Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

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The Fickle Bag accessory boutique on Solano has closed. Photo: The Fickle Bag

THE FICKLE BAG The handbag and accessory store The Fickle Bag has shut its doors at 1885 Solano AveA note on the store’s website announcing the closure of the 3-year-old business does not provide details regarding why it closed. However, owner Jua Park also operates a Fickle Bag location in the San Francisco International Airport, which will remain open. (Hat tip: Jane Tierney)

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Photo: Google

IT’S THE CHILDREN Also recently closed is the boutique children’s clothing store, It’s The Children, near the Vine Street Peet’s at 1506 Walnut St. According to the North Shattuck Association, the owner was originally hoping to relocate the business, but ultimately closed instead. The reason for closure is unknown, as the owner didn’t notify the neighborhood business organization, but low-level foot traffic on Walnut combined with the success of nearby Kid Dynamo may have come into play. (Hat tip: Doug Ng)

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Stella Carakasi speaks at the opening of her new women’s clothing store. Photo: Julia Hannafin

STELLA STUDIO The Berkeley-based designer Stella Carakasi, along with local manufacturer and parent company Two Star Dog, opened her new Gilman Corridor studio store Wednesday, July 31. According to a press release, the new retail spot (at 1370 10th St., adjacent to the Stella Carakasi Design House) “promises to showcase the latest Stella Carakasi collection of women’s clothing, host trunk shows and sample sales, as well as act as a gathering space for local community events.” Read last week’s Berkeleyside article about Carakasi, Two Star Dog, and their role revitalizing the lower Gilman area.

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Flavor opened July 22 at Epicurious Garden. Photo: Camille Baptista

FLAVOR The Mediterranean restaurant we tipped you about earlier this month, Flavor, is now open at Epicurious Garden on Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto neighborhood. According to owner and chef Ezra Malmuth, the most popular dish so far is a cauliflower salad with date syrup, tahini and mint. Plates of fresh garnished hummus, beet salad, zucchini and whole plums also decorate the display window, which stands in front of a compact but comprehensive kitchen with a colorfully tiled wood-burning stove. Lunch- and dinner-goers at Epicurious Garden can find limited seating in the back garden next to Imperial Tea Court — a lush little haven with large wooden benches and a small creek.


The Brazil Café food shack in Berkeley will open a new storefront next month. Photo: Camille Baptista
The Brazil Café opens its new University Ave. storefront Aug. 6. Photo: Camille Baptista

BRAZIL CAFÉ Featured in Shop Talk last month was the news that Brazil Café, the popular eatery with a food shack on upper University Avenue in Berkeley and a hole-in-the-wall storefront on Shattuck Avenue, is opening another extension a few blocks west at 1960 University Ave. Although the restaurant was expected to open last week, the owners had to push back the date due to permitting delays. They are now slated to open Tuesday, Aug. 6, for lunch and dinner. (In case you missed it, the café will replace Peruvian restaurant Brasa, which closed its doors recently.)

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. Check out also our weekly Bites column, which provides food news for the whole East Bay.

-By Camille Baptista