Lakeshore Avenue Update – January 2024

Last week, the Beauty Center announced that they were closing due to a significant downturn in pedestrian traffic and sales — ongoing concerns on both Lakeshore and Grand Avenue, with some businesses more heavily impacted than others.  This particular shop’s closing is particularly regrettable since it has become something of an institution with loyal customers going back three or four decades. The staff has also been long-standing. Manager Arminda Gutierrez (above, left) has been employed at the Beauty Center for thirty-five years since she was nineteen and fresh out of  beauty school. Rosa Aguilar has been her co-worker for twenty-five years, and Kelvin Ching has been cutting hair in a small salon at the rear of the shop for nearly twenty years. Kelvin is planning to relocate to the other Beauty Center location in Lafayette at 3633 Mt. Diablo Blvd. when our local branch closes permanently at the end of January. Meanwhile, appointments for haircuts can be made by calling 510 465-2902. Arminda is hoping for a new position somewhere in Oakland — so please let her know of any current openings. There is a silver lining for Lakeshore Avenue, as the space has already been spoken — although we don’t have a clue as to who will be moving in.

The Lakeshore BID’s Festival of Lights celebration on December 15 was blessed with clear skies and a good turnout. Pictured above handing out hot chocolate are, from left to right: property owners Barry and Victoria Fong, Carol Knight BID Co-director, Abebe Lemma Lakeshore Security Guard, and Carol’s grandson Noah Scott.

Rachael Scott, the BID’s Co-director, was responsible for the Gymboree photo shoot. That’s her on the far right with her two daughters, Emma and Grace, dressed as princesses.

The table where holiday cookies were being decorated was staffed by folks from the LGBTQ Center, including the center’s Co-founder and President Jeffrey Meyers.

Talk about a great segué… the cookie decorating event was held in the Shakewell parklet, which had just been rebuilt with brand new flooring and supports, as well as a non-slip steel plate bridging the gap between the sidewalk and the parklet that was installed at the request of the city when they renewed their permit. Total cost was in the neighborhood of $10,000, but well worth it long-term. Oakland Kosher is also preparing to renew their parklet permit after they hire an architect to draw up plans.

Months ago, BayMade went through a rough patch during which sales dropped sharply — due in part to a drawn-out repair to a water main adjacent to their front door. Fortunately, customers showed up in droves during the holidays looking for a wide range of quality products ranging from locally made coffee to fine art by local residents. For the record, the kitty (look closely) likes to pose for photos but is not for sale.

We haven’t mentioned this previously, but Carol Knight has been lobbying Wells Fargo to turn the vacant TEN/11 space at 3344 Lakeshore into a “rest stop” where Oakland police officers could do their paperwork, use the bathroom, and get a cup of coffee. This would be greatly appreciated by OPD but also benefit the Grand Lake neighborhood to have police cars periodically parked out front and spending more time here than would otherwise be possible. Stay tuned for future developments.

Colonial Donuts was recently robbed twice in the space of a week, but long-time customers have rallied in support. According to Rachael, “their new walk up window is open! They are still open 24 hours a day, but when the door is locked there will be a sign indicating to use the walk-up.”

Rachael also shared the following info:

The newly opened Dumpling Hours restaurant is doing really well. A vintage store will be opening soon at the old Izak Salon space at 3319 Lakeshore. We also will have another coffee house replacing the old Starbucks; unfortunately, they are still waiting on permits from the city to go through so we do not have an ETA on the opening.
The LABID is working with LGBTQ Center and several local volunteer organizations to organize a volunteer clean-up group that will meet bimonthly in the new year. Stay tuned for updates on how you can join in the efforts. “Clean-up” is being used for lack of a better word: there are lots of ideas in motion for the avenue, including freshly painted light poles and new banners, etc. One of our Trestle Glen neighbors has been replacing the lightbulbs in the necklace lights along lakeshore. So far, with the assistance of another neighbor, they have replaced about 75 bulbs. This is a 100% volunteer effort, and we are so very thankful to be part of such an amazing community of people.






One response to “Lakeshore Avenue Update – January 2024”

  1. Carolyn French Avatar
    Carolyn French

    Great news letter as usual. Thanks for all your effort, it’s greatly appreiated.