Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

Waterside Workshops is a community bicycle sop and youth education program  oeprating since 2007.  Photo: Waterside Workshop
Waterside Workshops is a community bicycle shop and youth education program in business since 2007. The organization is opening a new bike repair shop and renovated rental shop at 90 Bolivar Drive on May 30. Photo: Waterside Workshops

WATERSIDE WORKSHOPS The West Berkeley community bike store and education center is opening a new bike repair shop and has a newly renovated rental shop. It will hold a Grand Opening to showcase both on Saturday, May 30, 12-6 p.m. at 84 and 90 Bolivar Drive. The event will also serve as a bike drive: bring a bike to donate and receive a gift card from Waterside Workshops’ list of sponsors. Waterside Workshops began offering wooden boat building and bike mechanics classes for local youth in 2007, and expanded to include a bicycle store and rental facility in the following years.”The creation of Waterside Workshops served a two-fold purpose, addressing the need for vocational training as a part of a healthy community and revitalizing a highly under-used urban park,” the organization states on their webpage. The weekly Public Shop event where mechanics assist attendees in fixing their own bikes, will take place in the new building at 90 Bolivar Drive. Retail sales and bike rentals will continue to operate from the old site at 84 Bolivar Drive (between Addison and Bancroft). Visit the Waterside Workshops website and connect with them on Facebook.

A selection of indigo dyed products from Raina's Textile House, located on San Pablo Ave. Photo: Raina's Textile House.
A selection of indigo dyed products from Raina’s Textile House. Photo: Raina’s Textile House

RAINA’S TEXTILE HOUSE Previously an online-only business through Etsy, Raina’s Textile House opened a physical location this month at 2524 San Pablo Ave. The space previously housed the Save the Frogs education center, which closed earlier this month. The new shop features handmade felted scarfs, indigo-dyed products, and “upcycled” furniture crafted by owner Kim Nelson, as well as a selection of work from local textile artists. The store also hosts wet-felting classes, as well as other specialty textile classes taught by local artists. “I like the idea of making gorgeous, tactile funky, elegant and function things that we can really use everyday — not save for some day special,” Nelson writes on her Etsy shop webpage. Aside from creating colorful handmade pieces, Nelson teaches writing to incarcerated youth through the state-wide volunteer organization The Beat Within. Raina’s Textile House is at 2524 San Pablo Ave. (at Blake). Connect with them on Facebook.

Edelweiss Jewelers will close after 31 years  in business, according to longtime owner Anne Flexer. Photo:
Edelweiss Jewelers will close after 31 years in business Photo: City Search

EDELWEISS JEWELERS CLOSING The long-standing custom jewelry shop Edelweiss Jewelers, located at 2980 College Ave., will close soon, owner Anne Flexer told Berkeleyside. The store has been in business since 1984. “I was here when we opened the store,” said Flexer. Due to the landlord’s recent $800 a month rent increase, Flexer can no longer afford the space. “That’s too much for me. I can’t make two or three wedding bands for the landlord,” she joked.  “The economy is not good,” Flexer continued. “I know the press says the economy is up, but we’re not. People are broke, and it’s difficult to make ends meet.” Rising rent aside, the owner said that after running the store for 31 years, she’s ready for a change of pace. “I’m getting old anyway, and also I’d like to do something else,” she said. “I have all kinds of interests. Believe me, I won’t be bored.” One such interest involves finishing up a memoir to be titled “Diary of a Jeweler” that will chronicle Flexer’s experiences at the shop. Edelweiss Jewelers is at 2980 College Ave. (at Ashby). Visit the website and connect with them on Facebook.

University Veterinary Hospital, University Avenue. Photo: Google Images
University Veterinary Hospital. Photo: Google Images

UNIVERSITY VETERINARY HOSPITAL University Veterinary Hospital is proposing to move from its current address at 810 University Ave. into the new, mixed-use development, called The Aquatic, that will be located at 800 University Ave. (at Fifth Street), according to a city zoning project application. The full-service animal hospital has been serving the local East Bay community for 30 years, according to the application. When contacted by Berkeleyside, the clinic declined to comment regarding the move. Visit the University Veterinary Hospital website and connect with them on Facebook.


Emily Dugdale, a graduate of Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, is a summer intern at Berkeleyside.

Shop Talk is our regular column in which we post updates on Berkeley businesses. 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, and check out Bites for the latest East Bay restaurant news.