Grand Avenue Merchant News – April 2021

by Ken Katz

The biggest single news item for Grand Avenue is that the vacant Aisle 5 space has been leased and remodeling is already well underway. It’s going to reopen as a “tapas and champagne lounge” called “Mimosa on Grand.” We had the pleasure of meeting the owner, Chris Rachal, on Tuesday, and he gladly posed for a photo next to a new mural painted by “Keene Visions.” Chris also owns and operates a pizza restaurant on San Pablo called “Slice,” as well as “Liege Spirits Lounge” on 9th Street in the Old Town district. Look for a Grand Opening in late May. 

We should also note that the above news may be one hopeful indication that the worst case scenario we feared – namely dozens of locally owned businesses closing permanently and staying vacant long-term may not necessarily come to pass. If so, it will be due in large part to the Grand Lake’s reputation as a successful commercial district that can always depend on support from the surrounding community. 

Michael Mischer Chocolates is currently open Tuesdays through Saturdays, but you can also shop online. Either way, Michael has just what you need if you’re looking for the perfect Easter gift. 

Ikaros Greek Restaurant has a new back patio, partitions inside, and a multitude of additions to their menu. As of Wednesday, they will have increased occupancy levels to 50% and will continue to offer takeout services. 

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Other Grand Avenue news, in brief:

  • Knimble is reopening April 1.
  • Ordinaire is resuming indoor shopping.
  • Urban Furniture & Boutique is continuing its show of artwork by Monet & Vida, and they are looking for volunteers to help processing donations. 
  • The “Living Wall” inside MeloMelo Kava Bar is like an antique tapestry – only better.

As mentioned previously, for an amateur photographer, strolling through the courtyard that houses Brother and Sisters Flower Shop is the equivalent of cheating on a final exam. 

Editor’s Notes:

  • April 18 is the deadline for filling out Oakland Magazine‘s Best of Poll. This is the perfect opportunity to help support locally owned business in the Grand Lake shopping district. 
  • The new parklets on Grand Avenue (as well as the two on Lakeshore) are the subject of a separate article available at this link