Business

Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

A Sundays on Telegraph festival. The Telegraph Business Improvement District held its first meeting with its new executive director, Stuart Baker, on June 29. Photo: Google Maps
A Sundays on Telegraph festival. The Telegraph Business Improvement District announced at its annual meeting that there will be fewer Sundays on Telegraph festivals this summer than in years past. Photo: Ted Friedman

TELEGRAPH MERCHANTS MEET NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Members of the Telegraph Business Improvement District (TBID) gathered June 29 to meet their new executive director, Stuart Baker, and to discuss ways to improve the stretch of Telegraph between Bancroft Way and Dwight Way. Baker introduced himself to the group of 15-20 merchants who attended and invited them to get in touch with him with any ideas or concerns regarding TBID. They also announced that Sundays on Telegraph, the weekly summer street festival, will be limited to seven weeks this year. (Last year it ran for 11 weeks). Matthew Taecker of Taecker Planning and Design spoke to the group in a presentation outlining possible steps to make the Telegraph area more pedestrian-friendly and welcoming. Some of the suggestions included raised planters, informational installations describing the history of the area and painting the street, sidewalks, and crosswalks in bright colors. The Telegraph Business Improvement District is a non-profit that sponsors local events and advocates for positive change along Telegraph Avenue.

Siemens Frontier ProgramSIEMENS FRONTIER PROGRAM German global giant Siemens is expanding its incubator-like Frontier Program, based at its Berkeley Technology-to-Business Center. The program is focused particularly on boosting manufacturing-based startups in 3D printing and robotics, according to Senior Vice President Terry Heath. “A long time ago, we were also a startup,” Heath said, referring to the 1847 founding of the group. He said the Berkeley center, established 15 years ago, strengthened Siemens’ ties to the Bay Area’s technology and particularly to UC Berkeley. Heath said the Frontier Program was “not like any other incubator” because of the customer access and domain knowledge Siemens can provide to help startups scale their businesses. More information can be found on the Siemens Frontier Program website.

The Walker Zanger Berkeley showroom. Photo: Walker Zanger
Photo: Walker Zanger

WALKER ZANGER TILE SHOWROOM OPENS The Walker Zanger tile company is opening a new location on the Berkeley-Albany border. The store, called the Berkeley Slab Boutique & Tile Showroom, is located at 1001 Eastshore Highway and sells tiling and stone and marble slabs. In a prepared statement, the company called the new location, which is in  the West Berkeley Design Loop, a “counterpoint” to San Francisco’s Design District, where it has another storefront. The Berkeley Slab Boutique & Tile Showroom is at 1001 Eastshore Highway. 

MOUNTAIN MIKE’S PIZZA ABANDONS SOLANO AVENUE LOCATION The pizzeria Mountain Mike’s has abandoned its plans for a location at 1746 Solano Ave., the space formerly occupied by clothing store By Hand. The restaurant still plans to move into a space at 1610 San Pablo Ave., which was last occupied by the Japanese restaurant Genki, though it has not specified when; the Mountain Mike website lists the San Pablo address as “coming soon.” Mountain Mike’s Pizzeria has locations around the Bay Area. Visit its website for more information. [UPDATE, 11.03.15:  Mountain Mike’s Pizza won approval in October from the city’s Zoning Adjustments Board to move forward with its plans after all. Read more in our Oct. 30 Bites column.]

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.


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.