It all started with a desire to lose weight. Six years ago, Allen Cain, Executive Director of the Solano Avenue Association and Solano Stroll, decided as a New Year’s resolution to shed some pounds, set an example for his daughter, and help tidy up the North Berkeley street at the heart of his organization. How would he do this? With regular power walks/trash pick-up expeditions.
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.
BELLHOPS Moving just got a little easier. In May, Bellhops set up operations in Berkeley. Using a business model akin to Uber or Lyft, the company hires local college students, or “bellhops,” to provide customers with moving help. The company started three years ago in Auburn, Alabama, and rapidly expanded to 145 cities across the country. Currently, around 80 UC Berkeley students are available for customers within 15 miles of campus, according to co-founder Matt Paterson. Operations are decentralized, and the company doesn’t own any trucks or garages, but its employees can rent moving vans if the customer requests it. As Patterson puts it, Bellhops is perfect for those who don’t need a professional service and instead could just use some helping hands. And the company recognizes that letting strangers handle your possessions can be nerve-racking, which is why it sends customers pictures and profiles of bellhops before they arrive. Trust and exceptional customer service are central to the company’s mission, said Patterson. (more…)
After failing to renew its lease, La Farine is shutting its doors after ten years on Solano Avenue.
Berkeley is set to consider whether to limit the number of larger drugstores in the city, at least in certain neighborhoods, which may put a halt to disputed plans by Walgreens to open a new store on upper Solano Avenue.
Labor Day weekend may be over, but Bay Area residents can still look forward to some downtime at the Solano Stroll. The East Bay’s largest street festival is back on Sunday Sept. 8, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visitors can celebrate the Stroll’s 39th year with a mile-long stretch of attractions, including fantastic food, music, rides and live entertainment.
TRACKERS BAY Outdoor education organization Trackers Bay has taken over the distinctive building formerly occupied by Marmot Mountain Works at 3049 Adeline St. in Berkeley. Trackers’ regional director, Jess Liotta, describes the company as offering training in old-school skills and story-based immersive experiences for kids and adults. She tells Berkeleyside: “Think archery, foraging, wilderness survival, zombie apocalypse training, blacksmithing, etc!” The Adeline space is going to serve as Trackers’ central headquarters, office, and meeting space for its workshops and classes. Community gatherings and events will also be held there. Trackers Bay parent company Trackers Earth was founded in 2004 by Tony and Molly Deis. Tony based Trackers on his personal work in outdoor education since 1992. Marmot Mountain Works closed at the beginning of this year, after 36 years operating in Berkeley. Visit the Trackers Bay website for more information. (more…)
The Berkeley City Council will consider whether to give parkers a five minute grace period on their parking meters
The Solano Stroll barely needs any introduction. A mile-long block party that has been held annually since 1974, the Stroll is easily the East Bay’s largest festival.
© Berkeleyside All Rights Reserved.