VIDEO CHANGER Five Star Video is moving its Solano store from Albany to Berkeley, with an opening planned for this Friday at 1882 Solano. According to owner Andy Katz, the move was spurred by the availability of the long-vacant space, which provides an additional 1,000 sq ft for the store. Katz said in the previous store, customers had no idea of the range of titles available. Now, many more of the 14,000 titles will be easily visible. And Katz has a feisty explanation for why his store is expanding when many video rental rivals have vanished: “Why not be contrarian?” he asks. “You can’t go on Netflix and say, ‘Tell me what’s a good movie.’ Our customers are very supportive.” Katz also says that he was attracted to the new site by the superior food choices on upper Solano: “I expect the staff to collectively gain about 100 pounds over the year.” Five Star has a second Berkeley store on University Avenue.
SLOW BIRTH Pacifica Family Maternity Center earlier this month signed a lease to move into 3101 Telegraph, a short distance from Alta Bates. The independent birth center is waiting for permits to renovate and plans to be open for births in November or December. On its Facebook page, Pacifica declares: “Waiting for permits through the City of Berkeley requires a deep level of patience, determination and fortitude! Hopefully the art of midwifery has developed our mental fortitude enough to make it through the Planning Department!”
ALL ABOARD Rumors have it that the quirky little building on the triangle of land bounded by Claremont Avenue, Claremont Boulevard and Russell will shortly become The Station restaurant, a reference to the building’s original role as a
Key System gas station. It housed Viva Taqueria until January this year.
Shop Talk is our regular column in which we post updates on Berkeley businesses — openings, closings, new directions, relaunches, relocations. If you’re a Berkeley business with news, or a Berkeleysider who has spotted a change in your neighborhood or on your travels, shoot us an email with the details. Read previous Shop Talk columns here.
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