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  • Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

    THREAD LOUNGE Opening today in downtown Berkeley: Thread Lounge, an upscale fashion store offering discounted designer clothing for women, men, and children, as well as limited home furnishings. Owner Colleen Schmidt, a former buyer for Ralph Lauren and Donna Karan among others, already has two stores — in San Francisco and Chicago — and is testing the waters in Berkeley with a popup version of the bohemian-style shop in the old Fed Ex-Kinkos corner building at Shattuck and Bancroft Way. “We are like a designer sample sale,” Schmidt says. “We work with over 400 designers worldwide.” Local labels currently in stock include Laurel B (sweaters that retail for $250-$400 are $80) and Wendy Katlin ( $200-$450 tops and dresses for $50-$100). Schmidt works in partnership with her boyfriend, Jon Vohr, who creates the artwork and fixtures in the store, although Schmidt is quick to point out that the décor will be much more appealing if they decide to settle here. “Everyone asks me why I didn’t go to Fourth Street but I think there’s room for growth in downtown Berkeley. There aren’t a lot of fashion options here,” she says. Thread Lounge is throwing a “Meet & Greet” opening for the public with wine and appetizers on Thursday, Jan. 31, 7-9pm. Thread Lounge is at 2295 Shattuck Ave. Open: weekdays, 12-7, Sat. 11-7, Sun. 12-6. (more…)

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  • Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

    TART, BUT TASTY The Rare Barrel, a new endeavor that plans to make hand-crafted sour beer aged in barrels, is coming to Berkeley, according to a posting on the group’s website (and first spotted by Diablo Magazine). The father and son brewing team of Brad and Jay Goodwin and sales and marketing director Alex Wallash will begin renovation of a warehouse at 940 Parker Street next week, with the aim of starting beer production in early 2013, according to Wallash. Sour beer is a beer whose “character profile has a tart and acidic flavor, sometimes fruity,” he said. While most hand-crafted beer is fermented in steel tanks and aged a couple of weeks to two months, The Rare Barrel will age its beer in oak barrels from six months to three years. The trio chose Berkeley because the cooling fogs that are pulled in through the Golden Gate create a perfect climate, according to an announcement on The Rare Barrel blog.

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