by Ken Katz
If you currently do a Google search for Cycle Sports, a notification pops up saying that it’s temporarily closed and now owned by Trek Bicycles. Yesterday afternoon, when we happened upon the closed sign surrounded outside by multiple display fixtures, wood pallets and piles of cardboard, we were initially dismayed to learn that the owner, Thierry Arias had sold his business after what must have been three decades on the avenue beginning with the original location at 3241 Grand. After being informed that all the current employees would be remaining on staff and that Thierry will still be involved — if only as the landlord, we felt more comfortable about the transition. Even more so, after skimming a Bike Portland article that said this about the sale to Trek of a major chain of bike shops in western states:
Shannon Skerritt manages the Trek Bicycle Store in Hollywood and has worked for Bike Gallery/Trek for 23 years. “Overall it’s a positive change,” he said when I talked with him a few days ago as he feverishly prepped for the big grand re-opening. Skerritt said the biggest change he’s noticed is how professional and supportive Trek has been thus far. They’ve flown in scores of top-level staff from their headquarters in Waterloo Wisconsin to oversee the transition and train employees on their retail and service vision. “Trek gives us another level of professionalism and a lot of resources for getting things done,” Skerritt said. “As opposed to how things were before which sometimes felt like we were trying to build the plane while flying it.” Will customers notice any other changes? Skerritt said you’ll still see your favorite employees… and Skerritt thinks you’ll appreciate a more structured and thorough approach to repairs and customer service.
Another Google search — this one for Trek Bike shops reveals that they now have 1700 locations worldwide and apparently they’re continuing to amass more. Knowing that, our comfort level is tempered by concerns that small businesses everywhere are being squeezed out by other even larger entities such as Walmart and Amazon which just purchased One Medical — including the clinic just up the block.
The scaffolding finally came down at the three-story apartment building with ground-floor retail at 3221 Grand revealing a fresh coat of paint and rehabbed windows and trim. Our compliments to Lycette Properties. Across the street at Ikaros, scaffolding just went up. Unfortunately, there’s been an ongoing leak in the roof that can’t be repaired and the bell tower is going to be removed.
The store fixtures that Trek was discarding included two Oak display cabinets — one of which was claimed by CC and Jio, the owners of Stars/Dollars/Hearts. They were photographed just as they were about to wheel it down the street — all the way to 3221 Grand between Radbird and Grand Flowers where they’re hoping to open by mid-month.
In our August Merchant update, we reported at length on the Grand Avenue Art Walk two weeks earlier. We’re happy to report that the event returns on October 13 with a tour that begins at MegaDeluxe at 6 pm and spans seven different shops where participants can expect light refreshments and artist presentations by Sea Pony Couture, and Launa Bacon who is flying in from Kauai specifically for this event. Music at Radbird will be provided by Starter Kit. The tour ends with drinks and/or food at Sister Restaurant. BTW: Hats off to Jason Canepa (Co-owner with Lori Tiedemann of Radbird) for the event poster.
Alkali Rye has three events scheduled for October beginning with Mom’s Market on Saturday. This month’s edition will feature vintage furnishings, clothing, floral arrangements and special sips. On the 8th, their Back Bar will be pouring samples of Chareau Aloe Liqueur and, on the 29th, Ahus Aqvavit and Bimini Gin. Details are on their event calendar.
Grand Avenue News in Brief:
- Pizzetta Geraldine will be serving pizza at The Libertine on Friday evenings and Saturday afternoons. The drink menu is also being updated next week.
- Pride Cleaners has been in the same location for about thirty-five years and their offer of a 20% discount for police officers and fire department personnel represents roughly 20% of their overall business.
- The Star has recently introduced Detroit Pizza to their menu.
- Almond & Oak has just updated their menu with several new offerings.
- Ruth Stroup Insurance has another Free & Unlimited Shred Day scheduled for Saturday, October 15 from 9 am – 3 pm at their 3560 Grand office. Phone 510 874-5700 if you have questions.
- Bay Functional Fitness at 3320 Grand Avenue is hosting an Open House on Friday, October 14 from 4-7 pm. Light food and drinks will be served.
Ken Katz founded the Splash Pad Neighborhood Forum in late 1999 and, in his role as Chair, coordinated the community efforts to lobby for a new park and subsequently served as a liaison to the City of Oakland and to Walter Hood’s office during the planning process. The first Splash Pad Newsletters were emailed beginning circa 2006. Currently, he acts as a contributor to—and publisher of—the monthly Splash Pad News. Keila Diehl proofreads all the copy, filters content as needed, and makes everyone involved look good.