Recent Stories

  • Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

    COMING SOON: MSC CUSTOMS Manhattan’s MSC Customs bicycle and apparel company has opened its first West Coast shop at 2422 Telegraph Ave. The company assembles and sells made-to-order single-speed track bikes. They’re custom-made, meaning customers get to select a variety of trendy pastel and neon shades for the frames, tires, and rims. MSC Customs’ new clothing line is designed for cyclists, so it’s entirely reflective. This is the company’s second location. “We thought the West Coast would be a great move,” said co-owner Thomas Leong. “Berkeley is a great place for riders.” The store soft-opened on Thursday last week and its official opening is Saturday, Nov. 22. And curious shoppers can drop by a grand opening party the day before. Read more at the MSC website. [Hat tip: Ted Friedman] (more…)

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  • Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

    ALPHA DESIGN A new custom upholstery store has opened at 2001 San Pablo Ave., on the corner of University Avenue). Alpha Design has over 250 frame styles for chairs and sofas and over 1,000 types of fabric. Typical frame jobs take about two to three weeks on average, with a company in Los Angeles handling the actual upholstery. The product styles range from traditional and modern to more unusual frames, like a seven-foot tall “Dr. Seuss” chair. Owner Hans Reinhardt said Alpha Design will be launching a new website in the next two weeks.

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  • Sports Basement to take over historic Berkeley ice rink

    Mayor Tom Bates fell on his butt there. Susan Wengraf and Gordon Wozniak fondly recalled children’s parties there. There was a wave of nostalgia for Berkeley Iceland at last night’s City Council meeting, from both council members and residents providing public comment. But the passionate efforts of Save Berkeley Iceland, the campaign that hoped to resurrect a skating rink at the landmarked building, failed after a 7-0 vote to affirm the Zoning Adjustments Board’s decision to allow retailer Sports Basement to adapt the structure at 2727 Milvia for a new store.

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  • Berkeley Iceland is more than a building: it’s a sanctuary

    Tuesday will be a big day for the city of Berkeley and especially for a little neighborhood in south Berkeley. Tuesday at 7pm the Berkeley City Council will hold a hearing on whether to allow Berkeley Iceland’s use permit to be changed from recreational to retail in order to usher in the city’s first big-box store to replace the historic ice rink which is located there, and has been closed since 2007.

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