Shop Talk: Shop Local Day; Five Little Monkeys; Trickster; Urbanity; Faiz International

SHOP LOCAL DAY On Tuesday, Nov. 21, the Downtown Berkeley Association will be celebrating local merchants by handing out Shop Local canvas bags filled with goodies and offers from dozens of downtown merchants. A booth will be set up at the corner of Center Street and Shattuck Avenue from 8:30 a.m. until noon, or until the bags run out. “We’re always looking for fun and engaging ways to promote our amazing local Downtown Berkeley merchants and there is no better way than to engage directly with folks on the street”, Matthew Jervis, DBA’s director of vitality, said. The DBA is an independent nonprofit, funded by downtown property owners, that focuses on creating a welcoming, vibrant and prosperous City Center. As part of the kick-off to holiday shopping, the DBA will also be participating in Small Business Saturday on Nov. 25. Downtown Berkeley Association, 2230 Shattuck Ave., Suite C, Berkeley 94704. Tel: 510-549-2230. 

Bay Area toy store Five Little Monkeys is now open on Fourth Street. Photo: Five Little Monkeys

FIVE LITTLE MONKEYS Another toy shop has moved into the former Jeffrey’s Toys space at 1810/1812 Fourth St. (which closed last month having originally replaced The Art toy store). Five Little Monkeys opened its doors on Nov. 10, marking its fourth Bay Area store. “My retail career started on Fourth Street over 25 years ago as a teenager,” said store owner Stephanie Sala. “It feels like things have come full circle in a weird way.” The store offers a collection of toys, complimentary gift wrapping, knowledgeable staff and a hands-on toy buying experience. “When Jeffrey’s left, there seemed to be a hole on Fourth Street. People want a place in the neighborhood where they can buy quality toys and gifts for children. We feel like we fit right in,” Sala said. Five Little Monkeys, 1810/1812 Fourth St. (near Delaware), Berkeley 94710. Open Mon. – Thurs., 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Fri., 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sun., 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Check the website for special holiday hours. Other store locations are in Albany, Burlingame, Novato and Walnut Creek. Connect with them on Facebook.

Trickster is the latest business in the Elmwood to be closing its doors Photo: Tracey Taylor

TRICKSTER Graphic arts gallery and retail store Trickster is the latest storefront to close its doors in the Elmwood. Its final day of business is slated for Dec. 24. In business for five years, the shop specializes in comics and limited-edition books, fine-art prints, clothing and toys. Trickster “exists specifically to support and promote the creator-owned work that has made modern art and storytelling vibrate with unique vision and voice, and to inspire and empower others to create and own their own work,” according to the store’s mission statement. Owner Anita Coulter said the location just wasn’t right for her business. “We have loved the neighborhood and have had great relationships with our neighbors, landlord and the local community, but when LuluLemon and Jeremy’s left, there was less foot traffic and our business was impacted,” she said. Coulter noted that other businesses selling comic books seem to be struggling in the current economy as well. Coulter has been looking for a new retail space for the past year and a half but has nothing lined up yet. A closing sale is currently underway through December. Trickster, 2631 Ashby Ave, Suite A, Berkeley, CA 94705. Tel: 510-665-8900. Open Tues. through Sat., 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Closed Mondays. Connect on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

Urbanity Store owner Angela Cadogan is moving her store next door at the end of the year Photo: Courtesy of Angela Cadogan

URBANITY The Solano Avenue consignment Urbanity store is re-locating. Urbanity is in its 10th year on Solano Avenue, selling upscale women’s consignment clothing and accessories. The boutique will be moving to the space right next door at 1885 Solano “in order to provide an improved shopping experience for customers and a better working environment for staff,” said owner Angela Cadogan. The new space was previously occupied by The Fickle Bag and, before that, by Oh Baby Baby, but has been vacant for about three years. Urbanity will only be closed one week to make the move, from Dec. 25 to Jan. 2, reopening on Jan. 3, 2018. Until then, the store will remain open for business as usual, currently taking in fall consignments as well as running holiday promotions. Once it has made the move to the new space, the boutique will run its annual Winter Sale from Jan. 3 – 14 offering a 15% discount on purchases. Urbanity Woman’s Designer Resale, current address: 1887 Solano Ave. (near The Alameda), Berkeley 94707. Tel: 510-524-7467. Open Tues. through Thurs., Noon to 5:30 p.m., Fri. and Sat., 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sun., Noon to 5 p.m. Closed on Mondays. Connect on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram


Faiz International in West Berkeley is reinventing itself. Photo: Tracey Taylor

FAIZ INTERNATIONAL Signs on the University Avenue store Faiz International suggest it is going out of business, but the store will remain open. It is in fact selling off its current inventory to make room for a re-invention of sorts. Currently, the store sells clothing from South Asia for women, imported primarily from India. The new vision for the store is to provide more upscale, designer clothing for men, women and children, also imported from India. Faiz International, 1966 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley 94710. Tel: 510-704-1500. Open Tues. through Sun., 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Closed Mondays. 

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.