city’s laws, value healthy exercise and love ice cream.

  • CJ Higley

    The quota system is bad for customers and ultimately bad for business, too. Having too many restaurants in a particular district would be better than having too many vacant storefronts.

  • tizzielish

    The Peet’s, mentioned in the initial post about ice cream on Solano Ave in Berkeley, is actually in Albany. That Peet’s is 2.0 miles from the intersection of Center Street and Shattuck. Within two or three blocks of Center & Shattuck there are two gelaterias, a Ben&Jerry’s and three frozen yogurt stores.

    Plus the Starbucks and Peet’s on Solano sell ice cream drinks on Solano.

    My point, here, is people in contemporary society seem to have entirely forgotten that going for a walk is a healthy, normal family activity. When did walking four miles for a treat become unthinkable?

    As I grew up, and then as I raised my child (now all growed), going for walks in the evening was a regular, almost daily family passtime. We talked to one another about our days and dreams. And ice cream was often involved right before we turned around and walked home again.

    I don’t have a car. People ask me all the time how can I live without a car because, they tell me, it takes so long to get places. Well, here is the secret: I am being human when I walk or when I ride a bus and can pay attention to myself instead of traffic.

    Here in Berkeley, widely considered ground zero for the ‘local’ movement, I keep expecting to hear localvores start talking about really going local and walking out the door and living their lives, their real day-to-day BEING human lives, within a walking distance of their home. It’s not enough to just buy local food: walk to buy it. Then you are seriously living local. This is why I don’t have a car: I am creating new culture.

    Today I walked from downtown to Sur la Table on 4th Street, because I needed one little thing they stock. The 4th street neighborhood was jumping, cause it was lunchtime. I noticed many circling circling circling for parking. I noticed signs on some places indicating that they validate parking. I know people going out to lunch on their lunchhour can’t go to lunch far from the office and get back withing the designated lunch break without driving but the idea that humans have to drive to go to lunch is very similar to the notion of buying new clothes that people really don’t need, similar to the notion that we have to spend to fully participate in life. I know our economic system is dependent on people interacting by spending. Businesses and restaurants need customers so taxes can be paid and city services completed. I know we are mutually interdependent. But we have created and unsustainable social system when we think we have to have ice cream shops on Solano no matter what.

    Real localvores can walk downtown for ice cream.

  • Andrew

    The market has changed. Fewer local retail establishments. And, people eat out more nowadays. I scream for ice cream.

    More choice of restaurants is better for customers. More choice raises the bar as they compete. Food will be better. The market will decide how many restaurants the market will support.

    Walking from Solano to downtown for ice cream with kids ain’t easy. I love to walk, but my days are full and my time is limited.

    Yes, follow the rules, but perhaps times change too and perhaps our communities should adapt to remain vibrant and enjoyable.

  • tizzielish

    I see the empty storefronts on Solano. I know those empty storefronts represent pain and loss to someone: lost jobs, lost rental income, lost tax base for the city, lost walkability scores, lost quality of life for someone.

    But if we have created infrastructure that is no longer needed, we have to adjust and such adjustments are painful. We have to realign, create new shared agreements.

    We have all watched bookstores die and newspapers fade away. Human culture has to shed outdated shells, like snakes shed old skin, and create new culture.

    Maybe this city will decide to make an exception for ice cream. And I’ll patronize that ice cream shop. I am not opposed to the ice cream store. I am opposed to shoving change through whilst dishonoring the already-agreed-upon process (rules and laws) for change in zoning. Maybe the already-agreed-upon process needs to be change. .. process matters. I am an attorney and I know many find much to excoriate the legal profession for but the law gives us some good things: transparent process, old fashioned things like full and fair notice so anyone in the community who cares can show up and contribute their voice to collective decisions.

    When we allow insiders and/or city planning staff to gives exceptions to other insiders (such as happened with the Kapor house, which by passed city planning rules), we are dismissing neighbors, devaluing fellow citizens who worked on behalf of the public good to create a fair process.

    I’m really tired of insiders getting special deals and this seems to happen more in Berkeley than most places and I think Tom Bates, a lifelong professional politician who sure doesn’t seem to care about anyone but real estate developers’ (and their campaign donations?). . . well, I don’t need to blast Bates. I’m just sick of the way things get done in Berkeley. Insiders who shout the loudest seem to get what they want or else insiders who know how to sneak around the public process get what they want. Enough.

  • Andrew

    Tizzie, You must not have kids and have a lot of free time. I do eat local, but I don’t have all day everyday to be leisurely about it. And when did walking four miles for a treat become unthinkable? As soon as my kids could walk! Have you ever tried to walk four miles with a toddler?

