Grand Avenue Merchant News – December 2021

by Ken Katz

We don’t typically spend a lot of time in beauty supply stores or barber shops, but a Friday afternoon visit to Grand Avenue turned out to be a treasure trove of information and photo opportunities. Mimi Moon, the owner of J & J Beauty Supplies, says she’s been in business at 3242 Grand for eighteen years and their inventory includes “everything from head to toe,” including jewelry and clothing. Wigs account for a big percentage of their sales, however, with many of their buyers being cancer patients dealing with hair loss. Others simply want a different color or different look. In her native Korea, Mimi taught Cosmetology–a background that has contributed to her reputation as a “stylist” with customers who come from throughout the Bay Area and leave “looking like movie stars.” As for most local business owners, the pandemic, combined with homelessness and crime, have made life difficult but, for the time being at least, Moon is going to continue beautifying her customers.

We wrote about United Grooming (“A Parlor for the People”) when they opened in November 2020 but hadn’t stepped inside due to the pandemic and not wanting to interrupt when they were busy cutting and styling. On Friday, with the door open and the only customer in the balcony space, I stepped inside and was totally blown away. The decor is one of the very best in the Grand Lake district and there’s no competition when it comes to wall-mount telephones. As we reported in November, the salon is jointly owned by Julie Nichols and Zulma Reyes, and they’ve lived up to their promise to feature local artists on their walls. They are open seven days a week from 10 am to “7-ish.”

Friday afternoon, we had the pleasure of meeting Shelley Cardiff, the new owner of what used to be Grand Tavern at 3601 Grand. She’s hoping to reopen as the Grand Avenue Social Club around April. In the interim, they’re doing major remodeling and going through the permitting process, which apparently has been frustrating. Based on similar reports we’ve heard over the years, it sounds like the hardest part of running a restaurant may be getting it open. When they do so, look for “good food and handcrafted cocktails.”

News in Brief: 

  • The long lines at Bake Sum have largely disappeared, so you can now expect to be served fairly quickly. More importantly, Joyce just announced that they will now be open Sundays and have lots of holiday treats that you can order online. Details are here.
  • Panorama Framing is featuring holiday and winter-themed prints including artwork from Shane Donahue’s My Town Fan Club.
  • Ikaros restaurant has two new specials on their menu just in time for the holidays–Grilled Branzino and Ikaros Mussels–and with the unseasonably warm dry weather, outdoor seating remains an option.
  • A couple of years ago, we reported that the 4-story office building at 3645 Grand was going to be converted to condos. After extensive renovations, it’s reopening as an office building but with lots of amenities, as detailed in their LoopNet listing. The two tenants mentioned therein are both health-related.
  • Knimble’s Grand Avenue shop won’t be buying clothing in December or January and will be closing permanently on January 10. Their original San Rafael location will, however, continue in operation.
  • We don’t have any details at this time, but Anthony Bennett from the Grand Avenue Business Association reports that two vacant spaces have just been leased. The first, 3223 Grand (the previous location of Alyce on Grand) will be retail clothing. The second (which is currently obscured with scaffolding) will offer health/fitness services.

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.



6 responses to “Grand Avenue Merchant News – December 2021”

  1. Ellen Konnert Avatar
    Ellen Konnert

    Thank you so much for your devotion to Splash Pad!

    I’m sure, in this issue, I read something about neighborhood walks in Oakland. Now I can’t find it! HELP!!! 🙁

    1. Ken Katz Avatar


      Thanks for the shout-out. As for the neighborhood walks, they’re mentioned in the January 2022 edition which is going to be a day late due to the holidays. Here’s a link:

  2. Happiest of Holidays to you and yours!

    Thanks for always keeping us informed and up-to-date ;-D!!!

  3. Happiest of Holidays to you and yours!

    Thanks for keeping us informed.

  4. Francesca Austin Avatar
    Francesca Austin

    Thanks once again for an informative newsletter. Happy Hannukah and all that the festival of lights brings to you and your family.

  5. Joanne Dx Avatar

    Happy Holidays!

    Thanks for keeping us informed.