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Honoring a Living Treasure: Pauline Kelley

By Downtown Alameda Business Association | March 15, 2018
Pauline Kelley stand in front of Pauline's Antiques

Pauline Kelley stand in front of Pauline’s Antiques

Downtown Alameda is losing a living treasure this month. After more than 60 years in business, Alameda resident and icon Eunice “Pauline” Kelley is closing up shop and retiring. A retirement sale at 1427 Park Street begins on Friday, March 16.

To call Pauline’s Antiques a local institution is an understatement. Pauline’s has been more than just a place for bargain hunters and collectors. Patrons have been frequenting the store on a regular basis for years to chat it up with their neighbors and soak in the friendly and historic atmosphere. Local television legend Bob MacKenzie even made Pauline’s Antiques a regular stop to host his Christmastime broadcasts for many years.

The store has been a labor of love ever since Pauline and her late husband Bob Kelley opened its doors in 1957. Bob had previously been working in the construction field with side jobs hauling trash and cleaning out basements. After accumulating everything from cast iron pots and pans to oak tables and bronze vases, Pauline suggested they just sell the stuff to get rid of it — and that’s how the idea of the store came about.

By assisting customers in selling their collectibles and arranging estate sales, the selection in the store quickly became a massive treasure trove. “Whether you’re looking for it or not, chances are you’ll find it here,” has always been one of Pauline’s favorite quotes.  (more…)

Radical Beauty Comes To Downtown Alameda

By Downtown Alameda Business Association | March 7, 2018

Love Our Island Art Walk MapRhythmix Cultural Works has put together a #LoveOurIsland Art Walk series to bring some “Radical Beauty” to Downtown Alameda’s vacant storefronts.

The series of art exhibitions showcases a diverse range of Bay Area artists by featuring temporary art installations in empty storefront windows along the city’s Park Street business corridor. The project name stems from the premise that searching for beauty is, in itself, a radical act.

Here’s where you can view the first round of featured art installations:

  • 1320 Park Street – Jennifer Brandon (San Francisco artist)
  • 1324 Park Street – Angela Hennessy (Oakland artist)
  • 1326 Park Street – Jerome Rivera Pansa (Oakland artist)

The artist creations will remain on display through the month of March and beyond, depending on space availability.  (more…)

Local Businesses Un-Package Alameda

By Downtown Alameda Business Association | February 16, 2018

Rethink Disposable Youth Park Street Litter ArtCongratulations to Lola’s Chicken Shack for being the first business in Alameda to complete its certification with ReThink Disposable’s “Un-packaging Alameda Island” initiative — a new project put together by the Clean Water Fund and the City of Alameda in coordination with the Downtown Alameda Business Association and the West Alameda Business Association.

Mother and son team Nancy and Mark Rogers opened Lola’s Chicken Shack on Park Street in late 2013. They were the first business in Alameda to sign up for ReThink Disposable, when they heard that the program would work with them to figure out how to replace items like disposable cups with reusable plastic ones. Signing up has not only helped the environment but it’s also saved the business some money, too.

Recently, Lola’s Chicken Shack has begun using reusable straws. “We’ve been getting compliments each day for championing a reusable lifestyle over disposable plastic straws,” said Mark Rogers. “Customers know the straws go through the dishwasher and are sanitized, so they’ve been a big hit.”

ReThink Disposable Student Ambassadors

ReThink Disposable student ambassadors are working to raise awareness in the community about the impact of disposable foodware and single-use plastics. The students recently conducted litter audits on Park Street to profile the types and brands of litter. In the process, they collected the litter and created artwork which is now on display at Tucker’s Ice Cream(more…)

Downtown Announces First-Ever Whiskey Stroll

By Downtown Alameda Business Association | February 1, 2018

Tickets on sale NOW! Premium whiskey and tasty bites await you and your friends as you stroll through historic Downtown Alameda at the first-ever Downtown Alameda Whiskey Stroll. Grab your sweater and join the fun on Friday evening, March 2 from 6:00pm to 8:30pm.

Guests will have the opportunity to taste premium, hand-selected whiskeys from NorCal distilleries paired with yummy bites at ten unique pouring locations in the historic downtown district. Then complete the evening with late-night fun at participating restaurants and bars offering “After-Stroll” discounts and specials.

Price of admission includes a collector’s glass, whiskey tastings and tasty “bites” at ten pouring stations, and a commemorative guide. Tickets are $40 until February 23 and increase to $50 after that date (if still available).

All participants must be 21 and over. Proceeds benefit programs that help keep Downtown Alameda clean, green, and safe.  (more…)

New Businesses in Downtown Alameda (January 2018)

By Downtown Alameda Business Association | January 13, 2018
Saigon Bistro Alameda

Saigon Bistro

It’s a fresh new year and we’re watching a number of businesses that are slated to open soon in the downtown district. It’s always exciting to find out about new restaurants in Alameda and this month saw the opening of one on Santa Clara Ave.

Additionally, a new tax firm has set up shop in a convenient location off Park Street — just in time for tax season.

Help welcome the newest businesses to Downtown Alameda:

New Businesses: 

Fabian Magaloni – Photographer, 2515 Santa Clara Avenue #108
* Photography services and instruction.

L.F. Cochrane & Associates, 2504 Santa Clara Ave, Suite A
* Tax preparation for small and medium sized businesses, families, and individuals.

Saigon Bistro, 2315 Santa Clara Ave
* Vietnamese noodles and grill with extensive selection of vegetarian and vegan dishes.