  • The Peet’s at 1825 Solano, two doors up from the proposed iScream, is in Berkeley. On the north side of Solano, the Berkeley/Albany border is at Neilson Street. On the south side, it’s at Tulare Avenue.

  • How about an ice cream cart as a start for Solano?

    Let’s revisit food cart and other street cart licensing regulations in Berkeley, make room for more of those (on Solano and elsewhere), and encourage locating production facilities in the light industrial area.

    That’s potentially a really nice way to re-fill empty store-fronts and to manage quota systems and do small-business development:

    Consider ice cream: if you can find a less expensive per sq. foot place to site production, and float some street carts, now the cost of trying out new businesses goes down. Additionally, once a new business is a going concern, you can experiment with rather than having to guess at location. Where suitable vacancies exist or come on the market, you can expand into those. Or, the smashingly successful ice cream cart folks can partner up with the smashingly successful hot dog cart and both arrange to share a store front. As successes move to store fronts, perhaps some production relocates out of tiny industrial district spaces (to their retail spaces or to larger industrial sites), freeing them up to continue the cycle.

    That is, if we’re going to liberalize use permits – start at the very lowest level and the level that is most useful (and least capital intensive) for experimentation and bootstrapping. Heck, make incentives for micro-capital financiers to step in for these kinds of operations.

    (I’m saying “street carts” rather than “street vending” because in vending (as on Telegraph) it seems you basically just lease out portions of the real estate. With carts, you can limit lengths of stay at a particular location when there enough demand – and thus more new vendors can play.)

    Its the kind of idea I imagine Jane Jacobs might have liked.

    As things stand, we mostly only allow very capital-intensive all-or-nothing plays in the supposed major retail districts. That high barrier to entry keeps the number of attempts way down and the number of failures pretty high.

  • jjohannson

    “But, as neighbors (we are all neighbors if we live in Berkeley) find a neighborly, collectively way to resolve this zoning decision, folks living near Solano can walk downtown for ice cream.”

    This — if you really mean it in your heart of hearts, Tizzielish — comes off as outlandish nimbyism. (And our family, including our 7/yo, frequently hikes those four miles to the downtown farmers market and back home to Solano.) Surely you don’t mean this?

  • Andrew

    I love Portland food carts! Great idea to bring’em home to Berkeley.

  • CJ Higley

    We should have a food cart culture in Berkeley, no question. I’ve asked Linda Maio about this. The problem, of course, is blowback from the bricks and mortar restaurants who don’t want the competition. I think that’s bogus for the same reason the quotas are bogus. Competition would raise the bar for everyone and lead to creative niche building.

  • Carol and I once told people we lived “one ice cream cone from Solano” … would love to be able to say that again.

    Having La Farine, Nature’s Express, Peet’s (yes, definitely in our Berkeley Thousand Oaks neighborhood) and the new “bulb” adds life to the street and vibrancy to the community. Would love to see trees on upper Solano too!

    I’d much rather have happy people shopping and dining in our neighborhood than vacant and dark storefronts. Perhaps it’s simply time to revisit the quota for “food service establishments”

    I know there are many who supported the food service establishment quota and would be interested to hear their thoughts.

    Ira Serkes

  • Andrew

    Tizzie, Sorry, one more thing I forgot. My house is about two miles from Solano (then another 4 to downtown). So it’s not 8 miles roundtrip, but 4. Having ice cream on Solano would mean a 4 mile round trip for the youngins. That count?

    I used to live near Solano. I’ve seen establishments come and go (Have you seen that space next to Ajanta? It’s a revolving door of retail.). The ones that stay tend to be food oriented. Maybe we should let customers (many of which come from near Solano) decide the quotas. I really enjoyed being able to walk down the street for lunch or dinner (need more good breakfasts), but after a long while the same ol same ol gets, well, old. Nothing against variety.

  • Jane Tierney

    We all love ice cream. And the business person requesting the permit is, I’m sure, civic minded and well intentioned. I’m sure my family will support the ice cream store regularly, and walk there to do it.

    TONA will make no recommendation on the ice cream application for 1819 Solano Ave. permit matter. That decision was voted on by the TONA board on Monday. Those who opine differently are speaking for themselves only or are misinformed.

    The food service permit quotas are a quite separate matter, which TONA recommends be discussed separately, in a transparent manner, so all can participate. Perhaps the quotas are outdated. No one knows because we haven’t had an open discussion about them in years. They’ve been in place since 1988. And the automatic grandfathering of the food service licenses, per location, seems like something from the dark ages, almost like taxi medallions.

