A selection of photographs from Cal Day, an Undergraduate Workers Union protest and the Berkeley March for Science which all took place this weekend.
SVENSSON AUTOMOTIVE CLOSING AFTER 50 YEARS Svensson Automotive, which was founded in Berkeley by Rune Svensson in 1966, has closed up shop at 1740 San Pablo Ave. Current owner Baljeet Pal, who most customers know as BJ, said the business is closing as the property owner intends to turn the land into apartments (Berkeleyside has not been able to confirm this yet). The auto shop originally specialized in servicing and repairing Swedish car makes, such as Saab and Volvo, but subsequently expanded to include Toyotas. BJ immigrated to the U.S. in 1977 from India, and began working at the auto shop with his father, who then owned the business, in 1980, according to Jerome Solberg who spoke to him recently. BJ bought the business in 1985. “I really want to thank all of the loyal customers I have had over the past 35 years, they made my job enjoyable and rewarding,” BJ said to Solberg. “I am proud to say that my business put all three of my children through college and all of them pursued postgraduate educations. I now plan to semi-retire, play a lot of golf, and tour the world!” BJ will spend the non-leisure part of his retirement at Svensson’s second location in Lafayette which he opened in 1994. (more…)
[Editor’s note: This story was updated at 1:15 p.m. with additional information from Councilman Laurie Capitelli.]
The possible transformation into a performance space of the shuttered Oaks Theatre on Solano Avenue remains uncertain, but the final word on the deal could come sometime in November, according to several people involved with the transaction.
By Eli Wolfe
THE FICKLE BAG The handbag and accessory store The Fickle Bag has shut its doors at 1885 Solano Ave. A 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)
Update, Dec. 26: The decision has been appealed and appears to be scheduled for the March 5, 2013, meeting of the City Council.
By Linda Hemmila
By Jane Tierney