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DOWNTOWN ALAMEDA

ReThink Disposable Results Are Inspiring

By Downtown Alameda Business Association | April 12, 2019
ReThink Disposable Certified Business Sign for Downtown Alameda

Businesses participating in waste reduction are saving money while protecting the planet and protecting public health.

ReThink Disposable, a program of Clean Water Action and Clean Water Fund, will soon be wrapping up a two-year collaboration in Alameda, and the results are inspiring. Currently, 84 Alameda businesses are participating in the program and 56 have been certified. Collectively, Alameda’s ReThink Disposable businesses are eliminating close to two million pieces of disposable food packaging items and preventing almost 24,000 pounds of waste every year!

Participating businesses include bakeries and cafes, restaurants, bars, and a movie theatre. Certified businesses implement various cost-saving practices to reduce unnecessary packaging waste, transition to reusables for onsite dining, and encourage refilling of customers take-out containers.

The project, which began in 2017, has piloted a model for how a city can be transformed when community stakeholders are given the tools and resources to dramatically reduce single-use disposables while engaging the entire community in zero waste practices. This project received valued support from the City of Alameda’s Public Works Department, the Downtown Alameda Business Association, the West Alameda Business Association, the Community Alliance for a Sustainable Alameda (CASA), and student interns from Alameda high schools.

“Alameda made an excellent model city to pilot grassroots behavior business transformations and behavior change tactics coupled with a supporting policy,” says Nina Foushee, Communication Manager for Clean Water Action. “Reuse is the new norm that cities should be striving for, and Alameda is leading the way!”

Crispian Bakery made a range of replacements for their certification, including replacing disposable plates, cups, and food-sample ramekins with reusables. As a result of implementing ReThink Disposable’s recommendations, Crispian Bakery saves $1,739 annually while eliminating the use of over 59,000 disposable items each year.

Hang Ten Boiler previously served all their food and beverages in single-use packaging. As a result of certification, they now use reusables onsite and straws are available only upon request. These operational changes save the business owner $15,944 each year and prevent an annual 318,271 pieces of waste.

Alameda Theatre & Cineplex and its adjoining restaurant, Cinema Grill, used disposables for in-theatre dining prior to the ReThink Disposable certification. Now, in-theatre meals are served on reusable plastic platters and drinks in reusable tumblers. As a result of becoming certified, the Theatre now prevents 603,243 pieces of disposable packaging and saves $9,881 each year. Alameda Theatre & Cineplex is also educating patrons about the importance of source reduction — before every movie, the theatre plays a humorous ReThink Disposable animated short about the transition to reusables and the importance of waste prevention.

Clean Water Action’s ReThink Disposable team looks forward to bringing the model that was developed in Alameda to other communities that are looking for long-term and results-driven solutions to stop the wave of growing waste, litter, and pollution stemming from disposable food service  packaging.

Learn more about the ReThink Disposable program: www.rethinkdisposable.org


Call For Volunteers: Downtown Alameda Spring Festival

By Downtown Alameda Business Association | April 5, 2019

Volunteers are needed for the 19th Annual Downtown Alameda Spring Festival happening Mother’s Day weekend, May 11 & 12.

Tasks include beer/wine pouring, beverage tickets sales, volunteer check-in, general operations, Alameda Alley assistance, sponsor hospitality, and flyer distribution.

Volunteers receive the choice of wine or beer glass, a complimentary drink ticket, and a cool treat for working a 3-hour shift.

Volunteers help make this event happen!

Sign up today: http://bit.ly/springfestival2019volunteer

About the Event:

The Downtown Alameda Spring Festival is a Mother’s Day weekend tradition in the Bay Area and has something for everyone. The outdoor street fair is packed with 150 art and craft vendors, mouth-watering festival foods, local craft beer and premium wine sales, nonstop live music on three stages, and an interactive kids’ area.

Festival-goers can enjoy a stroll in island city’s historic downtown district where unique shops, amazing restaurants, and other businesses will also be offering event specials throughout the weekend, making this the perfect place to find a gift for Mom — or bring Mom to the festivities and treat her to a mimosa and lunch!

The fun happens May 11 and May 12 from 10:00am to 6:00pm each day.