New Owners:

Mei Mei Restaurant, 2522 Santa Clara Avenue
Subway Sandwiches, 1407 Park Street  (more…)

Downtown Businesses Receive Annual Awards

By Downtown Alameda Business Association | January 6, 2018
Phoenix Alameda awarded New Business of the Year

New Business of the Year: Phoenix (Ben & Saskia Winter)

At the end of each year, the Downtown Alameda Business Association presents awards to member businesses in recognition of their contributions to the success of the downtown district. The owners and staff of the selected businesses are active in Downtown Association activities, participate in district events, and cultivate improvements in the business community. The businesses are excellent examples of the quality of service you can expect to find throughout the district.

Congratulations to the recipients of this year’s Downtown Alameda Business Awards:

Retail Business of the YearBooks Inc., presented to Melanie Knight

Culinary Business of the YearHabanas Cuban Cuisine, presented to Jason Tsang

Professional Service Business of the YearStudio 23, presented to Jessica & Wes Warren

New Business of the YearPhoenix Co-Working & Event Space, presented to Benjamin and Saskia Winter

Member of the Year — Duane Watson (Lee Auto Supply)

President’s Award — Kyle Conner and Allison Shannon (Alameda Theatre & Cineplex and Cinema Grill)

Look for these businesses to be spotlighted in future issues of the Alameda Sun. In the meantime, be sure to stop by and congratulate these folks the next time you find yourself in Downtown Alameda.

Holiday Window Contest Winners

By Downtown Alameda Business Association | December 23, 2017

Tucker's Ice Cream winning windowThis past holiday season, downtown businesses were teamed up with local artists to create festive holiday window displays. Our downtown was looking quite festive. Shoppers and their families enjoyed strolling the district looking at the fantastic windows.

We’d like to thank all the businesses and artists that participated in our Downtown Alameda Holiday Window Contest. The judges had an extremely difficult job of deciding on the contest winners.

Congratulations to the winners of this year’s Downtown Alameda Holiday Window Contest:

Best Overall…. Tucker’s Ice Cream designed by artist Ryan LaLonde
Best Use of Lights…. RE/MAX Tribute designed by artist Jamie Banes
Best Use of Merchandise/Products…. Toy Safari designed by artist Alana Dill
Most Creative…. Books Inc. designed by artist Dave Sylvester
Social Media Favorite…. The Sewing Room designed by artist Nikki Romero

Honorable Mentions went to Alameda Natural Grocery, Dandelion Flowers & Gifts, Janene’s Bridal Boutique, Lauren’s Closet, Tootsies, and We Are Hair.

Special thanks to our wonderful sponsors FLAX and Glass Tek, as well as the artists with 2nd Friday ArtWalk. Jessica and Wes Warren of Studio 23 spearheaded our contest this year and we are extremely grateful to both of them.

View more images and learn about the artists behind the creations:
http://fridayartwalk.com/holiday-window-contest/ (more…)

Call For Artists: Storefront Art Installation Grant

By Downtown Alameda Business Association | December 1, 2017

Storefront Window Art Grant in Downtown AlamedaArtists and artist teams are being sought for creative projects in Downtown Alameda…

Artists will have an opportunity to create public art displays in vacant storefront windows in Downtown Alameda. The project’s theme Radical Beauty encourages artists to create displays that inspire awe and wonder. Opening celebrations will take place as part of the 2nd Friday ArtWalks beginning in March 2018.

Applications are open to artists working in or across all disciplines, including drawing, painting, illustration, multimedia, sculpture, photography and time-based works. Artists need not have previous publicly displayed work to be considered. (more…)

Eat, Shop & Be Merry in Downtown Alameda

By Downtown Alameda Business Association | November 20, 2017

downtown alameda holiday activitiesFrom Shop Late Thursdays to this year’s holiday window contest, downtown merchants have plenty to offer for a festive holiday shopping experience.

Shop Late Thursdays

Grab a bite to eat, catch a movie, or toast the holidays with co-workers and then get a little holiday shopping done afterwards. More than 30 retailers are extending their hours until 8:00pm or later on Thursdays, doubling the number of shops open in the evening!

Holiday Window Contest

Downtown businesses have teamed up with local artists to create festive holiday window displays. Bundle up the kids, purchase a warm beverage, and take a stroll to enjoy the sights of the holiday season. To place your vote, post a picture of the window on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter using #DAHWC.  (more…)

New Businesses in Downtown Alameda (November 2017)

By Downtown Alameda Business Association | November 2, 2017

The Local in AlamedaWhen you stroll from one end of Park Street to the other end, you will notice changes on just about every block. The streets are abuzz with new auto technicians, exercise trainers, steaming coffee, and deep dish pizza.

Help welcome these new businesses to Downtown Alameda:

New Businesses: 

AutoZone, 1125 Park Street
* Quality aftermarket auto parts.

Rise Bodyworks, 1226 Park Street
* Comprehensive sports performance/rehabilitation/wellness center.

The Local, 1333 Park Street
* Gathering spot with great coffee and a fun atmosphere.

The Star on Park, 1400 Park Street
* Family-friendly restaurant specializing in deep dish pizza.

Caffrey Insurance Solutions, 2413 Webb Ave #C
* Providing clear and creative benefit solutions.

T-Mobile Store, 1634 Park Street
* Great service and deals on cell phones and cell phone plans.  (more…)