Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

SMOKY NO MORE Ken Looney has closed his Looney’s Southern Bar -B-Que at 2190 Bancroft Ave. after five years of operation. He closed it Dec. 11 because he could not come to acceptable terms with the landlord when his lease expired, according to an employee at one of Looney’s Oakland locations.

PHARMACY SHUFFLE No official word yet but informed sources say Walgreens will be moving from its location on Shattuck and Allston Way across the street into the space once occupied by Ross Dress for Less at 2190 Shattuck. The owners of the building, Sansome Pacific, have applied for a city permit to remodel the structure and add new entrance on Allston for the offices on the second floor. And it is apparently a better bet to look for a CVS pharmacy in the old Andronico’s building on Telegraph rather than a new grocery store.

WATCH IT GROW DeYoe Wealth Management is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Started in 2001 by Jonathan DeYoe, it has grown from a one person to a six-person office managing close to $65 million in assets and generating $700,000 in revenue. The San Francisco Business Times voted it one of the fastest growing companies in the East Bay – back in 2008 when the economy was terrible. Business has picked up since then.

INDEPENDENT BREEDS INDEPENDENCE The building at 2539 Telegraph Ave. owned by the Center for Independent Living has become a new center for nonprofit and government groups. The Small Business Association has an office on the site and is now accepting applications for disaster relief funds for those affected by the Nov. 18 fire in the Sequoia Apartments. The Gray Panthers, who had to move from their University Avenue offices when that branch of Andronico’s closed, have set up shop, as has the United Nations Association of the East Bay. The center has also opened up a wheelchair repair store and assisted technology reuse center called The Shop. Access is through the rear parking lot.

The League of Women Voters of the East Bay also had to move after the Andronico’s building on University closed. The group is now at 2530 San Pablo Ave. near Dwight Way, in the building housing the Ecology Center and the Sierra Club.

Shop Talk is our regular column in which we post updates on Berkeley businesses — openings, closings, new directions, relaunches, relocations. If you’re a Berkeley business with news, or a Berkeleysider who has spotted a change in your neighborhood or on your travels, shoot us an email with the details. Read previous Shop Talk columns here.

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  • Anonymous

    Wow, I am glad to see someone move into the old Ross (and JC Penny before that) building, even if it is Walgreen.  That place has been vacant for a long time.  It has been the most conspicuous vacancy in downtown.

  • Bryan Garcia

    I agree, but this raises the question: what will become of the current Walgreens building??

  • Anonymous

    It will probably remain vacant for a while, but it is easier to find businesses to rent relatively small spaces in downtown, like that one, than to rent large spaces like the old Ross/JC Penney building. 

  • West Bezerkeley

    And it is apparently a better bet to look for a CVS pharmacy in the old
    Andronico’s building on Telegraph rather than a new grocery store.

    Any word on why they can’t get something like Fresh & Easy interested in that location?

  • Alan Tobey

    Probably because CVS and Walgreen’s are in a nationwide war of Mutually Assured Destruction involving opening new stores so close to those of its enemy that neither can do well. Serving the local community has nothing to do with it.   Look for a major Crash & Burn of the whole 20th-century-style scheme one day.

  • Bruce Love

    Are they both the same landlord?

  • West Bezerkeley

    That doesn’t explain why it’s “apparently a better bet to look for a CVS…rather than a new grocery store.”

    You’ve just explained the path of least resistance. I’m still wondering why a chain like Fresh & Easy that is in the midst of a US expansion isn’t a good bet. It was mentioned by Mayor Bates as an option, so why the sudden change of heart?

    Here’s the Berkeleyside story —

  • Frances Dinkelspiel

    The city of Berkeley would like to see a grocery store in that location, but the owner of the building has been talking to CVS for awhile, before a grocery chain ever approached the group that owns the site.

  • West Bezerkeley

    Thank you for the additional background.

  • Anonymous

    CVS probably.

  • Tim

    Re: Looney’s, according to a worker there, the landlord didn’t give the business owner an option of extending the lease…supposedly due to the owner wanting to let a family member go into business there.

  • Tim

    Re: Deyoe Wealth Management:  I endorse this business and encourage anyone with a retirement account to consider having these folks manage it for you.  They are local, civic minded and unique in their perspective. Check them out!

  • Berkeley Resident

    That is going to be a huge Walgreens.  Hmmmm.
    What about the University Ave. Andronico’s space?  Any updates? 

  • Bruce Love

    Is Walgreens one of the “drug stores” that’s these days going more and more into groceries at some locations?

  • Charles_Siegel

    Yep, even the small Walgreens on Telegraph near campus has lots of groceries.