Tag Archives: Shop Talk

Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

Gorgeous and Green
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WILLIAM STOUT CLOSES/RELOCATES Architectural bookstore William Stout has closed its Berkeley store, at 1605 Solano Ave., and is merging the business with its publishing arm on the Richmond waterfront. Owner Bill Stout told Berkeleyside the North Berkeley store never really met his expectations. “Moving means we can consolidate our inventory and service our mail-order customers quicker,” he said. Stout, whose flagship store has operated on Montgomery Street in San Francisco for more than 40 years, opened the Berkeley store in fall 2010. At the time, Bill Stout said he chose Berkeley because of the store’s publishing collaboration with UC Berkeley, and because he saw the Solano district as being “a more vibrant residential neighborhood than where we are now.” Stout also homed in on Berkeley because he believed there were more bibliophiles in the East Bay. “In San Francisco an interest in books is dying,” he said in 2010. Stout is hopeful that this latest decision”should be a good move.” William Stout‘s East Bay outpost is now at 1328 South 51st St., Richmond. Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

indianglass
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BAUBLES & BEADS TO CLOSE Baubles & Beads in North Berkeley will be closing its store, probably in March, after 25 years of serving the city. Owners Lisa and Jim Kaufman say the reason is partly due to rising expenses. As they write in a letter to customers: “We have struggled with this decision since the recession of 2009, the closing of our San Rafael location in 2012, and again today with rising costs of rent and operational costs. The success of our website, BaublesAndBeads.com, allowed us to keep our Berkeley bead shop open over the past several years. The decision to close the store was never taken lightly as we fully understand the impact it will have on the local beading community.” Meantime, there are lots of discounts being applied to merchandise. Baubles & Beads is at 1676 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, CA 94709  Tel: 510 644-BEAD. Connect with Baubles & Beads on Facebook for updates.Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

Totally Rad Gallery: opened on San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley. Photo: Totally Rad Gallery
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TOTALLY RAD ART GALLERY A new art gallery has opened on San Pablo Avenue in the old Leslie’s Ceramics building. Totally Rad, run by Amber Mueller, is dedicated to exhibiting contemporary works by emerging local and national artists. On Jan. 9, 6-9 p.m., there will be an opening reception for the gallery’s new exhibition, “Daft Affect: “Dear Volunteers” showing work by Tra Bouscaren and John Schlesinger. Totally Rad Gallery is at 1212 San Pablo Ave. ( at Harrison St.). Connect with the gallery through its website and on Facebook.  … Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

The owners of Premier Cru, a high-end wine store on University Ave., have shuttered the shop. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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PREMIER CRU SHUTS ITS DOORS Premier Cru, the subject of numerous lawsuits over the alleged non-delivery of wine, has shut the doors of its retail store at 1011 University Ave. “We have transitioned to ONLINE SALES only,” reads a sign on the front door. “We apologize for the inconvenience.” The sign says to email pickups@premiercru.net to schedule a time to pick up past orders. The closure is only the latest blow for the high-end wine business owned by Fox Ortega Enterprises, a corporation formed by John Fox and a partner. Premier Cru moved its operations from Emeryville to Berkeley in 2011 and opened a 29,000-square foot, state-of-the-art wine shop designed by architect David Trachtenberg. Premier Cru sold wine through the store, but conducted much of its business through online sales. There is currently $130,000 in unpaid taxes on the building and it has been listed for sale. Gordon Commercial is offering the property, made up of three parcels and three buildings for $6.8 million (down from $7.5m). In late October, Berkeleyside reported that seven people had filed numerous lawsuits claiming they were owed more than $3 million. The plaintiffs all said that they had purchased wine from Premier Cru that had never been delivered. Since then, numerous disgruntled customers have come forward and contacted Berkeleyside and other news outlets to report similar issues. Others have filed additional lawsuits as well. The owner, Fox, did not respond to a request for a comment. Some unhappy customers have been given refunds. Andrew Matarese, a 25-year-old wine aficionado from New Jersey, received a $12,000 refund from Premier Cru shortly after Berkeleyside ran its article. However, other customers have been repeatedly promised refunds but have received nothing. … Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

