THREAD LOUNGE Opening today in downtown Berkeley: Thread Lounge, an upscale fashion store offering discounted designer clothing for women, men, and children, as well as limited home furnishings. Owner Colleen Schmidt, a former buyer for Ralph Lauren and Donna Karan among others, already has two stores — in San Francisco and Chicago — and is testing the waters in Berkeley with a popup version of the bohemian-style shop in the old Fed Ex-Kinkos corner building at Shattuck and Bancroft Way. “We are like a designer sample sale,” Schmidt says. “We work with over 400 designers worldwide.” Local labels currently in stock include Laurel B (sweaters that retail for $250-$400 are $80) and Wendy Katlin ( $200-$450 tops and dresses for $50-$100). Schmidt works in partnership with her boyfriend, Jon Vohr, who creates the artwork and fixtures in the store, although Schmidt is quick to point out that the décor will be much more appealing if they decide to settle here. “Everyone asks me why I didn’t go to Fourth Street but I think there’s room for growth in downtown Berkeley. There aren’t a lot of fashion options here,” she says. Thread Lounge is throwing a “Meet & Greet” opening for the public with wine and appetizers on Thursday, Jan. 31, 7-9pm. Thread Lounge is at 2295 Shattuck Ave. Open: weekdays, 12-7, Sat. 11-7, Sun. 12-6.
PHIL’S SLIDERS Phil’s Sliders at 2024 Shattuck Ave. has new outside seating — it was spotted by Berkeleysider Bill Newton who shot the photo, left.
ANNIE’S Berkeley-based food company Annie’s is voluntarily recalling its homegrown frozen pizza. In its recall notice Annie’s said it was prompted when it learned that a fine metal mesh screen failed at a third-party flour mill and fragments of flexible metal mesh were found in the flour and pizza dough. ”While no metal has been found in Annie’s finished product, as a precaution, Annie’s initiated this voluntary recall. There have been no consumer illnesses or injuries reported to date,” they wrote.
SUGAR CONE CAFE Lori Pottinger lets us know that Sugar Cone Café at 303 Arlington Ave. at Amherst over the Berkeley border in Kensington closed at the end of December. “I understand the owners are hoping someone will reopen it,” she writes. “The note at shop says it was too much for them (they have young kids). Its a great little place — hope someone steps in!”
DAVITA The former Reel video space at 2655 Shattuck is close to re-opening as a medical office (as tipped by us last January). The build-out is ongoing and the new occupants are DaVita, a healthcare company that delivers dialysis services to patients with chronic kidney failure and end stage renal disease. DaVita’s sign went up recently.
BODY TIME Body Time‘s downtown Berkeley store (which we tipped earlier this month was moving from 1942 to 1950 Shattuck Ave.) opened on Jan 26 and is called its flagship store. The store extends the contemporary new look of the packaging and catalog of its line of locally made, premium skincare products for women and men. Opening day offers continue through Jan. 30. In August, Body Time, which was founded 42 years ago on Telegraph Avenue, found its way back to its roots with a new store on Telegraph, just north of Channing. Body Time has five stores, three in Berkeley, which is where the company is headquartered.
CRAB YARD Launched in December, Crab Yard describes itself as a Cajun-Creole Asian fusion restaurant that specializes in seafood. You simply order your seafood of choice and pick a seasoning (lemon pepper, garlic & butter or a combo), and you’re off. The restaurant does not provide utensils, but does offer “gloves, vibe, and plenty of paper towels.” A note on the door advises diners not to “wear anything you don’t want to get dirty.” Mains include shrimps, clams or mussels for $9.99 per pound. Raw oysters are $10 for half a dozen and $18.99 per dozen. Lobster, crawfish and crab go for seasonal prices. (A recent special had them going for $13.99 a pound.) Hours: Weekdays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5-10 p.m. Weekends, 2-10 p.m. 2037 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley; 510-8831.
THE RARE BARREL A new brewery, The Rare Barrel, is coming to Berkeley. Jay Goodwin, former Brewer at The Bruery will take care of the barrel aging, Brad Goodwin (Jay’s father) will handle the books and Alex Wallash (a homebrewer) will be in charge of sales and marketing, says East Bay Beer. So what makes The Rare Barrel unique? The brewery is producing all sour beers, which take up to a year (or more) to mature. A small tasting room is also a possibility in the future. 937 Carleton St., Berkeley.
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.