    This pits landlords with these valuable permits, against upcoming businesses that are not food services, who perhaps cannot afford the inflated rents charged by landlords for addresses with food service permits. It also encourages landlords to raise rents, forcing out longstanding businesses to bring in restaurant tenants, who are more eager for upscale locations. Why not, additional permits are easy to obtain through ZAB, despite the quota system, although time consuming and expensive. And once permitted, they stay with the address. And what does this restaurant related premium do to upcoming chefs or entrepreneurs? It inflates the cost of doing business! Food carts are an alternative for some situations, but not practical in many places on Solano Ave.

    When they figure out how to serve food through the internet, we’ll not need a business district and won’t need to walk anywhere (that’s sarcasm you hear.) So much for quality standards, ambiance or community.

    Currently, the quota for Solano Business District is 11 restaurants or food service establishments. With this approval, for the ice cream location, there will be 29 now existing. Does this make sense to anyone?

    If the quotas are outdated or too restrictive, change them. Debate the issue openly and change them. That’s democracy. Not draconian back room politics which forces neighborhoods to be constantly vigilant, in case some Goliath comes in and tries to push something insidious through while everyone’s gone for vacation! (And I’m not talking about an ice cream establishment by a local business person.)

    There is more here than is readily apparent, and it behooves those interested in a diverse business district, or consistent zoning for residential areas, to inform themselves. Unfortunately, with the arcane, hard to understand and subjective practices of the ZAB, that is quite difficult. It will also require a commitment of three to four hours at a ZAB or Council meeting, waiting for the topic to come up on the agenda, or writing a letter, etc. Not many have the time or interest for that, and therefore, we have the system (if you want to call it that) that we have.

    In a democracy, you get what you deserve.

  • Jane Tierney

    P.S., in the interest of full disclosure and fairness, please print the name of the listserv that mistakenly claimed TONA opposed the permit. Otherwise, we’ll have to reach our own conclusions, and make assumptions in doing so. Not a benefit to anyone.

  • John Seal

    If McCallum’s was still on Solano this wouldn’t be an issue. Their’s was the best ice cream I ever had.

  • The listserv was TODiscussions. I have no idea who runs it. Someone passed it on to me. I didn’t mention it because it seemed like an unnecessary detail in the post.

  • s z underwood

    Yes, McCallum’s was far and away the best ice cream in Berkeley fro many years, (their fudge swirl flavor was “famous”). Ortman’s (which was at the corner of Colusa and Solano) also had its champions. There also used to be a Baskin Robbin’s about mid-Solano (I think it’s gone now?). Bott’s on College served very good ice cream in the 1970s also (but later went downhill).

    I support this new establishment 100% and we will doubtless patronize it. If only Ici could open up another outlet on Solano as well! The demand seems to be there…

  • Guest

    I agree that the community should decide what mix of stores should be on Solano. However, this should be done entirely through the free-market system, which is what guides all our nation’s business outside of Berkeley. If a business is patronized sufficiently for it to succeed, then the community has supported it. If not, then the community hasn’t, and the store goes away. The idea that community support should somehow be measured by how many activists without lives show up to a meeting full of bureaucrats is failed concept that would not survive outside of our city.

  • Guest,

    I’m not sure where you get your information. Zoning restrictions that limit what kind of business can site where are extremely common throughout the country. So is all of the political fighting, activism, allegations of insider deals and hidden agendas, and so forth.

    There are and have been exceptions.

    One historic case that might interest you is Wasilla, Alaska. When it had a very small population it had no zoning laws. As it became the cheapest land in its region, growth took off. Most folks lived on gravel roads. If your house caught fire, there was a good chance the VFD wouldn’t be able to find it in time to save it. People dug wells in problematic locations leading, today, to serious water supply problems as those and surrounding wells start to run dry.

    When she first became Councilwoman, Sarah Palin was one of the leaders of a narrow defeat of zoning laws. Wasilla continued to grow at a fast rate.

    A decade later, zoning was finally introduced. By the time she stepped down as Mayor, Palin left behind a horrible mess. Supposedly, in surrounding towns, when zoning law changes are considered a common refrain is “We don’t want to wind up like [under-regulated] Wasilla”.

  • Jane Tierney

    Guest: If the free-market is left to its own devices, then fine. But with the quota and permit system, it’s not. And since Berkeley almost never enforces any of its laws, what are neighbors to do if businesses leave trash, dirty the sidewalks, make excessive noise, park on their property, block the sidewalk, and any number of other un-businesslike and un-neighborly actions? Do we wait for them to go out of business? Because their customers will most likely be largely unaware of these problems. Or seek redress through enforcement of the municpal codes? Why have codes at all? Let’s just strap on our six shooters and work it out amongst ourselves. (Not really, but that’s the ultimate logic you’re arguing.) Neighbors have rights, just as businesses do. Let’s keep them both in perspective. And as for having lives, I hope yours is more than your head in the sand, shopping like crazy, waiting for others to keep your neighborhood clean, safe and operable. It doesn’t happen by itself.

