Tag Archives: Bookish

Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

Customers check our rugs at Istanbul Rug at 1551 University Ave.
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BOOKISH REINVENTION Bookish, that small, stylish bookstore at 1816 Euclid Ave., has shut its doors after just one year in operation. Gina Davidson, its owner, whose sense of whimsy permeated the store, said the neighborhood was challenging. She tended to get “coincidental” shoppers – those who were on the way to get pizza and stumbled on the store. But Davidson is not leaving the business entirely. She is turning Bookish into a mobile bookstore in an Airstream trailer and plans to do pop-up events. The idea came to her when she had a pop-up store at Uncharted: The Berkeley Festival of Ideas in October last year. It was a huge success: she sold $2,000 worth of merchandise that day compared to $80 in sales at the store. “Doing a pop-up event made me realize I was in the wrong location to make sales,” said Davidson. She hopes to find an Airstream soon and be on the road by late January or early February. She has already booked a space for the Bay Area Book Festival the first weekend in June and is considering other venues, such as Off the Grid. The closure of Bookish is the end of an era for that stretch of Euclid. Signal Books occupied that space, which became Analog Books from about 2005 until 2012. Then Laurie Fox, a literary agent, opened Bookish and sold it to Davidson in late 2013. The space will soon become an eyebrow-waxing and threading salon, according to Davidson. … Continue reading »

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The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley this weekend

Students at Le Conte Elementary enjoy persimmons from the school's tree. Photo: @BerkeleyDineOut on Twitter
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BERKELEY DINE OUT Berkeley schools district-wide incorporate gardening and cooking into the curriculum. The idea is that the school gardens produce healthy habits and interdisciplinary lessons, along with the fruits and vegetables. But the program has lost federal funding and needs help. To support the garden-based learning program at 16 BUSD campuses, participate in Dine Out on Thursday, Nov. 13. A portion of all bills at over one dozen popular Berkeley restaurants — from Café Clem to Comal — will go directly to the program. See the full list of participating restaurants. … Continue reading »

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There’s more to Berkeley’s Uncharted festival than ideas

There's more to Uncharted pic
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Discussion, debate, insights, revelations, laughter and inspiration — all of these are a given at Uncharted: The Berkeley Festival of Ideas which is happening on Friday Oct. 24 and Saturday Oct. 25 in downtown Berkeley. You wouldn’t expect anything less when participants engage with speakers like these.

But Uncharted is a festival. So there is much else to enjoy. Here’s the ‘beyond ideas’ line-up:

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New independent bookstore Bookish opens in Berkeley

Gina Davidson, Bookish. Photo: Tracey Taylor
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There’s a new bookstore in town, or at least a newly owned bookstore. After ditching a career in what she terms “corporate America,” Gina Davidson has taken over the former Analog Books at 1816 Euclid Ave., a stone’s throw from the Cal campus.

With a fresh stock of books and a stylish makeover, Bookish has been up and running under Davidson’s direction for about six months. Davidson — a novice at bookselling — says she is hoping Berkeley’s famously book-friendly community will support the business and help her fulfill her dream of running a bookstore.

It’s something Davidson has been thinking about for some time: while she was holding down senior jobs at companies like Motorola and PayPal, she would also surreptitiously be perusing Craigslist for available bookstores, and her eyes would light up when she found one. She remembers seeing two listings, one in Sebastopol and the other in Castro Valley, before spotting the ad for the Berkeley lease.

It took the death of a friend for her to take a leap of faith, however. “That was an impetus,” Davidson said recently in the pocket-sized Northside store. “I didn’t want to look back and say, ‘What if?'” The fact that Davidson’s husband joked he would leave her if she didn’t grab the opportunity after years ruminating about it may also have played a part. … Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

Northbrae Bottle Shop
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SAN PABLO & UNIVERSITY The area around San Pablo and University Avenues is buzzing with new tenants moving in to vacant retail spaces. As previously noted, eco-friendly mattresses and sleep products store Keetsa is moving into the building at 2117 San Pablo, having relocated from the 811 University. Keetsa, which also has stores in New York and San Francisco, is in the process of building out the space and will open in a few months. And a furniture company has taken the lease at the beautifully restored 2001 San Pablo Ave. The identity of the furniture company has not yet been released. Expected move-in date is around April. And the intersection may soon see the arrival of a convenience store if an application by 7-Eleven to take over 2000 San Pablo is approved. … Continue reading »

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