Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

rollerderbyCRUZ SKATE SHOP The world of female roller derby competition is flourishing, and California’s first brick-and-mortar derby shop has relocated to Berkeley. Sandy “Motley” Cruz and Marci Daniels decided to move Cruz Skate Shop from the San Francisco’s Mission District to 2505 San Pablo Ave. (near Dwight) to be closer to customers in the East Bay and in Sacramento, Chico, Stockton and other Central Valley cities. Cruz Skate Shop is the only place where people can come to try on a variety of roller skates, said Daniels. “We specialize in outfitting roller derby girls, but we serve recreational roller skaters, too.” The store had a soft opening March 2 and will hold a grand opening celebration Saturday, March 16.

sweetleaf SWEET LEAF The Shamtoob family has been feeding Berkeley residents for decades with its trio of restaurants: Pancho’s Mexican Grill, King Pin Donuts (both in the Durant Food Court), and BayKing. The latter sweet shop, at 2468 Telegraph Ave., closed its doors about three months ago. Now Sasha Shamtoob is following in his father Dari’s footsteps. He is getting ready to open Sweet Leaf Café in the old BayKing site. The new café will offer lots of baked goods, cookies and muffins, and will also serve large, healthy salads. “There is no great salad store (on Telegraph) since Intermezzo burned down a year ago,” said Shamtoob. Sweet Leaf Café will offer a signature salad with mixed lettuces, sprouts, garbanzo and black beans, shredded carrots, cherry tomatoes, egg and croutons. The “sweet” in the name refers to the baked goods and the “leaf” refers to the salads.

gilman comp4FIREHOUSE ART COLLECTIVE Office Depot’s move from its current location across the street to 1000 Gilman is prompting a game of musical chairs. Office Depot needs almost the entire space, so the current tenants, Eastern Classics, which sells Asian furniture and antiques, and the Firehouse Art Collective, are planning to move next door into the old Smith and Hawken space at 1330 10th St., according to Steve Smith of Norheim & Yost, which is representing the owner of the building. (The city is still reviewing the permit application.) The 11,200 square foot space will be divided in two and new bathrooms will be installed. Eastern Classics will remain there permanently, but Firehouse Collective only intends to operate a gallery there for about a year. Once 1001 Gilman is renovated, Firehouse Art Collective plans to move back to its former site.

Thread Lounge 1/1 1.28.13 Photo: Tracey Taylor THREAD LOUNGE Thread Lounge which opened a pop-up store in the old Fed Ex-Kinkos corner building at Shattuck and Bancroft Way in late January, has moved to Fourth Street. The store offers discounted designer clothing for women, men, and children, as well as a selection of home accessories. Owner Colleen Schmidt did not find the downtown location to be the right fit, so she moved the store to 1717 B Fourth Street.

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.

If you’re interested in restaurant and food businesses in particular, check out Bites, Berkeleyside Nosh’s regular column in which we post updates on East Bay food news.

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  • jjohannson

    **Light bulb** — Berkeley Iceland should be repurposed for Women’s Roller Derby (and rec rollerskating other times). Banked rinks, the works. It could probably fit a main rink with bleachered seating and one two smaller rinks. Can you imagine Women’s Roller Derby Night in America, live from Berkeley Iceland?

  • ECheng

    Just saw an coming soon sign for Purple Kow on Center Street! Long lines stretching for their only other location in SF. Supposed to open in mid April according to their twitter feed. https://twitter.com/PurpleKoww Lots of new boba places in Downtown Berkeley now!

  • guest

    yes! Yes! Yes!

  • guest

    Yes. And nobody would watch it. Just like now.

  • guest123

    Peter Rich, the erstwhile owner of Velo Sport Berkeley, was among those who floated the idea of transforming Iceland into an indoor track cycling velodrome. Plan never got anywhere either.

  • guest

    do you guys know anything about the restaurant opening up next to Cruz, in the old Bacheeso’s space? sign says it will be called “Claypot.”

  • The_Sharkey

    Both ideas are fun, but not really financially viable. There just isn’t enough interest to cover the associated costs without significant public funding.

  • Frances Dinkelspiel

    We will look into it and report back.

  • emraguso