Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

FAST TURNAROUND  Ethnic Arts had to move out of the Gilman Village Complex  last week to make way for a new Office Depot, but it opened up within days at a new location at 2236 San Pablo Avenue, between Allston Way and Bancroft Ave. The new space is 4,000 sq ft — about half the size of the old store — but is beautifully laid out and has an eye-catching bright red facade. The store is next door to Metro Lighting and owner Eleanor Hopewell said the area is emerging as the city’s new center for design. “It’s a great street, a great neighborhood and an up and coming part of Berkeley,” she said.

FOUR ARTISTS TOGETHER   Jeweler Lynne Belmont was looking around to open a holiday pop-up store and approached the realtor John Gordon about using some vacant space in Oakland’s Montclair Village. To her delight, Gordon suggested a vacant space on College Avenue instead. The end result is Four Amazing Artists Pop-Up Shop at 2948 College, right off Ashby. Open from 11 am to 7 pm during the week, and 10 am to 7 pm on weekends, the store features Belmont’s jewelry, Gila Sagy’s glass art, Kevin Brown’s paintings, and Janet Appleton’s line of dog accessories and large glass pieces. “A pop-up in a thriving neighborhood is a win-win for everybody,” said Belmont, who added that neighboring merchants have been welcoming. The store will be open through Dec. 31 and will donate a portion of its profits to three charities: Friends of Faith Fancher, Children’s Hospital, and the Cerebral Palsy Center of Oakland.

AFFORDABLE FASHION   Looking for Kate Spade or Michael Kors but don’t want to pay full price? Cathy and Norbert Pachco opened Trendy Boutique and Consignment at 1747 Solano Avenue near Ensenada to solve that problem. The store also carries Tom’s shoes, Uggs, and other designer apparel from Vera Wang, Vince Camuto and Calvin Klein. The Pachecos were both born in the Philippines and previously worked selling wholesale — until their love for fashion and style won out.

WOOD FOR THE AGES   The partners behind The Woodbank, located in the old Flint Ink Building at 772 Gilman, originally started talking about buying plots of timberland and offering them for investment to large funds, like Calpers. That idea evolved into opening a hardwood lumber and plywood yard that would offer exotic and sustainable wood to cabinet and furniture makers, among others. After buying Western Plywood in San Francisco, Brian Everett, Michael Norton and Jeff Nelson opened the Woodbank in July. They specialize in exotic wood, reclaimed lumber and urban salvage live edge slabs and when possible, stock items that use a formaldehyde-free resin. The Woodbank will soon be FSC certified.

THE BLOOM IS OFF THE ROSE  Rose Bistro, which served California-French cuisine at 2037 Shattuck Avenue, has closed its doors. The owner Hai Nguyen, told The Daily Californian that escalating rent prompted the closure. He has opened a similar restaurant called La Sen Bistro in Concord.

Shop Talk is Berkeleyside’s 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.

Berkeleyside publishes many articles every day. To see all our stories in chronological order, and read ones you may have missed, check out All the News.

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  • Downtown Worker

    Sportivo @ 2132 Center is not renewing their lease and will close on Dec 15th. Sliver Pizzeria will open Jan 2013. http://www.facebook.com/SliverPizzeria?ref=stream

  • Bryan Garcia

    Why is there like five times as much information about human trafficking on their Facebook page as there is about their actual business? Pretty lousy start to their marketing.