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  • Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

    BRENT’S UNIQUE SHOP One of the oldest businesses on San Pablo Avenue, Brent’s Unique Shop, 1824 San Pablo Ave., is closing down at the end of the year. Esther Williams, who ran Brent’s Unique Shop for 45 years, died in June. Her close friend David Clark is overseeing the store’s liquidation sale, which he said will likely continue for the next six months. “[We have] guitars, musical instruments, antiques, furniture, china, chandeliers, glassware, it’s to the rafters,” Clark said. “It’s one of those shops that’ll never happen again — it’s amazing.”

  • Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

    WHAT’S IN A NAME? A sign declaring “Berserkeley” announces the Gilman District, being developed just south of Gilman on 10th, adjacent to the relocated Office Depot and across from the proposed Whole Foods Market. [Update: the developer clarifies that the marketing sign with Berserkeley is not the name of the development. It will be called “the Gilman District.”] Berserkeley Gilman District has two parcels, a divisible 10,735-square-foot lot facing 10th Street for retail, and a 5,376-square-foot lot facing Ninth Street for specialty food outlets. “We are gearing all prospective tenancies to make sure they all are aligned with community, and have dual purpose of retail and customer experience that address active lifestyles,” Michael Fogelman, the developer, said in a press statement. According to Matt Holmes, principal of Retail West, which is marketing the development, ideal tenants would be “a highly specialized bike store like Velo cult in Portland that offers expertise, service in the cycling world and a brew pub in one store experience, or a specialty soccer or running shoe store that can start weekend group runs or activities from our project.” The specialty food annex along Ninth will have a large outdoor deck and feature a mix of restaurants, cafes and specialty food purveyors.  (more…)

  • Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

    A SLIGHT SHIFT  Razan’s Organic Kitchen is on the move, with plans to take over the neighboring space where Great China used to be on Kittredge Street. Great China is renovating the old Looney’s BBQ spot on Bancroft, with a scheduled opening date of next spring. The new restaurant will continue to be run by the Razan’s folks. It doesn’t yet have a name, but it will sell Middle Eastern food and hopes to open next spring as well.