Shop Talk: Berkeley Running Company; The Dark Entry; Papy Boez

Berkeley Running Company is now open in North Berkeley Photo: Berkeley Running Company

BERKELEY RUNNING COMPANY A new store selling running gear has opened in North Berkeley, in the space previously occupied by Baubles and Beads, which closed last year. With a soft opening on Feb. 12, Berkeley Running Company plans a grand opening for mid-May, along with the launch of its website. The original Berkeley Running Company opened in Madison, Wisconsin in 2007, near the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, and continues to thrive.

Owner David Meixelsperger said: “I first visited Berkeley in 1999, having come to the Bay Area for races and events over the years. I immediately felt a deep personal connection with the culture and community. I’ve always felt that Berkeley is the cultural “sister city” to my hometown of Madison. Both cities are free-thinking, fitness-minded communities, anchored by world-class educational institutions and surrounded by natural beauty. It’s why they call Madison “the Berkeley of the Midwest. When I left my job as an elementary school principal of 12 years and opened my first store, I wanted to give it a California flare and feeling, hence naming it Berkeley Running Company. There are so many graduate students at the University in Madison that were Cal students and they love coming into our Madison store. Opening the Shattuck Avenue store is a dream come true for me, as I am so thrilled to be able to contribute to this incredible community, including support to local schools, events and fundraisers, as we have done in Madison.”

The Berkeley Running Company provides shoes, apparel and gear for running and active fitness lifestyles. Unlike specialty running stores tied with exclusive brands, the focus is on finding cutting-edge products from the most trusted brands in the entire fitness industry. “At our Madison location, we were one of the very first in the nation to carry Vibram Five Fingers, Hoka and Inov-8 shoes, as well as several other innovative products,” said Meixelsperger. “We plan to continue that tradition, bringing the very latest and very best products to the Berkeley community.”  Berkeley Running Company, 1676 Shattuck Ave. (near Virginia), Berkeley, 94709. Tel: 510-647-8996. Open weekdays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sat., 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sun., 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Connect with them on Facebook. Website coming soon.

The Dark Entry on Telegraph Avenue is on the verge of closing its doors  Photo: The Dark Entry

THE DARK ENTRY Another store looks like it is on the brink of closure on Telegraph Avenue. The Dark Entry, which sells clothing and shoes, party accessories and miscellaneous paraphernalia related to Goth, Punk, Metal and Alt Rock fashion is considering closing when the lease comes up in two months. Shop owner Linda Boudousquie, said, “I will be doing some fund raising to try to keep the store open, but if it is unsuccessful, I will need to close my doors on May 31.” The store opened in 2004 and has struggled with maintaining a strong retail presence and making a profit, getting behind on bills and rent. A GoFundMe page has been established to raise $28,000 as a last effort to keep the store open. The Dark Entry, 2589 Telegraph Ave., Berkeley, 94704.  Tel: 510-540-6666. Open daily from Noon to 7 p.m. Connect on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram


After four decades, Papy Boez Outlet is closing Photo: Papy Boez

PAPY BOEZ OUTLET In business in West Berkeley since 1973, Papy Boez Outlet is closing its doors. A liquidation sale is currently underway until the shop’s final day of business on Sunday, April 9. The business, which operates under the name of Majaraja Imports and is owned by husband and wife Naka and Sarla Doshi, has been the purveyor of imported women’s clothing and jewelry, teak and rosewood home furnishings and home accessories for over four decades. Sarla Doshi said, “We are closing because we lost our lease — and because we are ready to retire.” Open daily, except Wed., 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sun., Noon – 6 p.m.

Shop Talk is Berkeleyside’s regular Berkeley local business column. If you’re a Berkeley business with news, or a Berkeleyside reader who has spotted a change in your neighborhood or on your travels, shoot us an email with the details at editors@berkeleyside.com. Read previous Shop Talk columns. And catch up with all food business news with our Nosh coverage.