Grand Avenue Merchant News – August 2021

Editor’s Note: A comment posted on last month’s Grand Avenue merchant update prompted us to take a long walk this past Friday from the theater up to Safeway and back–something we hadn’t attempted for a very long time. As a result, we can now report on Pacific Nail’s closing,  a change in ownership at what was previously Palace Nails, what’s happening at Grand Jewelry Repair, and a whole lot more.

by Ken Katz

We’re predicting that Bake Sum, the bakery slated to move into the Wild Rabbit space at 3249 Grand in the next couple of weeks is going to be a huge success based on the awards (“Named the Bay’s Best Pop-Up Bakery for Its Vibrant Pastries” by the BoldItalic) and all the rave reviews in the local press that it has garnered since its founding just over a year ago.

Here’s how the Bake Sum website describes what they bake and why:

Joyce (Tang) started Bake Sum in 2020 just in time for the pandemic making pastries and sweets that represent their upbringings. We love all things leavened, fluffy, and delicious and utilize our skills as pastry chefs to bring you memorable pastries. We believe that pastries should be fun, beautiful, creative, and above all delicious.

The word “Sum” or 心 has many meanings. In Cantonese Chinese it means heart. Sum also represents the addition of two or more things, people and/or ingredients. With Bake Sum, we share with you a little piece of our hearts in each pastry. We hope to meet you soon.

For the record, Kori Saika Chen from Alkali Rye, Marcia Lam from Lin Jia, and Freya Prowe from Brother and Sisters Flower Shop have either visited the Bake Sum website or sampled their pastries and can hardly wait for opening day.


According to Dr. Natasha Bernard, Alchemy Restorative Medicine did more than just survive the pandemic, as her practice has grown substantially over the past year or so. In appreciation of all the support she’s been receiving, Natasha is hosting the above art exhibition featuring five local artists including Amandalynn, who painted the gorgeous murals on her office’s facade as well as the interior wall at the base of the staircase.

As we reported last month, Walden Pond Books was then in the process of restoring their 40-year-old neon sign. On July 23, we were delighted to join a small crowd that assembled for the informal lighting ceremony conducted by Shop Manager Paul Curatolo. For neon sign aficionados (like Paula Wirth), it was a rare victory. For us, it was a good sign (pun intended) of good things to come for Grand Avenue and the Grand Lake District as a whole.

When we wrote last month about 8 amStyle, the new shop that Meaza Haile had just opened at 474 Santa Clara, we hadn’t had time to meet her in person or visit her shop. Happily, we were able to rectify that situation a couple of weeks ago and came away just as impressed as we were initially by her Etsy webpage. For the time being, hours are limited to Thursdays and Fridays from 11–6 and Saturdays from 10–6. BTW: Meaza also has a nice selection of face masks that are priced 3 for $18. She has already donated one thousand over the past year and has promised to donate another two hundred for the senior citizen residents at Grand Lake Gardens just up the street.

  • Ceci DeSilva, co-owner of Bay Area Martial Arts, says that they are continuing to hold classes online and in person–but, only for children for the time being.
  • A few years back, the office building at 3645 Grand gave notice to all the tenants that it was about to be converted to condos. According to the signage, office spaces are again available but with a much more eye-catching exterior and presumably tons of interior improvements.
  • We met the owner of Wink Studio, Thanh Tran, for the first time in front of her shop at 3711 Grand and were chagrined to learn that she’s been doing eyelash extensions in this location since 2019.
  • We popped inside the building that’s now home to Discovery Investments to compliment them for the new entrance and landscaping only to find out that they have, since purchasing the building, totally redone everything inside and out as well and done so with style. Thanks for helping make Grand Avenue a more attractive destination for visitors and neighbors alike.

Other news in brief: 

  • Sad to report that the boarded up window at Grand Jewelry Repair was more than a simple act of vandalism. To the contrary, the window, door, and all the interior display cases were shattered and virtually all the contents stolen. The window has been repaired and the cases and some of the merchandise have been replaced. If you have jewelry in need of repair, please keep them in mind. They’ve been here for a very long time, and their reviews are almost entirely five-stars.
  • Mimosa on Grand is tentatively scheduled towards the end of the month.
  • New Dimensions Wellness moved into a spacious office above Miss Saigon at 3345 Grand in May of this year. It’s a second location for Dr. Navasca who has had a chiropractic practice in the Laurel District for the past fifteen years.
  • Precision Point Pilates and Bodywork is currently offering online classes and in person sessions. Their location is 3320A Grand above Mimosa 2.
  • Palace Nails at 3344 Grand (next to Panorama Framing) has closed and reopened under new ownership as Swann Nails.
  • Pacific Nails at 3725 Grand has also closed, as has Grace’s Salon next door. The building has possibly been sold and is currently being renovated.
  • Lisa’s Nails at 3617 Grand is now Bebe Nails 2.
  • Simplicity Pamper Lounge is in the space at 3639 Grand that was previously occupied by Blowdry Bar510. The owner, Alicia McCauley has great reviews.
  • Faith Wilson does eyelash extensions in her salon, Embellish Beaute Studio at 3715 Grand.
  • Since we last walked this stretch of Grand, Left Coast Power Yoga has expanded into the space next door that housed a rug shop.
  • Freya Prowe, owner of Brother & Sisters Flower Shop reminded us that they are now open on Fridays–as well as Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Via an email, Alkali Rye‘s Kori Saika Chen said this: “We would love to share with Splash Pad News readers our gratitude for supporting us through the past year. We are happy to say that we celebrated our one-year anniversary this summer and amidst all the challenges the future looks bright. We are starting to plan certain events like tastings with drink makers again in our shop, so folks can feel free to follow our website events page and mailing list to stay informed.”

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.


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Comments

4 responses to “Grand Avenue Merchant News – August 2021”

  1. Ken Katz Avatar

    Thanks, Carolyn. Your comments are much appreciated.

  2. Carolyn French Avatar
    Carolyn French

    Great News Letter. Superb writing. Wonderful photographs. I always look forward to reading your news letter. The Splashpad is always informative, and keeps me up to date on what’s happening in my neighborhood.

  3. Thank you for writing this every month 🙂

  4. Joanne Devereaux Avatar
    Joanne Devereaux

    Stellar photographs !