Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

William Stout Berkeley
Architecture bookstore William Stout has closed its Berkeley location on Solano Avenue and moved the stock to its Richmond publishing arm. Photo: Google StreetView

WILLIAM STOUT CLOSES/RELOCATES Architectural bookstore William Stout has closed its Berkeley store, at 1605 Solano Ave., and is merging the business with its publishing arm on the Richmond waterfront. Owner Bill Stout told Berkeleyside the North Berkeley store never really met his expectations. “Moving means we can consolidate our inventory and service our mail-order customers quicker,” he said. Stout, whose flagship store has operated on Montgomery Street in San Francisco for more than 40 years, opened the Berkeley store in fall 2010. At the time, Bill Stout said he chose Berkeley because of the store’s publishing collaboration with UC Berkeley, and because he saw the Solano district as being “a more vibrant residential neighborhood than where we are now.” Stout also homed in on Berkeley because he believed there were more bibliophiles in the East Bay. “In San Francisco an interest in books is dying,” he said in 2010. Stout is hopeful that this latest decision”should be a good move.” William Stout‘s East Bay outpost is now at 1328 South 51st St., Richmond. 

Jeremy's on College will close and open again in Uptown Oakland. Photo: Google StreetView
Jeremys on College will close this spring and open again in Uptown Oakland. Photo: Google StreetView

JEREMYS MOVING OUT Fashion discount department store Jeremys, which had stores in San Francisco and in the Elmwood in Berkeley, is consolidating both locations into a historic church in Uptown Oakland, as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle. The discount designer apparel store founded by Jeremy Kidson in 1987, closed its San Francisco location in South Park in August. The Berkeley shop, which occupies several storefronts in the 2900 block of College Avenue, at the intersection with Ashby, will likely be shutting its doors around May a store clerk said this week. Jeremys will reopen later this year in the First Church of Christ Scientist Oakland at 1701 Franklin St., which Kidson bought for $2.6 million. Visit Jeremys online and connect on Facebook

Gorgeous and Green
Flowers and gift shop Gorgeous & Green, or G&G,  is closing at the end of February. Photo: Gordon Commercial

GORGEOUS & GREEN TO CLOSE Staying in the Elmwood, flowers and gift store Gorgeous & Green will be closing up at the end of February after three years on College Avenue (tucked between Ici and Summer Kitchen Bake Shop). Owner Pilar Zuniga says she is ready to stop running a brick-and-mortar business in order to have more personal time and space. (Pilar had a store for three years on San Pablo Avenue before moving to the Elmwood.) She says she will continue to offer custom flower design with bike delivery from her studio in Oakland, and plans to do the occasional pop-up also. Meanwhile, the 770-square-foot store is for lease at $5 per square foot through Gordon Commercial. G&G is open through February at 2946 College Ave., Berkeley. Visit the G&G website where online orders can be placed, and connect with G&G on Facebook.

Hercules records logoHERCULES RECORDS Hercules Records has opened up an old-school vinyl store on Alcatraz Avenue in the Lorin District. The owner is Christopher Ford, a DJ for KPOO San Francisco 89.5 — he’s the voice behind “Mr Ford’s Soul Explosion” every Monday, 1-4 p.m. Ford says the store has a large selection of used records, as well as new releases from independent vinyl and tape labels, and, according to its website, Hercules is “proud to buy and sell our records at fair prices.” The store takes appointments to evaluate and bid on record collections. It is throwing a grand opening/street party with other Alcatraz Avenue merchants on Groundhog Day, Feb. 2, 5-9 p.m. There will be live local music courtesy of Maurice Tani and Mike Anderson and Melissa Jones and No Lovely Thing, a poster art show by John Seabury, food, drinks and “tons of great records.” Hercules Records is at 1738 Alcatraz Ave. (at Ellis). Phone: 415-999-1139. Connect with the store on Facebook. [Hat-tip: Robin Wright] 

burritos byeBURRITOS INC. CLOSED Burritos Inc. which opened just under a year ago at 2116 Shattuck Ave. near the downtown Berkeley BART has abruptly shuttered. The restaurant, which offered a range of burritos, bowls, quesadillas, tacos and salads, posted a note on its website saying “Burritos Inc. Adios! Thank you to our fans,” and has a similar goodbye message on its Facebook page from Jan. 17 (pictured right). Berkeleyside was unable to talk to anyone at the restaurant at press time to find out more. [Hat-tip: Mark Giorgi]

Tasty Pot
Photo: Sean Rouse

ARABICA CLOSED/TASTY POT COMING Also in downtown Berkeley, Arabica Mediterranean Cuisine has closed after nearly three years at 2115 Kittredge St., the former site of Great China. The restaurant was opened in May 2013 by the owners of Razan’s Organic Kitchen who occupy the neighboring space. No news yet on the reason for the closure. A notice on the door announces that Arabica will be replaced by Tasty Pot, a Taiwanese chain specializing in hot soups and boba milk tea. Tasty Pot already has two other restaurants in California, in Newark and San Jose. [Hat tip: Sean Rouse]


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.