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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

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AMAZON TO OPEN TWO BRICK AND MORTAR LOCATIONS IN BERKELEY Amazon is moving to Berkeley in a big way by opening two locations – one a store on the UC Berkeley campus and the other a distribution center in West Berkeley. The store, part of Amazon’s roll out of campus pick-up points, will be located near the new ASUC center on the UC Berkeley campus, according to university officials.  The idea is to smooth delivery of packages to students who live in dorm rooms or who are on the go. Students can specify that a package goes to the Berkeley store, and they can pick it up from a clerk or request a combination for a locker so they can go by on off-hours. The store will be on the Upper Sproul Plaza level, according to Emily Marthinsen, an assistant vice-chancellor for physical and environmental planning. Amazon has also signed a letter of intent to lease 20,000 square feet in the old Marchant Buiding on San Pablo Avenue, according to Darrell de Tienne, whose de Tienne Associates is expediting the permitting process. The building, which straddles Berkeley, Oakland and Emeryville, is right near the freeway, which is perfect for Amazon’s business, he said. The company has applied for a construction permit to fix up the space, which has the address of 1000 Folger Ave., said de Tienne. It will be a distribution center.

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MOUTAIN MIKE’S PIZZA OPENS ON SAN PABLO AVENUE After three years of winding its way through the city approval process and construction, Mountain Mike’s Pizza has finally opened at 1610 San Pablo Ave. near Cedar. Manager Raj Sidhu says the place opened on Sept. 11 and has been crowded with locals ever since. “They are so happy they have a pizza joint nearby where they can come,” said Sidhu. Yelp reviews have been positive as well. Mountain Mike’s offers 13 pizzas and 30 toppings which can be combined into custom pizzas. The restaurant offers discounts on its popular lunch buffet to Cal students, workers, and alumni as well as police officers and firefighters. Lunch buffet is from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. each weekday (although Sidhu says he often opens before that for early birders). There is also a Wednesday night buffet and online ordering. Patrons can eat on an outdoor patio.

Susan Scott stands in Hatch, the home store she and her husband Ashesh Patel recently opened on College Avenue near Alcatraz Avenue. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
Susan Scott stands in Hatch, the home store she and her husband Ashesh Patel recently opened on College Avenue near Alcatraz Avenue. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel

ANOTHER BRANCH OF HATCH COMES TO COLLEGE AVENUE Susan Scott and Ashesh Patel have opened a second outlet of their tasteful store, Hatch, which features organic, sustainable, recycled and upcycled goods for the home. Hatch opened its doors at 3210 College Ave. at Alcatraz Avenue on Friday, Oct. 16 and will hold a more formal opening in November some time, said Scott. The location is the former home of Chimes Pharmacy. “We had our eye on this neighborhood for awhile,” said Scott. “It’s a vibrant, pedestrian-oriented area.”  The original Hatch is on Mountain Boulevard in the Montclair District of Oakland.  From their website: “We’d like hatch to be your ‘go-to’ place to find unique, modern, and eco-oriented products. You’ll find beautiful contemporary jewelry and handbags, personal accessories, decorative home décor, natural product-based bath and body products, toys and products for kids, gifts for men, cards and stationery, and seasonal products too.”

An example of the succulent gardens at Gold Finch. Photo: Gold Finch Designs
An example of the succulent gardens at Gold Finch. Photo: Gold Finch Designs

SHOWCASE FOR FLOWERS AND ART OPENS ON ALCATRAZ AVENUE Alexis Mastromichalis just opened Gold Finch at 1759 Alcatraz Ave. near Adeline Ave., which she describes as “a multi-use arts venue [that] will serve as a space to showcase seasonal floral designs for weddings, museums and restaurants, offer an ecological art wall devoted to supporting community artists and a host for special events in our backyard garden.” Mastromichalis’s Gold Finch Designs makes fresh cut flower arrangements from locally-sourced gardens, as well as “succulent nests” in tiny containers.


Some Halloween jewelry available at Hotcakes Design
Some Halloween jewelry available at Hotcakes Design

JEWELRY STORE MOVES FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO BERKELEY Caramia Visick has moved her jewelry design store, Hotcakes Design, from San Francisco to 1649 San Pablo Ave. between Cedar and Virginia. The store, which has been open about six weeks, features Visick’s resin jewelry as well as lots of other handmade gifts. Visick also has her student on site in the back of the store so people can catch a glimpse of how she works. Hotcakes Design is open from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Check out their Halloween jewelry on their Facebook page.

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.