COFFEE NO MORE Tully’s, which has operated at the corner of Shattuck and Center Streets for 11 years, shut its doors abruptly on Sunday. Brown paper covers the windows and a sign asks patrons to visit at their San Francisco or Pleasanton stores. The Seattle-based chain has also been in financial straits for several years, according to media reports, and the Berkeley store isn’t the only closure. As part of a restructuring, stores have been shuttered across the country.
The corner store is a vital indicator of the economic, racial, and cultural makeup of any community. What people buy — whether it’s Coke or coconut water, deli meat or goat cheese, Hostess cakes or gluten-free baked goods, cheap hard liquor or expensive artisan brews — offers insight into the kinds of customers that frequent a business and their purchasing power.