Grand Avenue Merchant News – September 2023

by Ken Katz

The Barbary launched a soft-opening a week ago in the space vacated by The Libertine. On Monday evening, we stopped by to introduce ourselves to the owners, Narges Gardizi and her sister, Nala Gardizi. Between them, they have two decades of experience as bartenders at Trader Vic’s. The revamped interior is gorgeous but lacks the traditional palm trees, hula dancers and Tiki Gods. Instead it leans towards the pirates, sailors and merchants who populated the Mediterranean Sea hundreds of years ago. That’s reflected as well in their cocktail menu — half of which are Grogs made with rum, more pungent spices like cardamom and sumac, and citrus which helped prevent scurvy . Initially, their hours are Monday through Thursday from 4-12. Friday, 4-1. Saturday, 11-1 and Sunday, 11-4.

Last month, we shared photos taken at a hugely successful Flower Crown workshop at Brother & Sisters Flower Shop. On September 23 from 5 to 7 pm, Freya is doing an encore but this time with beautiful fresh-to-dry floral & greenery wreaths. Space is limited and, if you’re interested, please purchase tickets in advance via eventbrite.

C. C. Dolan, TwoTwo‘s owner, never ceases to amaze us as is the case with a new line of colorful shoes that you’re not likely to find elsewhere. BTW: If you’re not already on their email list, we recommend you do so especially if you’re interested in upcoming workshops.

On our monthly rounds Saturday, we had the pleasure of meeting Ryan Moore, the newly appointed Manager of the Trek Bicycle shop which opened in the Cycle Sports space just about a year ago. They now offer a wide variety of electric bikes — which you can test-ride and get a free Scratch-Off ticket at the same time. Ryan noted that Trek has a strong commitment to community involvement — one example of which is free workshops which they try to schedule quarterly. The next workshop (a Shifting & Derailleur Clinic), scheduled for Saturday, September 23 from 9-10, will also include free coffee and donuts. Shop hours are Tuesday through Friday from 11-6. Closed Sundays and Mondays.

Pictured above are a few samples of a new line of jewelry with a mid-century vibe available at Alyce on Grand. Next door, Radbird keeps bringing in new lines of clothing as well.

Ikaros is upping its game with a weekend brunch, Happy Hour on Tuesdays through Thursdays, live entertainment on September 3 and 24 plus a book-signing by local author Jen Cazares on September 9. Across the street, Almond & Oak has also begun a Happy Hour with drink and food specials on Tuesdays through Thursdays from 5-6:30. In addition, for lunch and dinner on Mondays, El Roble will be serving tacos and much more.

Alkali Rye has half a dozen free tastings scheduled between now and the 16th. Check out their Events Page for details and any later updates to their schedule.

News in Brief:

  • In addition to their regularly scheduled events including a very popular Open Mic on Mondays, MeloMelo Kava Bar has scheduled a Filipino Food pop-up for September 8 and an Oakland Pride fundraiser on the following evening.
  • Maybe it’s just a coincidence but this is the year for 10th Anniversary multiples beginning with Ordinaire (10 years); Splash Pad Park (20 years); Galleria Scola (40 years) and Walden Pond Books and Ace Hardware (50 years each).
  • Stay tuned for a block-buster, group show at Panorama Framing in October and another Grand Avenue Art Walk sometime in November.
  • The Grand Lake Theatre is still screening Barbie, and Oppenheimer. Coming in September: Haunting in Venice, and The Creator. Matinees for all shows before 5:45 are $7.50. In addition, discounted Tuesdays are back with a $6 dollar admission charge.

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 .


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

  1. Happy to be sharing a 50th anniversary with Walden Pond Books and Ace, two of my very favorite Grand Ave establishments. I guess 1973 was a particularly great year!