Business

Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

Peter Bruce Photo copyright 2011
Easy Creole rides in style: the South Berkeley restaurant is joining forces with eight other local businesses to launch “Alcatraz Alley” on Thursday May 28, 2015. Photo: Easy Creole

ALCATRAZ ALLEY GRAND OPENING Nine shops on Alcatraz Avenue are coming together for a Grand Opening on May 28 from 3-6 p.m. Many of the businesses, found along the stretch of Alcatraz west of Adeline Street, are new or have revamped their style. “We thought it was time for a Grand Opening – a big get-together to celebrate the diverse businesses,” said Jess McCarter, co-founder of the Easy Creole restaurant. To facilitate the event, the block of Ellis Street between Harmon and Alcatraz will be closed to traffic, and an array of artists, performers, and activities will take over the alley. Passersby will find discounts on food and wares from Empress Vintage, Easy Creole, Ankara StyleGalleria, the Hoi Polloi Brewpub, and Alchemy Collective, as well as bike repairs from the Biketopia Community Workshop. To top it all off, Beats Antique, an experimental fusion and electronic band, will perform at the event. The Grand Opening will be held on Ellis Street between Alcatraz Avenue and Harmon Street on Thursday, May 28 from 3-6 p.m. Read more about the event on its Facebook page.

Juju Himalayan. Photo: Doug Ng
Juju Himalayan Handicraft opened two months ago on Shattuck Avenue. Photo: Doug Ng

JUJU HIMALAYAN HANDICRAFT OPENS Juju Himalayan Handicraft opened its doors two months ago at 1660 Shattuck Ave. The shop sells handmade clothing, jewelry, singing bowls, and other traditional Himalayan crafts. Owner Bikash Shahi gets his inventory from a small wholesaler in Nepal, and much of the jewelry is created just behind the counter. Juju Himalayan Handicraft is located at 1660 Shattuck Ave. (at Lincoln Street). It doesn’t have an online presence at present.

Earth's Bizarre held a closing down sale just five months after opening on Durant Avenue. Photo: Ted Friedman
Earth’s Bizarre held a closing down sale just five months after opening on Durant Avenue. Photo: Ted Friedman

EARTH’S BIZARRE CLOSED After opening in December 2014, Earth’s Bizarre abruptly emptied its shelves (and floors, and walls) of odds and ends from all over the world during a big closing sale on May 10. The store, which was located at 2510 Durant Ave. (at Telegraph), stocked everything from religious icons to pens and paper to 1930s cathode ray televisions, according to Berkeleyside contributing writer Ted Friedman, who wrote about the store’s closure on his blog, Berkeley Reporter.

The storefront on Shattuck Ave. Photo: Baby Angel Children's Resale Shoppe.
Photo: Baby Angel Children’s Resale Shoppe

BABY ANGEL CHILDREN’S RESALE SHOPPE This children’s consignment store was opened in Oct. 2014 by owner Anjali Aggarwal. It sells baby clothes, strollers, toys, and other accessories for kids. A mother of three, Aggarwal found herself buying and selling used children’s clothes from home as a hobby. “I started buying stuff from random people on Craigslist” and through classified ads, Aggarwal said. Now, after seven months at a brick-and-mortar store on Shattuck Avenue, the store has over 150 consigners and takes gently used items from walk-ins. “There’s been a great response,” Aggarwal said. Baby Angel Children’s Resale Shoppe is located at 1959 Shattuck Ave. (at Berkeley Way). Connect with the store on Facebook.


Image: Be Gallery
Image: Be Gallery

BE GALLERY OPENS A new art gallery will be located at 2507 San Pablo Ave. adjacent to the Cruz skate shop. Be Gallery, “an ever expanding selection of unique, affordable art,” is currently renovating its new gallery space and collecting submissions for the shop’s physical and online gallery. The new space will hold an opening reception on Friday, June 19, with work from 12 Bay Area artists on show, as well as music, wine, and appetizers. “The overall idea behind the gallery, is to go beyond a traditional gallery,” said owner Winn Taylor in an email. The space will also host weekend mixers and art classes, Taylor said, aimed at those who want to “meet folks in a creative, fun environment, while sipping a cocktail and learning a new creative technique.” After it opens, the gallery will continue to feature local artists and hopes to expand to create an artistic community. Be Gallery is located at 2507 San Pablo Ave. (at Dwight Way). It will open on Friday, June 19.

 ANVIL BREWING TO OPEN Anvil Brewing will be joining the quickly growing community of West Berkeley beer breweries next spring. Co-owner and longtime home brewer Sean Wells is opening the brewery at 912 Gilman St. with another seasoned home brewer, Tim Sellmeyer. Read more about it, as well as other East Bay food-related business news, in our most recent Bites column.

Eden Teller, a junior at Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota, is a Berkeleyside summer intern. She is majoring in media and cultural studies and minoring in geology.

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.