side view of the Claremont Resort & Spa
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NEW RESTAURANT AT CLAREMONT HOTEL Twenty months after the Fairmont hotel group, FRHI Hotels & Resorts, acquired the Claremont, its multi-million dollar renovation is complete. The hotel (which has a Berkeley zipcode but is technically in Oakland) announced this week that Michelin-starred chef Dominique Crenn (who runs Atelier Crenn and Petit Crenn, both in San Francisco), will oversee a new restaurant in the space formerly occupied by the Paragon, when it reopens in 2016. Eater SF reports that it will be a French brasserie named Antoinette. The hotel and resort’s new owners, who include Richard Blum, Senator Dianne Feinstein’s husband, renovated 276 guest rooms (designed by Gensler), created a new Presidential Suite, and added a bar and tea room off the new, modern lobby. Now that the 100-year old hotel meets the Fairmont’s standards, it also has a new name: Claremont Club & Spa, a Fairmont Hotel. … Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

Gina Fiorentino, assistant director
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TERRA FIRMA GALLERY: RELOCATED Terra Firma Gallery has moved from the Claremont Hotel Club & Spa to Shattuck Avenue in the Gourmet Ghetto. The gallery specializes in contemporary African art and features, among other things, a collection of Shona sculpture from Zimbabwe and works by “Smithsonian acclaimed painter” Wosene Worke Kosrof, who will be giving a talk about newly released paintings at the gallery on the evening of Nov. 12. There are also museum-quality masks, colorful Zulu wire baskets, as well as the work of several Bay Area artists. Terra Firma Gallery is at 1801 Shattuck Ave. (between Hearst and Delaware), Suite B. Tel: 510-486 9050. … Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

Photo: Mid Century Møbler
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MID CENTURY MØBLER OPENS Furniture store Mid Century Møbler has opened in Berkeley (on Ashby Avenue near Orchard Hardware and Looking Glass Photo), having relocated from a small warehouse in San Francisco’s Mission district. Owned by Julian Goldklang, the store specializes in importing vintage Danish Modern and authentic 1950s and 1960s furniture. All its inventory is hand-selected on quarterly buying trips to Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Germany, England and Scotland. According to marketing director Tomas Hemstad, the 7,500-square-foot showroom makes the store the largest supplier of vintage furniture in Northern California. Hemstad says that, though they loved San Francisco, the four partners who run the business wanted to continue to grow the company in a location that had “a strong existing design community and more space to expand physically.” “We wanted our new location to be a space where customers could easily come and browse our huge collection. Our new shop also provides a massive space to hold events and workshops, which will be regular happenings in the coming months,” he said. Mid Century Møbler is at 1065 Ashby Ave., Berkeley 94710. Current hours are Friday through Sunday, 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., and by appointment the rest of the week. Connect with the store on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

Peets on Domingo
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SOURCE MINI SHUTTERS UNEXPECTEDLY Source Mini, an offshoot of San Francisco’s Source restaurant, opened to great fanfare in the Gourmet Ghetto’s Epicurious Garden at 1511 Shattuck Ave. in January 2014. Owner Mitchell Fox said his vegan place was “like a Subway or McDonald’s-esque vegan fast-food menu,” with vegan burgers and sandwiches, gluten-free tacos and quesadillas and dosadillas. Fox shuttered his San Francisco locale in January because of the escalating costs associated with a higher minimum wage; the Berkeley restaurant followed suit last week, apparently because business was slow. Fox left a short note on the restaurant’s Facebook page saying the place closed July 18: “Sorry to say yesterday was our last day in Berkeley, we want to thank everyone for their support.” When fans asked why, he replied: “Wasn’t able to do enough business.” The management of Epicurious Garden has a sign up announcing that a new restaurant will be opening soon. … Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

The Sundays on Telegraph street festival runs through Sept. 21 in Berkeley. Photo: Ted Friedman
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TELEGRAPH MERCHANTS MEET NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Members of the Telegraph Business Improvement District (TBID) gathered June 29 to meet their new executive director, Stuart Baker, and to discuss ways to improve the stretch of Telegraph between Bancroft Way and Dwight Way. Baker introduced himself to the group of 15-20 merchants who attended and invited them to get in touch with him with any ideas or concerns regarding TBID. They also announced that Sundays on Telegraph, the weekly summer street festival, will be limited to seven weeks this year. (Last year it ran for 11 weeks). Matthew Taecker of Taecker Planning and Design spoke to the group in a presentation outlining possible steps to make the Telegraph area more pedestrian-friendly and welcoming. Some of the suggestions included raised planters, informational installations describing the history of the area and painting the street, sidewalks, and crosswalks in bright colors. The Telegraph Business Improvement District is a non-profit that sponsors local events and advocates for positive change along Telegraph Avenue.Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

