STONEFIRE BERKELEY The apartment and retail complex StoneFire, on the site that once had Firestone Complete Auto Care, opened officially Aug. 1. Developed by William Schrader Jr., of Alamo-based The Austin Group, and designed by Walnut Creek-based Johnson Lyman Architects and managed by Landmark Properties, StoneFire has 98 apartments and 8,700 square feet of ground-level retail space. There’s a resident fitness facility and a 1,600-square-foot outdoor courtyard in the new complex. Sobo Ramen is the first business slated to open there. The StoneFire Berkeley office is at 2010 Milvia St. (at University), Berkeley, 94704. Phone: 510-984-1331. Connect with StoneFire on FaceBook and Instagram.
BLICK ART SUPPLIES More changes for Bay Area retailer Blick Art Supplies are underway. The Berkeley store is moving from its current spot on University Avenue to the old Smith & Hawken space on 10th Street, which is over 7,200 square feet. Opening day is slated for mid-January. Last fall, the Utrecht Art Supplies Store at 1909 University (at MLK) closed, merging with Blick at 811 University. The Blick in Oakland at 5301 Broadway (at College Avenue) will remain open. Blick Art Supplies, 1360 10th St. (near Gilman Street), Berkeley, 94702. The current Berkeley store can be reached by phone at 510-486-2600. House: Daily, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., except Sundays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
BEAUTY CENTER Another business in the Elmwood has closed. Beauty Center on College Avenue (near Ashby Avenue) closed Aug. 31. The Elmwood shop, part of a small group of three other stores in the East Bay, opened in 1999 and had been struggling for the past few years. “The landlord wanted to increase the rent by 30% so I decided not to renew the lease when it came up,” CEO and owner Omar Mughannam said. The stores on Solano Avenue and in Oakland, on Lakeshore Avenue and Mountain Boulevard, will stay open. The store at 1821 Solano Ave. (at Colusa Avenue), Berkeley, is open weekdays 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Phone: 510-526-4146. Connect on Facebook.
TOOT SWEETS After several decades in business, the iconic Westbrae neighborhood bakery Toot Sweets has closed its doors. An employee of the adjacent Berkeley Bagels said Toot Sweets closed for remodeling and would reopen as a new bakery — but a sign on the window says “For Rent.” No further information could be gathered on the future plans for the bakery or why it closed so suddenly. The phone number (510-526-0610) is no longer in service. Toot Sweets Fine Desserts, 1277 Gilman St. (at Santa Fe Avenue), Berkeley, 94706.
Shop Talk is Berkeleyside’s regular Berkeley local business column. If you’re a Berkeley business with news, or a Berkeleyside reader who has spotted a change in your neighborhood or on your travels, shoot us an email with the details at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read previous Shop Talk columns. And catch up with all food business news with our Nosh coverage.