Shop Talk: Phone Repair Hut; Perricone MD; Aesop; Sonic

Phone Repair Hut has opened a third location in Berkeley, on College Avenue at Russell. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel

PHONE REPAIR HUT Phone Repair Hut has opened in the Elmwood shopping district, making this its third location in Berkeley and fifth store in the East Bay. We reported in February about the opening of its location on Vine Street in North Berkeley. The newest location of the business, which had its soft opening on Aug. 8, is in the kiosk in the parking lot of the 7-Eleven convenience store at College Avenue and Russell. The kiosk has been vacant for several years, but, over the years, has housed variously a flower shop, a photo-finishing business, a balloon shop and a pick-up spot for nearby Nabolom Bakery. PRH is co-owned by entrepreneurs Axel Olson and Oliver Lorenz, who met in 2011 at Casa Zimbabwe, a Cal student housing co-op.

“Say you read about us on Berkeleyside and we’ll offer you a discount.”

The two ran their first two shops themselves and added staff as they expanded. With one person per shop, the business now has five employees, while Axel and Oliver now work more behind the scenes. Phone repairs can be scheduled by phone or online and the business is now selling previously owned iPhones that have been  pre-tested for functionality and are factory unlocked for use on any carrier. “We’re thrilled to be in the Elmwood,” said co-owner Lorenz. “Mention that you read about us on Berkeleyside and we’ll offer you a discount.” Phone Repair Hut, 2887 College Ave. (at Russell), Berkeley 94705. Tel: 510-379-9769. Open Mon. – Sat., 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sun., noon to 6 p.m.. Other stores are located on Durant (near Telegraph), Vine (at Shattuck), a flagship  store on College Avenue in Rockridge, and on Park Street in Alameda. 

Perricone MD is closing up shop on Aug. 31. Photo: 4thStShop.com

PERRICONE MD The holistic skincare boutique on Fourth Street will close its flagship store on Aug. 31. There are no plans to open another store in the Bay Area. Perricone MD was created by Dr. Nicholas Perricone, featuring products based on his New York Times bestseller, The Wrinkle Cure, which touted the benefits of an “anti-inflammatory lifestyle” and “antioxidant techniques to revitalize skin from the inside out.” All merchandise is on sale through closing. No details about the closing were made available to Berkeleyside. Perricone MD, 1833 Fourth  St. (at Hearst), Berkeley 94710. Tel: 510-809-4366.  

Aesop is moving into the retail space after Perricone MD closes on Fourth Street. Photo: Aesop

AESOP The Australian body care retailer Aesop is coming to Fourth Street, taking over the space being vacated by Perricone MD skincare which is closing on Aug. 31. Aesop was established in 1987, is headquartered in Melbourne and has multiple boutiques worldwide. The product line includes skin, hair, body and home products. There are currently four stores in San Francisco. Aesop, 1833 Fourth St. (at Hearst), Berkeley 94710. Connect on Twitter and Instagram


SONIC/LMI You may have noticed the trucks all over town and wondered what was up. Sonic, the largest independent internet service provider in California, is expanding its gigabit fiber across the East Bay, having made its start in San Francisco. Gigabit, or 1,000 Mbps of fiber internet connectivity, is 50 times faster than the average download speed.  “This is a huge milestone in Sonic’s history, making our largest expansion to date as a company,” said Dane Jasper, co-founder and CEO of Sonic. “As deregulation continues to threaten the competitive marketplace for ISPs, it’s more important than ever for customers to have choices when selecting an internet provider. This news brings us one step closer toward our goal of bringing faster, affordable internet to all Bay Area residents.” Local ISP LMI will also provide gigabit connectivity on the same fiber, as well as serving about 1,000 homes on its own fiber infrastructure network. Check availability of the service at your address on Sonic’s website.

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 editors@berkeleyside.com. Read previous Shop Talk columns. And catch up with all food business news with our Nosh coverage.

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