Shop Talk: Savvy Rest; Performance Bicycle; Fall Rush; R. Kassman Piano

Savvy Rest Natural Bedroom on Telegraph Avenue is closing its doors on Dec. 2. Photo: Savvy Rest

SAVVY REST The natural mattress retailer on Telegraph Avenue is closing its doors Dec. 2 after five years in Berkeley. The store has seen a decline in sales since January 2017, according to manager Dominick Palamenti. “I believe some of this can be attributed to the election and how most people in the Bay Area felt about it,” he said. “People tend to not spend money on what is perceived to be a luxury item when they are angry, scared or depressed.” He added that while brick-and-mortar sales in Berkeley have declined,  online sales of its organic mattresses continue to increase nationwide. The lease was up at the end of this year, and it was decided not to renew it and focus company resources on expanding its online presence. Savvy Rest is an  employee-owned B-Corp in business since 2005 with a flagship store and production facility in Charlottesville, VA. During November, the Berkeley store is selling its merchandise at 40% off new items and up to 60% off showroom displays. And, on Dec. 14, it will host one final Chillarious comedy event — “A Stand up, Lie Down Comedy Show” — which it has hosted every third Friday in the store, featuring local comedian Mikey Walz. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., show begins at 8 p.m. BYOB (no red wine), age 21+ and the event is free. Savvy Rest, 3001-C Telegraph Ave. (at Ashby), Berkeley94609. Tel: 510-244-4155.  Open Tues. – Thurs., 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Fri. and Sat., 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sun., 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Connect on Facebook, and Instagram.

PERFORMANCE BICYCLE The Berkeley branch of the nationwide purveyor of bicycles and cycling gear will be closing its doors after seven years on University Avenue. Before moving there, Performance Bicycle had its store on San Pablo Avenue (near Cedar), from 2006 to 2011. According to Karen Bliss, CMO of Performance Bicycle’s parent company, Advanced Sports Enterprises, the company filed for Chapter 11 reorganization on Nov. 16. “As part of that process, we took a look at our 104 Performance Bicycle locations and determined that some of them were under-performing and not profitable. Berkeley was one of those locations,” she said. The retailer has stores in 20 states, mostly on the West and East coasts, and is in the process of closing approximately 40 of them. A clerk at the Berkeley store said he thought the store would be open at least through January; it is currently holding a liquidation sale and will shutter once everything is sold. “Discounts will get steeper each week until all inventory, including the store fixtures are gone,” said Bliss. Performance Bicycle, 824 University Ave. (near MLK), Berkeley 94703. Tel: 510-725-4540. Open Mon. – Fri., 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sat. and Sun., 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Inside the new Fall Rush store, formerly the Student Store, on Bancroft Way. Photo: Fall Rush

FALL RUSH The long-time Student Store on Bancroft Way has re-branded itself as Fall Rush with the slogan “We Are Campus.” The business, which operates under the parent company Follett, has gone through a few changes over the past few years. “Follett managed the on-campus Cal Student Store for 15 years, moving off campus in 2013 when the MLK Student Union went under construction,” store manager Ashley Wood said. “We have a deep-rooted love for the Berkeley campus and community and are excited to offer something unique to our customers with the re-branding,” she said. Fall Rush is not only the store’s new name; it’s also a new apparel line with select items that can be customized via its Shirt Bar inside the store or mobile Shirt Cart at Cal Athletics events. Customers can choose from a selection of current and vintage Cal marks and/or sports, degrees or departments to add to their t-shirt or sweatshirt. Fall Rush, The Student Store2470/2480 Bancroft Way (near Dana), Berkeley, 94704. Tel: 510-845-1226. Open Mon. through Fri., 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sat., 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sun., 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Connect on Facebook

R. Kassman Piano on Gilman is closing due to retirement. Photo: Sean Rouse

R. KASSMAN PIANO  The piano store which opened in Berkeley in 1979, has a “retirement sale” sign posted on its storefront. R. Kassman sells new and used pianos and, according to its website, provides other services, including tuning and repair, appraisals and refinishing. The business has also served as a recital hall for piano concerts. All inventory is on sale. No information regarding a proposed closing date was provided by the owner. R. Kassman Piano Store, 843 Gilman St. (at Seventh), Berkeley 94710. Tel: 510-558-0765. Open Tues. – Sat., 11 a.m. to  5:30 p.m., Fri., 11 a.m. to 3 p.m and Sun., noon to 4.


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- and drink related business news with our Nosh coverage.

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