Grand Avenue Merchant News – February 2022

by Ken Katz

If you’re already missing the Grand Avenue Knimble, you can ease withdrawal symptoms by popping into the Urban Furniture shop across the street to visit the mannequins that director Tracey Weaver adopted. More importantly, if you’re worried about empty storefronts on Grand, you can take comfort in knowing that several vacancies are about to be filled.

We already reported last month that an exercise studio is going into 3241 Grand. We’ve since learned that it’s called Studio FitLife and is owned by Eddy Aguirre. We had the pleasure of meeting him last week and were told that the studio is likely to open sometime in February and should be a good “Fit” for Grand Avenue.

We’ve also just learned that a second exercise studio will be opening within the next month. It’s going to be just across the street at 3320 Grand — upstairs from Mimosa2 — and will be called Bay Functional Fitness. Their previous location on College Avenue has been closed for a while largely due to the COVID pandemic.

Another pleasant surprise came in the form of news that 3223 Grand — the space from which Alyce on Grand recently moved — has been leased as a second location for Radbird Fashion and Consignment, which specializes in designer clothing, jewelry, and accessories. Their original shop, adjacent to the Claremont Hotel, is about to celebrate its 5th Anniversary. We had a brief phone conversation with owner Lori Tiedemann, who indicated that they are shooting for a soft opening on Friday, February 18 from 4:00 – 7:00 pm. Hours thereafter (at least initially) will be Friday through Sunday from 11:00 – 5:00.

Friday afternoon, we popped in at Cycle Sports and were pleased to meet up with owner Thierry Arias, who noted that one good thing can be attributed to COVID: their weekly Sunday Bike Rides are more popular than ever thanks to individuals delighted to have a safe way to exercise and socialize at the same time. The rides start at 8:00 am — typically from Cycle Sports. Anywhere from twenty-five to forty-five bikers participate in rides that cover up to forty-miles — sometimes flat and sometimes up to 2,000 feet net rise in elevation. They have a no-drop policy, but riders have to be capable of maintaining a speed of at least 17 mph. The only other requirement is a donut stop. Thierry also advised that they’ve broadened their inventory of bikes to include Specialized, Trek, Santa Cruz, Moots, #22, and electric-assist bikes as well.

When we talk about Galleria Scola, we mostly think in terms of picture framing (for which they just won another “Best Of” award), but the superb displays in the front window along with all the other artwork, antiques, and collectibles for sale inside are evidence that it is much more to this long-standing neighborhood business.

Lynn & Lu’s is now offering breakfast all day long and also have a fairly extensive dinner menu that includes fish tacos, sous vide ribeye steak with chimichurri and tofu sauté. As a bonus, the patio is now open during daylight hours.

All Things Hemp is having staffing issues but is still open Wednesday through Friday from 11:00 am – 5:00 pm.

News in Brief: 

  • The space at 3234 Grand is currently shuttered, but property owner EG Yang says that a new lease has been signed for a shop specializing in hand-embroidered caps.
  • Sister is open for inside dining Friday through Sunday. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday for takeout only.
  • Ruth Stroup Insurance scored yet another Best of the East Bay award from Oakland Magazine.

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.