Grand Avenue Merchant News – July 2021

by Ken Katz

Things are hopping on Grand Avenue, as business is returning to normal, and we’ve got some big news to report. The other day, Anthony Bennett, the owner of Antiques Collected Four 32 and the spokesperson for the Grand Avenue Business Association, alerted us to a new shop at 474 Santa Clara called 8 amStyle.

We reached the owner, Meaza Haile by phone and were delighted by what she had to say. She and her business partner design all of the clothing, which mostly reflects her Eritrean heritage, and it’s all locally made here in Oakland. Previously, most of their sales have been via Etsy and Instagram. We checked out the former site and found their webpage to be just as stylish as their clothing. We’re guessing that 8 amStyle going to do quite well here in the neighborhood once the word gets out. Since she and her business partner spend most of their time designing and creating, business hours for the time being are limited to Thursdays and Fridays from 11-6 and Saturdays from 10-6.

The other big news, which came as a surprise, is that (after 17 years in business) Michael Mischer has a buyer for his chocolate shop and he’s scheduled to close on July 10. This afternoon, he began selling off some display fixtures and holiday decorations. More importantly, if you have a favorite Mischer chocolate that you want to stock up on, now is the time to do it. In addition, Michael says that the buyer is also a chocolatier who has previously sold online. The new shop will continue offering chocolates, as well as gelato.

Walden Pond Books has some exciting news as well. Their 40-year-old neon storefront sign is being restored and a formal “unveiling” is to be scheduled in the next week or two. Watch their Facebook page for an announcement, which we’ll share on our Splash Pad Facebook page as well. In addition, the bookstore has extended its hours on Friday and Saturday until 8 pm.

Other news in brief: 

  • We were delighted to see that Wilde Brothers Coffee survived the pandemic and has reopened.
  • Ordinaire patrons are continuing to enjoy the newly installed parklet but now have the option of drinking inside as well.

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.



2 responses to “Grand Avenue Merchant News – July 2021”

  1. Nancy Avatar

    What’s happening to that jewelry store on..
    Pacific nails has closed on grand Avenue
    Swan salon is new to grand avenues for nails..
    It’s nice to see the Grand Lake theater open again no mention of that??

    1. Ken Katz Avatar
      Ken Katz


      In the June edition of the News, we did report briefly on the Grand Lake Theatre’s reopening; linked to a detailed report in The Oaklandside and shared a plug for a special showing of “We All LIve in Gaza.” For July, we had nothing new to report. As to your other questions, I currently have additional obligations and even less time than previously to spend on Grand Avenue. Long term, the Splash Pad News has been hoping to find someone else willing and able to assume authorship of the monthly Grand Avenue Business Updates. In the meantime, we’d very much appreciate news tips such as the ones you’ve just provided–ideally, at least a week before publication on the first of each month. Tips should be emailed to