Grand Avenue Merchant News – December 2023

by Ken Katz

The Sanctuary at 3344 Grand celebrated their Grand Opening on November 13. Owners Stephanie and Etecia Burrell describe their shop as an “apothecary, apparel and home decor boutique,” but a visit to their website (which I highly recommend) tells a much larger story that includes classes and workshops, a community gathering space, and a line of products that are “ethically sourced and sustainably made to support wellness for not just the consumer but the community and earth at large.” The artist currently featured is Kristen Stain (pictured on the far right above), who is also doing two workshops on December 2 at Alkali Rye. BTW: If you want to understand what motivates Stephanie and Etecia, be sure to read their bios posted on their website.

Alkali Rye will be open every day this month with the exception of Christmas Day, and they’re going all out for the holidays with eight different tastings scheduled between December 1–16 — only two of which are pictured above. In addition, they will be hosting two ceramics workshops on December 2 led by Kristen Stain.

Megadeluxe has built up a faithful following for their caps and huge selection of patches. A couple of months ago, owner Wes Garcia added T-shirts and hoodies to which you can add the motif of your choice. Sounds like the perfect present for that special somebody in your life.

TwoTwo has three events scheduled over the next couple of weeks, while owner C.C. Dolan continues to introduce up-and-coming fashion designers from all over the world. One is Yushokobayashi, the sock-making instructor scheduled to do a workshop on December 15, who also created the black and white coat on the far right in the center photo above. The two gorgeous outfits on the right come from Georgia. No! Not that Georgia. It’s the one that used to be part of the Soviet Union.

The Grand Lake Theatre has lots of new films on tap for the holidays, plus two special events — a sneak preview of American Fiction on December 9 and a Noir City Xmas 2023 on the 20th, where you’ll be able to purchase Film Noir books from Walden Pond out in the lobby.

“Beavering Away,” an exhibit of works by KG Greenstein and Nancy Mizuno Elliott at Panorama Framing will remain up through December. Watch for a brand new show in February.
The Grand Avenue Art Walk on November 2 was a huge success. All thirteen participating businesses are looking forward to an encore early next year, and expectations are that the event will continue to get bigger and better over time.
United Grooming periodically hangs new artwork, and currently half a dozen different artists are represented. The above photos are of works by Jillian Freiheit, Heather Oram, and Zeph Fishlyn.
News in brief
  • On December 30, Ordinaire has a bistro scheduled, followed by a New Year’s Eve party the next evening. Both events will revolve around friends visiting from Paris who own and operate Montezuma Cafe.
  • MeloMelo Kava Bar has a “Children of Gaza” fundraiser on December 1st; an 80’s dance party December 2nd, and several food popups scheduled throughout this month. Check their calendar for details.
  • Alyce on Grand will be gifting old-fashioned sachets with a minimum $50 purchase while supplies last.
  • Live jazz has returned to Grand Avenue on Sunday evenings, thanks to The Barbary. BTW: Hats off to Risa Nye for a superb October 16 article about the Barbary in The Oaklandside.
  • Thursday nights from 5–11pm, Mimosa 2 combines Karaoke with a $5 evening brunch. Fridays and Saturdays, food is served until 10pm, but the lounge and DJ continue until 2am. An all-day, all-you-can-eat brunch is available on Sundays.

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.



One response to “Grand Avenue Merchant News – December 2023”

  1. Mary Blume Avatar
    Mary Blume

    I’m so glad to hear that community-minded folks have stepped up to continue the wonderful tradition of Splash Pad that Ken has master-minded all these years! Kudos to Debra for contributing her skills to this worthy project