Grand Avenue Merchant News – October 2023

by Ken Katz

We’re thrilled to report that Panorama Framing has scheduled an upcoming art exhibit curated by former owner, Patrick Cheatham. Titled Beavering Away, it will feature the artwork of two Oakland-based artists, KG Greenstein (mosaics and wireworks) and Nancy Mizuno Elliott (works on paper, stickers). The show will run through the end of the year with an Opening Night Artists Reception on October 5 with live music and light refreshments.

Alkali Rye is hosting a popup (through November 30), on their second floor, featuring high-end, modernist furniture and furnishings from the inventory of Piecemeal Vintage, whose main showroom is at 2200 Adeline. Included in the popup is an elegant barbers chair, where you can indulge yourself in a haircut provided by Just Cultured Barber Studio (by appointment only). BTW: As we go to press, Alkali Rye’s Events Page currently has a Bitters Tasting scheduled for October 7. We’d suggest checking back for additions later in the month.

The Flower Crown workshops at Brother & Sisters Flower Shop continue to be a big draw, so another encore is scheduled for October 28 from 4:30 to 6:30. Advance tickets (required) can be purchased online via Instagram or Eventbrite. Beginning October 5, owner Freya will also be opening on Thursdays through the end of the holiday season.

Hats off to MeloMelo Kava Bar for great signage, the best hanging garden in the neighborhood, and a very full event calendar.

Friday, we were pleasantly surprised to discover that the space recently vacated by Swan Salon at 3342 Grand has been leased; we were even more delighted to meet the owner, Stephanie Burrell, a designer who, for the last decade or so, has been selling online. Her wife and co-owner is Etecia Burrell, who is an herbalist. Their boutique, which will be called The Sanctuary, will offer a variety of merchandise, including apparel, apothecary items, and household goods. All indications are that it will be a great fit with the other locally owned shops on this block–which not coincidentally is why Stephanie and Etecia chose this location. We hasten to note that it’s also further proof of the extent to which this short stretch of Grand Avenue is defying what the Mercury News just described as the “Bay Area’s empty-storefronts plague.” The Sanctuary’s Grand Opening is scheduled for November 13, but we’re hoping to have some photos and more info in time for next month’s News.

News in Brief:

  • Meaza Haile from 8am Fashion and Tailor has come up with a new line she calls a Kimono Jacket that is Japanese in style but made out of fabric from the US and India.
  • The hours at Bake Sum have changed, but their sign has not been updated yet. They are now open Mondays and Thursdays from 8:00am–2:00pm and on Fridays through Sundays from 8:00am–3:00pm.
  • Scaffolding is up on Lake Park as the exterior of the building that houses Romanat Cafe and the LGBTQ Youth Center is being painted.
  • At the Grand Lake Theatre in October, look for Taylor Swift, The Eras Tour on the 13th and Killers of the Flower Moon on the 19th. Food enthusiasts will be flocking to the theater on the 18th for a one-night Special Event showing and post discussion of Art of Eating — Gregory Bezat’s documentary about M.F.K. Fisher. Matinees for all shows before 5:45 are $7.50. In addition, discounted Tuesdays are back with a $6 dollar admission charge.
  • Sister’s rotating pastry selection will be reflecting the upcoming autumn season with Black Sticky Rice, and Pumpkin Lattes.
  • Walden Pond Books’s 50th Anniversary sale was a big success and, according to staff, they’ll soon be offering Walden Pond labeled swag, including T-shirts, mugs, etc.

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.