Phoenix Gym
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PHOENIX GYM OPENING Phoenix Gym opened its doors in West Berkeley this month. Phoenix Gym offers personal training and group bootcamps for all fitness goals and levels of expertise. Owner Kelly Mills plans to add more class times based on neighborhood interest and availability. “Moving into our own space has been nerve-wracking but really fun and exciting,” Mills said. The gym is in soft opening model in preparation for its mid-July grand opening, and is currently available for classes or training sessions. Sign up for personal training or a bootcamp at Phoenix Gym’s website, or by phone: 415-260-1112. Phoenix Gym is located at 1390 10th St., one block south of Gilman Street.Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

caption. Photo: PocketMe
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POCKETME STUDIO POPS UP A Berkeley couple opened their startup PocketMe’s first portrait studio in Downtown Berkeley last month. PocketMe offers customers a 3D full body portrait of themselves. The studio uses 72 cameras to take pictures of the subject from all angles, and PocketMe sends the 3D print-out to the customer. According to the website, a PocketMe can replace or complement photos for family portraits, holiday gifts, wedding cake toppers, keepsakes of grandparents, graduation portraits, fashion shoots, video game models and more. The couple is testing the local market for interest and hopes to expand. “We live in Berkeley so we wanted to start up in Berkeley and figure out where to go from here,” said co-founder Allison Saloner. “We’ve gotten a lot of interest so far. A lot of people have stopped in to see what we’re doing, and a lot have ordered their own PocketMe.” The studio is located at 2225 Shattuck Ave. (at Kittredge). It is open Saturday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday through Friday by appointment. Schedule an appointment online or by phone at 510-900-1441.Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

Himalayan Handicraft
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ALCATRAZ ALLEY GRAND OPENING Nine shops on Alcatraz Avenue are coming together for a Grand Opening on May 28 from 3-6 p.m. Many of the businesses, found along the stretch of Alcatraz west of Adeline Street, are new or have revamped their style. “We thought it was time for a Grand Opening – a big get-together to celebrate the diverse businesses,” said Jess McCarter, co-founder of the Easy Creole restaurant. To facilitate the event, the block of Ellis Street between Harmon and Alcatraz will be closed to traffic, and an array of artists, performers, and activities will take over the alley. Passersby will find discounts on food and wares from Empress Vintage, Easy Creole, Ankara StyleGalleria, the Hoi Polloi Brewpub, and Alchemy Collective, as well as bike repairs from the Biketopia Community Workshop. To top it all off, Beats Antique, an experimental fusion and electronic band, will perform at the event. The Grand Opening will be held on Ellis Street between Alcatraz Avenue and Harmon Street on Thursday, May 28 from 3-6 p.m. Read more about the event on its Facebook page.Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

Waterside Workshops is a community bicycle sop and youth education program  oeprating since 2007.  Photo: Waterside Workshop
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WATERSIDE WORKSHOPS The West Berkeley community bike store and education center is opening a new bike repair shop and has a newly renovated rental shop. It will hold a Grand Opening to showcase both on Saturday, May 30, 12-6 p.m. at 84 and 90 Bolivar Drive. The event will also serve as a bike drive: bring a bike to donate and receive a gift card from Waterside Workshops’ list of sponsors. Waterside Workshops began offering wooden boat building and bike mechanics classes for local youth in 2007, and expanded to include a bicycle store and rental facility in the following years.”The creation of Waterside Workshops served a two-fold purpose, addressing the need for vocational training as a part of a healthy community and revitalizing a highly under-used urban park,” the organization states on their webpage. The weekly Public Shop event where mechanics assist attendees in fixing their own bikes, will take place in the new building at 90 Bolivar Drive. Retail sales and bike rentals will continue to operate from the old site at 84 Bolivar Drive (between Addison and Bancroft). Visit the Waterside Workshops website and connect with them on Facebook.Continue reading »

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