by Ken Katz
In the midst of an ongoing pandemic, the state of virtually everything seems to be in flux. New regulations from the Alameda County Health Department regarding efforts to minimize transmission of the Corona Virus that went into effect on June 19 were revised ten days later. Overall, the goal is to allow businesses to reopen to the extent possible while practicing common-sense rules including the wearing of masks, provisions for hand-sanitizers, cleaning of surfaces and social distancing.
Last Friday, we emailed Grand Avenue businesses requesting information on their current status and received a handful of replies which are posted below and we’ll be providing updates on our Facebook page as they arrive and also will re-post our SOS list once it’s updated.
Thanks to C.J. Hirschfield for alerting us to major changes at what used to be Perch, the cafe at 440 Grand. It’s now called MudLab and, in addition to food to go, they’re also offering groceries, cleaning products and more. Their major focus is on providing zero waste products and improving the environment which includes a commitment to help clean Lake Merritt on a regular basis.
After much anticipation, Comal Next Door opened on June 22 in the Barlago space at 550 Grand Avenue. Their menu is quite extensive with a number of options that aren’t available elsewhere. For the time being, they are open for pickup and delivery only. We’ve exchanged emails with the owners, John and Rachel Paluska. The former has already become acquainted with their immediate neighbors at Oaktown Spice Shop and Grand Lake Kitchen. Rachel is apparently an avid gardener and has already volunteered for the Splash Pad Grand Crew’s 4th Sunday work days. All indications are that will be a great addition to the neighborhood.
Open from 11 am – 8:30 pm daily. For pickup, please phone (510) 422-6625 directly to place your order. Otherwise, they’re charged a service fee.
At long last, Alkali Rye, a specialty retail store featuring tea & coffee, spirits, wine, and home goods has just opened in the Alchemy Bottle Shop location. Hours are Tuesdays through Sundays 11 am – 6 pm. Owners Jessica Moncada Konte Kori Saika Chen announced the upcoming opening with this message:
“We are so grateful to Tova & Peter for the strong business foundation and community they created through Alchemy Bottle Shop. We are honored they chose us to continue the seed they planted and thankful for their continued support throughout this transition.
Our mission is to provide Oakland with a warm and welcoming space. We believe in sharing the story of our products with customers and career advancement for our staff. We highlight women producers, underrepresented talent (Black, Indigenous, People of Color, and LGBTQI), and businesses that utilize environmentally sustainable practices.
Like us, our namesake Alkali Rye derives from a wild grass native to the Oakland hills. It is wild, resilient, and highly adaptive.”
ORDINAIRE: We are continuing to offer wines by phone and email but are now also offering curbside sales of any size. We will also be launching a webstore next week. The web store will offer mixed 3, 6, or 12 packs with a large bottle selection to follow. The webstore will be accessible through our website www.ordinairewine.com
CYCLE SPORTS: Yes we are open – Monday – Saturday 12 – 6 for now…will expand to additional hours as safety allows. Doing business from the front door unless purchasing shoes or a bike – but then we only allow a couple people in the store at a time. Must wear mask to interact with our staff, and maintain a safe social distance.
GALLERIA SCOLA: We are up and running. Full service custom framing is available between 10 to 6 Tuesday-Saturday or by appointment. Clients can drop off and pick up artwork during store hours. If you call ahead we can prepare your work and be ready to load it into your vehicle. For the time being we encourage you to take advantage of our free pick up and delivery. Installation can be added for a fee. Please call or email to schedule.
MICHAEL MISCHER CHOCOLATES: We are open with new business hours: Wednesday through Saturday – 12 pm to 7 pm but closed for the 4th of July weekend on Saturday and Sunday.
ALKALI RYE: Happy to report that at long last WE ARE OPEN! Our current store hours are Tuesday – Sunday 11 am – 6 pm. Thanks so much for all your support and checking in with us along the way, it has been quite a journey but we are grateful to be a part of the Grand Lake community.
ALL THINGS HEMP: This week or the following week we will opening additional days with curbside pickup available. Shortly, we will be allowing limited customers inside in keeping with Health Department regulations. Donations to our Go Fund Me campaign to keep us going would be appreciated. gf.me/u/x7fqw3
COLLECTED AT FOUR: We are presently offering curbside service by appointment only. We are planning on reopening the store in accordance with the latest COVID-19 protocols (mask or other face covering required) on July 18. Our new hours will be Saturdays 9 am-2 pm. Donations to our fundraising campaign would be appreciated.
URBAN FURNITURE & BOUTIQUE: Beginning the July 4th weekend, we will open up our store and open air market Fridays through Sundays from 11 am-3 pm. To the volunteers who helped us sort and sanitize our offerings, as well as work at the store, we love you. To the people who have come by to say “hello” and hunt for treasures safely in our new open air format, we’ve missed you. Our hours may be limited but our gratitude to our volunteers and excitement for our visitors are boundless!
If you follow us on Instagram, every Friday at 1 pm we will be on Instagram Live sharing highlights for what’s in store. Come shop with us! As you start-up your shopping at a pace that works for you, remember why our social enterprise exists – to work as a platform to deliver our Single Moms at Work Program, our effort to create a more equitable and just world for low-income single mothers through housing, employment and safety net services.
PANORAMA FRAMING: We are indeed complying with Alameda County’s June 18th announcement. Currently, we’re open M-F from 10:00 till 6:00 for one-at-a-time customer appointments, and are enforcing more than the six-foot distance between the customers and staff. Other things we’re doing:
- Masks are required at all times for customers and staff.
- Hands-free sanitizer dispensers are located on each end of the design table, and all persons are encouraged to use them.
- The design table is sprayed with disinfectant after each customer interaction.
- Staff is required to wash hands often, but especially after interacting with customers, and handling their art.
- Staff members’ temperatures are taken at the start of each business day.
- Anyone reporting for work sick, or exhibiting any signs of illness will be sent home
AISLE FIVE: Closed until further notice.