Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

UC Press is moving out of Berkeley in the spring of 2014. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel

UC Press is moving out of Berkeley in the spring of 2014. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel

UC PRESS After 30 years at 2120 Berkeley Way near Shattuck Avenue, the University of California Press is moving this spring to a new location near Lake Merritt in Oakland. One of the reasons for the move is that upcoming construction on the Acheson Commons development will be disruptive, according to Alison Mudditt, the press’s director. The completed apartment complex will surround  UC Press on three sides, and the building will “lose much of our existing natural light,”  she said in a letter. The current building is also not large enough to handle UC Press’ projected growth. “There is no available Class A office space in Berkeley that meets our needs,” Mudditt wrote in a recent newsletter. UC Press plans to lease, not buy, the new space.

IMG_4082KID DYNAMO The children’s clothing store Kid Dynamo recently moved around the corner from its original location on Shattuck Avenue into the space once occupied by the Earthly Goods outlet. The new 1,400 square foot store at 2108 Vine St. is light and airy and chock-full of colorful children’s clothes, books, and games. Owners Holly Tomlinson and Erin Carter wanted to expand and also wanted to start carrying a selection of products for older kids. The old store only carried girls sizes up to 7 or 8; the new store carries sizes up to 14 for girls and 10 for boys. The owners also emphasize locally made products and try to avoid toys made in China because of concerns about working conditions. Kid Dynamo in planning to bring Santa to visit every weekend in December.

themonthlyTELEGRAPH MEDIA Stephen Buel, the former editor of the East Bay Express and the San Francisco Examiner, and his wife, Judy Gallman, have purchased The Monthly, Oakland Magazine, and Alameda Magazine from the Alameda Publishing Group. The deal closed on Oct. 11, and the company recently moved into new headquarters in Oakland. The Monthly has been distributed in Berkeley since 1970. Gallman has been editor of Oakland and Alameda magazines for the last year and she has just taken over the editorship of The Monthly from Sarah Weld. “I left my heart in the East Bay,” said Buel. “I worked over here as a journalist for at decade at the Express, I finished graduate school at Berkeley in 1980; it felt like home. It’s the market I care about most and know about most.” Buel and Gallman do not plan any immediate changes to the magazines but Buel, who is handling the business operations, will increase his ad sales staff, he said.

Photo: Bonita Fish Market

Photo: Bonita Fish Market

BONITA FISH MARKET Bonita Fish Market has opened up in the center of Berkeley, a block from Trader Joe’s. Owner Hong Nguyen said the business is modeled after Monterey Fish Market on Hopkins Street in North Berkeley. The shop had its grand opening on Friday, Nov. 1. Nguyen is working with Truc Vuong, a commercial fisherman who will supply the market with fresh seafood daily. The shop is located at 1941 University Ave., and is offering 20% off to customers throughout November. Bonita is open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The shop can be reached at 510-529-4372. (Hat tip: Shifra de Benedictis-Kessner of the Downtown Berkeley Association)

Photo: Sierra Nevada

Photo: Sierra Nevada

SIERRA NEVADA Sierra Nevada’s Torpedo Room tasting room in West Berkeley in the Reid Building at 2031 Fourth St. will be opening by Nov. 15. Ryan Arnold, Sierra Nevada’s spokesman, said construction is still wrapping up, and the business will then need to have its final inspection and approval before opening its doors but has sent out tickets to a Nov. 15 celebration.  “We’re going to get it rolling as soon as we’re able,” Arnold said Friday.

Dan Cook, the mead maker, tests the mead at Urbano Cellars in Berkeley. Photo: Emilie Raguso

MEAD KITCHEN The Mead Kitchen, which we featured on Nosh in April, is finally hitting the streets with its honey brew, crafted by mead maker Dan Cook. Via co-owner Paul O’Leary, mead is already available on tap at Lanesplitter Pizza & Pub in West Berkeley, 2033 San Pablo Ave. Two more Lanesplitter locations (in Oakland and Emeryville) are coming soon, along with the Albany Taproom. More locations will be added in the coming months. Said O’Leary via email, “We’ll be offering three different types of mead on tap, Orange­Ginger, Simcoe (Hops) and Cherry mead. Each bar will probably only have one tap dedicated to us at a time, so it’ll be a bit of a surprise for customers which of our mead is available at any given time.” Simcoe mead will be available at Urbano Cellars in refillable bottles. Read more about The Mead Kitchen on Berkeleyside Nosh

FILIPPO’S Reader Lisa Sibony tipped us off to the closure of the Berkeley Filippo’s at 2930 College Ave., which she learned about via a letter posted in the restaurant window earlier this week. “So sad,” she wrote. “We absolutely loved their pizza!” A new restaurant, called Cugini, will be moving in. But, according to staff at Solano Avenue’s Cugini in Albany, the College Avenue location of the restaurant of the same name “is an independent business that has nothing to do with us.” The staffer said the new Cugini had plans to open this week, but had no information beyond that. We couldn’t find anything else online, and the Filippo’s phone number had been disconnected, but we’ll let you know if we can uncover more details. Filippo’s still appears to be open in Oakland at 5400 College Ave.

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. Check out also our weekly Bites column, which provides food news for the whole East Bay.

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  • MwMofB

    Bonita Fish Market is pretty near my home so I’d looked in on Monday (4 November) – it did smell a bit too fishy. I revisited there on Tuesday to buy; it smelled prefectly okay even fresh. I found the selection quite wide (including whole fish, clams and mussels!); prices seem normal but the discount was appreciated. I bought some rock cod which was amazingly fresh (the seaweed salad is good stuff too). The two guys were very friendly and helpful. So between the Saturday Farmers Market Hudson Fish on Center and this store front I’m set to have fresh local fish more often.

  • Rachel Anderson

    It’s great to see that someone moved into that Earthly Goods original location. It has been shuttered for at least a decade and was a serious eyesore. Best wishes to Kid Dynamo in their new locale.

  • Doug F

    UC Press had better take some UC Police along to the Lake Merritt area; the Oakland PD will be little help. My neighbor used to live in the area, back when Oakland policing was better, & got mugged while jogging around the lake in daytime. After the guy already had her down on the ground & had the contents of her pockets, he gratuitously broke her nose, just to be sadistic.

  • Steven Donaldson

    UC Press’ move to Oakland emphasizes the need for more office space in Downtown Berkeley. There’s a real lack of available space for both existing businesses and startups.

  • Jim Novosel

    Having read in Berkeleyside about the new Bonita Fish Market, I went there that day and purchased some very fine Petrale Sole. Thanks for the notice. Otherwise I probably wouldn’t have known about the shop for weeks. Let’s support this business. Fresh fish is great food.
    Jim Novosel