Lakeshore Avenue Update – December 2023

In an April 2023 article titled, “Starbucks Closure Adds to a Long List of Vacancies,” we reported that thirteen storefronts on Lakeshore were unoccupied — one of which had actually already reopened as the vegan offspring of Rico Rico Taco. It’s safe to say that the situation has improved remarkably since the spring. This past week, Dumpling Hours opened in the space that Rolling Dunes vacated at the start of the pandemic. According to the owner/manager, they have another location in Walnut Creek and a Google search turned up still others in San Francisco. The interior is bright and nicely decorated, and the two food preparers visible in a corner of the dining area is a nice plus. When we stopped in on Monday mid-afternoon, there was an abundance of customers. All indications are that it’s a good fit for Lakeshore Avenue and the Grand Lake neighborhood.

A few doors down, Dhondup opened several months ago in the Urban Indigo space. The shop specializes in exotic imports from Tibet (their native country), but they also have a nice selection of sunglasses and are currently offering a 30% discount on selected merchandise. When you visit, be sure to check out the jewelry — much of which is handmade by the owner.

As for the 3319 Lakeshore space, vintage goods, fashion and art sound like a mix of merchandise that will nicely complement Mirabel and Bay-Made as well as many of the shops on Grand Avenue. Hopefully, by next month, we’ll have more info to share.

A lease has been signed for the space vacated by Starbucks and lots of work is currently underway with the expectation that a Grand Opening is on the horizon. As for the identity of the new tenant, a rumor has been circulating that’s likely true but we’re respecting the company’s wishes and waiting for a formal announcement.

P….S: They’re a palatable replacement for the former tenant.

There’s another reason to be optimistic about Lakeshore. It’s looking cleaner and better landscaped. That’s partly due to Carol Knight (the Lakeshore BID Director) and Abebe Lemma (their long-time Lakeshore Security Guard) but a big shout-out is due as well to volunteers from Seed Crocker which just did a major makeover of the traffic island at the corner of Lakeshore and Trestle Glen and are also re-landscaping the Wesley side of the municipal parking lot. For details, click on this link but also please note that this is another example of community volunteers “adopting a spot” that should be the city’s responsibility.

Meanwhile, the pedestrian plaza on the Lake Park end of the block is a disaster that can’t be addressed until the City of Oakland Public Works Department repairs the irrigation which stopped working three years ago. That delay can be attributed in part to COVID but primarily it’s yet another indication of the lack of adequate staffing in the Public Works Department.  Once repairs are made, there’s no shortage of individuals and organizations (including the LGBTQ Center) that are just waiting in the wings for the opportunity to clean and beautify the portal to the Lakeshore Avenue shopping district.