Grand Avenue Merchant News

Despite all the challenges facing local businesses, we’re happy to share a bit of positive news from Grand Avenue beginning with a NextDoor post by Heidi Upton she titled, Ace Hardware on Grand Rocks:

Just a shout out to our wonderful friends down at Ace Hardware on Grand Ave. Their employees and customer service are top notch. I went down there twice today to pick up parts and get advice on how to fix my toilet. The short of it is that I single handedly rebuilt the innards of my toilet tank thanks to the advice of Ace Hardware James! What could’ve been hundreds of dollars (crap holiday gift!) in plumber fees, the project ended up costing me less than $10, a bit of elbow grease and the satisfaction of adding “toilet whisperer” to my resume.

Heidi’s post elicited nearly five hundred “Likes” and and eighty-eight comments from NextDoor subscribers – all echoing much the same sentiments.

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Just down the block, an ongoing GoFundMe campaign to help The Alley survive into the new year and well beyond has raised (as we go to press) $83,000. Here’s a message posted on Christmas Day by the campaign’s chief organizer, Bryan Seet:

WE DID IT! THANKS TO YOU!!!!! At about 11:04 am PST this morning, we SMASHED through our Phase 1 goal of $75,000. This funding will guarantee The Alley’s monthly expenses through winter and spring. We did this in an ASTOUNDING 7 DAYS!!! CONGRATULATIONS ALL!!!

In talking with Jackie (owner of the Alley) a few days ago, she was completely overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and love you all have for The Alley. Perhaps because it’s Christmas Eve, this spirit of support, giving and rallying community reminds me of that scene in “It’s a Wonderful Life” where George Bailey, after being at the end of his rope, ultimately realizes how much one man, with friends, can change the world. He comes home after his “dark night of the soul” experience and is greeted by his Bedford Falls community who pull out all the stops to help him out. In this case, George Bailey is The Alley and the community is YOU who have reached down deep in these difficult times and have come to its rescue. That scene at the end always gets me. Always… 

For more information about the Alley’s status and the community-driven effort to ensure its preservation, please see this December 23 Oaklandside article.

Ikaros Greek Restaurant has been expanding its menu and its newest dishes include a Lamb Burger, Folmus and Salmon Pita and Flank Steak over Greek Salad. In addition, you can now buy gift cards online via this link. During the ongoing curfew, their hours on Mondays are 4:30 – 9 pm. The rest of the week, 11:00 am – 9:30 pm.

The Star on Grand is bringing back Personal Pizzas in January as a Lunch Special that’s good until 4:00 pm and they are also offering a new Hawaiian pizza with pineapple as a special through the entire month. Hours are 11:30 am – 9:00 pm.

Editor’s Note: Virtually all the restaurants on Lakeshore, Lake Park and Grand remain open for pick-up and deliveries and they are relying on our continued support for their survival. In a December 8 opinion piece in the New York Times titled Apps Are Helping to Gut the Restaurant Industry, Greg Bensinger notes that, in the past nine months, “one in six restaurants nationwide has closed permanently.” A big factor in those closures has been excessive fees (up to 30%) charged by Uber Eats, DoorDash and Grub Hub. To maximize your support, phone in and pick up your order whenever possible and make sure you’re ordering directly from the restaurant itself, with the exception of Clover which apparently charges a very nominal fee.