  • I wonder if Guest lives in a neighborhood with residential zoning that excludes businesses?

    If so, I wonder if he/she would feel if someone wanted to replace the house next door to him/her with a garbage dump, a mortuary, or a nightclub that stayed open all night, and made the same argument about the market.

  • Debz

    I want to respect the shared agreements. But perhaps they need to be revisited. There are clearly far more than enough coffee places on Solano, but nary an ice cream place. There are many hair salons too. And nail salons. Why no ice cream stores? It’s too far to walk downtown and back after dinner with kids. We often ending up driving over to Ben and Jerry’s. I’d much prefer to walk to Solano for ice cream. I think an ice cream place would be most welcome. And also much preferred over an empty storefront. So, I don’t advocate flouting rules. Maybe there should be given a temporary permit while the rules are revisited?

  • Guest


    You misunderstood my point. Communities have every right restrict bars, strip clubs, toxic waste dumps, and the like. That is what zoning codes were designed for, and these types of businesses clearly do not have a place in all neighborhoods. Similarly, local laws should be in place, and enforced, regarding nuisances such as barking dogs or junk cars. However, for bureaucrats to decide that coffee shops are preferable over ice cream parlors or book stores is not right. The purpose of government should not be to micromanage what should be a free-enterprise system. Thank you.

  • Jane Tierney

    The City cannot regulate exactly which businesses operate. It can’t control whether a Mexican restaurant or a Thai one goes in; whether shoes or beauty aids succeed. It certainly can’t mandate that an ice cream store go in. The free market does work there. The change has occurred from the nature of the way people shop. And now it’s largely on the internet. So, consequently, the remaining local stores are largely food services, which can’t be delivered online. Only smart business people will put in businesses that shoppers want. Look how many come and go! That’s why permits should not be grandfathered to the location but to the individual businesses.

  • Andrew

    When and why were the Solano restaurant quotas initiated? If long ago, in a different time, it may be time to re-evaluate. What about a limit on beauty supply shops or used clothing shops?

  • Andrew,

    I don’t know “when” (though it shouldn’t be hard to find out) but you can read the relevant ordinances on the city web site. Here is the relevant part (Chapter 23E.60 “C-SO SOLANO AVENUE COMMERCIAL DISTRICT PROVISIONS”).

    The gist is that the district provisions are to, among other purposes, encourage businesses that support the local neighborhood, discourage uses that support a larger regional clientele, discourage uses that significantly increase traffic and parking demand, and the usual stuff about fitting the character of the neighborhood.

    The quota of 12 can be over-ridden by a procedure also spelled out there. Zoning has to make various findings. The proposed exception has to be consistent with the overall purpose of the rules. Several specific findings have to be made in addition.

    The rules include things like not interfering with existing businesses (e.g., the lines out one door block the door of the next), limited traffic impact, etc. And, perhaps most significantly, that the exceptions don’t tend to saturate the street with just one type of use (in this case a “Food Service Establishment” or some similar phrase).

    Now, as near as I can see, Solano has been treated differently than the master plan or 23E.60 originally intended. It’s been treated as if the goal were to make it a “destination” region, with increased traffic, serving a larger region, and to some extent saturated with one type of business – hence the political tension as some resist “more of the same”.

    The ordinance reads like the intention was to keep it classy, sleepy little district perhaps comparable to north Shattuck back in the day or a slightly scaled up version of the Kensignton commercial blocks. There were historic businesses there that obviously brought in some traffic (e.g., movie theater, grocery store) but the ordinance reads like the hope was to keep that flame just right where it was, no larger.

  • Andrew

    Thanks Thomas. That makes sense. But as well know times change. The people who bought our house bought it partly because it is in a “vibrant” walkable community, not a “sleepy” one (they in fact moved from a sleepy community).

    Berkeley had good intentions for a different time. I wonder what are the good intentions in 2010, and what kind of place is the Solano region in 2010?

  • I’d love to see thriving businesses rather than vacant storefronts. Went to Mechanics Bank, then walked to the Post Office. Two vacancies across the street, the hopefully-soon-to-be ice cream store, and the place next to the video shop – that’s four … out of perhaps 8-10 total store fronts.

    Rent/lease terms and the economy play an important role in whether or not businesses come in and survive.

