The Oaks Theatre on Solano Avenue may have a future after all, after five years of sitting vacant. Jim Whitty, a Berkeley local and his non-profit group, From Little Acorns Grow, is working with Gordon Commercial Real Estate Services to lease and re-open the theater in what will be a true community effort if it succeeds.
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. (more…)
When French-style bakery La Farine abruptly closed up shop on Berkeley’s Solano Avenue this summer, there was an outcry from local residents. Its departure also created another empty storefront on a street that has its fair share of them, particularly in its easternmost stretch, near The Alameda.
The owner of the building that houses the Berkeley Patients Group has put it up for sale, further fueling whispers that the federal government sent a letter ordering the cannabis dispensary to shut down.
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