FANTASTIC COMICS On Shattuck Avenue for nearly a decade, Fantastic Comics is moving into a smaller home a few blocks away in April 2020. “The store will be a shadow of its former self, and though we will continue to carry amazing items, there will be much less that will sell out more often,” one of the owners said in a newsletter to customers. The store sells small press comics from all over the country, including local and eclectic material from companies not stocked by other brick and mortar shops, as well as some books and graphic novels. The message went on to say that the business had been struggling for some time, as patronage has dwindled while the rent went up. The store also cited constant construction in the neighborhood as impacting business.
“We would like to thank everyone that has made Fantastic Comics a reality for as long as it has been in the Downtown area. It has been trying at times, the challenges often seemed insurmountable, but also rewarding. We have enjoyed the times we have had and hope you come with us as we enter this new phase of our comic book life,” the team at Fantastic Comics said. Fantastic Comics, 2026 Shattuck Ave. (near University). Beginning in April 2020, the new location will be 1708 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way #A (at Virginia), Berkeley. Phone: 510–848-2988. Hours are Sunday-Tuesday, Noon to 5 p.m., Wednesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Connect on Facebook and Twitter
SUNDHARI HOLISTIC SPA A new day spa is now operating on Solano Avenue, and it celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon-cutting by Mayor Jesse Arreguín. Representatives from the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce and Councilwoman Sophie Hahn were also in attendance for the opening celebration on Jan. 16, which featured a sampling of spa services, artisanal food and wine by Donkey & Goat Winery, Miyoko’s Creamery and The Confectionist. A live harp performance was presented by Phoenix May. The spa will offer a range of day spa services. Sundhari Holistic Spa, 1605 Solano Ave. (at Tacoma), Berkeley. Phone: 510-684-0956. Hours are Thursday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Monday-Wednesday, by appointment. Connect on Facebook and Instagram
RABANA After less than two years in business, the boutique selling Mexican ceramics, textiles and jewelry is closing. Owner Tom Palmer opened the shop on Aug. 3, 2018, after operating his business out of the Sawtooth building on Dwight Way for 14 years. Selling tableware, garden pots and planters, vases, tile and gifts, from the state of Guanajuato in north-central Mexico and Oaxaca in southern Mexico, Palmer decided to close his doors because sales were slow. “The location is good,” Palmer said, “but it doesn’t have quite enough foot traffic. Most customers are over 40, many younger people don’t respond to hand-made work.” Palmer expects to close in early March. A closing sale is underway offering goods at 10-50% off. Rabana, 1645 San Pablo Ave. (at Virginia), Berkeley. Phone: 510-309-4638. Hours are Monday-Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
YVES’ JEWELRY AND JUDAICA In May of 2017, Yves Mozelsio first put up signs in his windows announcing the closing of his shop on Solano Avenue. But once word got out, Yves’ Judaica and Jewelry saw an upswing in new customers and sales and decided to stay open. After over a year of working to keep it thriving, however, Mozelsio said he just couldn’t make ends meet and is closing his doors for good. The store specializes in handcrafted and one-of-a-kind pieces by local and nationally known artists. “I want to thank everyone in the community for their support over the years. I will miss being a part of the Solano Ave community,” Mozelsio said. The store will close the end of February after five years in business. Everything is 20-40% off. As for Mozelsio’s future plans, he said he’ll continue photographing events (Bar/Bat Mitzvahs and weddings) and hopes to find work that gives him the kind of enjoyment he had running his shop. Yves’ Jewelry and Judaica, 1865 Solano Ave. (at Fresno), Berkeley. Phone: 510-529-4650. Open Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Connect on Facebook.
If you’re a Berkeley business with news to share, or you’ve noticed a new or closing business in Berkeley, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more Shop Talk columns. Catch up with food- and drink-related business news on Nosh.