    That said, there’s a substantive difference in hours, odors, litter, and foot traffic between a restaurant/food service business and most other kinds of businesses.

    Issues such as odor, litter, and hours seems appropriately dealt with via a use permit.


  • Neighbor in favor of revitalizing Solano

    I am with Ira in that I would rather see thriving businesses rather than vacant (and blighted) storefronts. I also believe that businesses that are innovative and forward-thinking will have a better chance of survival. How about about rules, ordinances and quotas that prioritize businesses that are family/locally owned, follow sustainability practices (people, profit, planet), give back to the community, offer services/products that inspire demand based on store design, quality, community-friendliness and relevancy (i.e., rather than being relevant to markets from 25 years ago). What is working on Solano? And what is not?

  • BerkeleyMom

    Not sure if someone else mentioned it but Ici (the College Ave. store) has a lovely ice cream cart at the N. Berkeley farm market on Thursday afternoons. It had a very long line yesterday. I love to get my ice cream there so I don’t have to park over by College Ave.

  • Peggy

    Could someone please post the decision of the ZAB on this topic? I live one short block from the proposed iScream store and would like to know.

    It is interesting to hear that the quota system was put in place in 1988 when there was a very different economic climate. Every empty storefront is a shame, and each one is a little stake in the heart of our property values. Perhaps TONA could take the lead in prompting a new discussion of these quotas, originally intended to keep property values up but perhaps now actually having a deleterious effect. The top block of Solano is like a canary in the coal mine. I want our shopping district to reflect what a vital neighborhood this is. Every October our streets are full of trick-or-treaters, kids from Thousand Oaks School who come from all over the city because our neighborhood is safe and friendly. Where I live, I smell Zachary’s Pizza and Noah’s bagels every time I go out the front door. Yum!

    If there is anything that can help stores stay open and vital on Solano, let’s do it! Who cares what the number in the quota is, if it is no longer a good idea. Let’s re-open the discussion. With a realtor as our coucilmember, this discussion should get going. Laurie?? Any opinions?

  • Solano Neighbor

    Gracious, if an ancient quota would keep an ice cream shop from opening on upper Solano….. get rid of the quotas! What an idiotic idea, to have a random system in place that says, hey, y’all thousands of people who live, walk to and drive to Solano to eat, primarily, we deem that you shall only have 12 options, total. Whose crazy idea was that????

  • grandma Sherry

    I have been a Berkeley grandma for four years and for that long have really missed being able to walk to Solano with my grandchildren for and ice cream treat.

  • Pingback: The Berkeley Wire: 09.17.10 | Berkeleyside()

  • Shorty

    Quotas!?!!?!? So typical of this town! I agree with the above comment by CJH! WE need more storefronts and less ‘for rent’ signs!
    I’m tired of the ‘Gordon Available’ signs littering the top of Solano. As a NB resident, I would love to walk down to Solano in the evening, yet it is a virtual ghost town. After the furniture store left(for a cheaper venue), a beauty supply store set up shop. There is a much smaller, already established beauty supply store just across the street. I just noticed that the ‘newer’ shop has a ‘going out of business’ sign in their window. WHile I hate to see their business fail and close, the writing was on the wall. How can we talk about quotas when we have two businesses as such in close proximity to one another. We could use more food establishments. I’m all for an ice cream parlor. Look at what Ici has generated on College.
    And what is with the Solano AVe association preventing ‘refunds’ on returned merchandise. A merchant told me that the association has been very rigid on this issue. Well, if I can’t change my mind and return merchandise within a reasonable window, then I just might start shopping on a more ‘friendly’ online venue.

  • shorty

    One ‘Peggy’ asks for ‘Laurie’ to respond….yes, Laurie, what exactly are you doing to help Solano Ave thrive. I believe it happens to be in your district? Therein lies the problem….a realtor as our councilman. A conflict of interest of sorts!

  • sparky

    shorty and Peggy say it all… Laurie what have you done for us lately?
    nothing I’m sure! clean house this November and do it again in two years we need to start fresh downtown no more business as usual !!!!
    vote passionately with your heart. let’s clean house this November

  • Bill Devany

    what the hell happened to supply and demand. If folks want ice cream, they will come.
    If the don’t, i-scream will go. Give them a friggen chance!

  • Olya Dalrymple

    Hay thank Bill

    I love Iscream I am happy that my mother open the shop and I get to work there I love to see people coming in and trying the Iscream It means alot to my mother. Places tell us what you want to make the shop stay there how can we make you come back we love everyone and we don’t want to see the shop emty :D Give us a chance that all we are asking :D