For more information and to volunteer, visit the official event page: https://downtownalameda.com/springfestival

Downtown Easter Egg Hunt for Kids and Families

By Downtown Alameda Business Association | April 3, 2019
Downtown Alameda Egg Hunt

Kids and their families are invited to take part in a Downtown Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 20 from 11:00am to 2:00pm. Businesses will be providing free treats, as well as a variety of other family friendly activities. The annual event is in partnership with downtown businesses, the Downtown Alameda Business Association, and Kiwanis Club of Alameda.

Hop on down to Downtown Alameda! With more than 25 downtown businesses participating, kids will have an opportunity to gather a basketful of treats.

Follow the Bunny Trail

Children ages 12 and under are invited to bring a basket to collect treats from participating businesses. Look for special Downtown Easter Egg Hunt posters in the windows or doors — this is your clue that a treat is waiting inside.

Adult chaperones can help in the hunt by downloading a map of the places to be found.

Goodie Bag Decorating Party

Before heading out on the hunt, Kiwanis members will be available to help children decorate a personalized goodie bag for collecting treats. Free bags and supplies can be found at PHOENIX (2315 Lincoln Ave).

Printed maps will also be available here.

Meet the Easter Bunny

A visit with the Easter Bunny will make this hunt even more special. Stop by Daisy’s (1347 Park Street) and have your camera ready for a fun family photo. Share your photos on your favorite social app using hashtags #downtownalameda #downtowneasterhunt.

Family Friendly Activities

You’ll be surprised at what you find along the way! Stop by Tutu School Alameda (1419 Park Street, inside Park Street Plaza) for hand-painted glitter tattoos and other activities. Go on a fun Bead Hunt inside Bead Inspirations (1544 Park Street). Get a photo of the kids in front of a “How to Train Your Dragon 2” backdrop and others while at Alameda Theatre & Cineplex (2317 Central Ave). These are just a few of the activities happening during the Downtown Easter Egg Hunt.

More Information

Get more details and download a map: www.DowntownAlameda.com/egg-hunt

New Businesses in Downtown Alameda (March 2019)

By Downtown Alameda Business Association | March 25, 2019

Downtown Alameda is a marvelous destination for shopping, dining, playing, relaxing, and socializing. The district is ever-changing with new businesses to discover with each visit. Help us welcome these newest businesses!

New Downtown Businesses:

It’ll Do, 2516 Santa Clara Ave
East End barbershop.

PEDAL Cycling Alameda, 1525 Park Street
Alameda’s only dedicated indoor cycling studio.

Rocket Fizz, 1356 Park Street
Specialty soda, candy, and novelty items.

Returning Associate Members:

Big Discount Tire Pros
Common Networks
Heavenly Stems Acupuncture
Hilliard Management Group
Zhaldee’s Eats & Beats

In the Works:  (more…)

Celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day in Downtown Alameda

By Downtown Alameda Business Association | March 12, 2019

Enjoy a day of revelry in Downtown Alameda in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day on Sunday, March 17. Put on your green attire, gather your friends, and prepare to embark on a cultural journey. In addition to abundant plates of traditional corned beef and cabbage, you’ll find culinary treats such as corned beef sliders, Reuben sandwiches, pints of Guinness, and all-day drink specials.

For a great night of traditional entertainment, join Brian Theriault & Burke T at Speisekammer (2424 Lincoln Ave) for a bit of Irish fiddle music. The event is free and starts at 8:00pm.

American Oak (2319 Santa Clara Ave) has one of the largest whiskey selections in the Bay Area. To taste the differences in Ireland’s popular drink, ask the bartender to put together a flight of Irish whiskeys.

Looking for a traditional dinner of corned beef? Check out one of these places:

Jim’s Homestyle Diner (2333 Lincoln Ave)

Linguini’s Pizza & Brew (1508 Park Street)

McGee’s Bar & Grill (1645 Park Street)

Ole’s Waffle Shop (1507 Park Street)

The Hobnob (1313 Park Street)

Town Tavern (1437 Park Street)

For the crafters, Bead Inspirations (1544 Park Street) is offering 20% off Green Beads, Pearls, and Gemstones this weekend.

Erin go bragh!

Strolling Through Historic Downtown Alameda – Part 1

By Downtown Alameda Business Association | February 28, 2019

Sometimes, “what’s old” is more interesting than “what’s new.” That’s the case with our great buildings on Park Street.

Prior to 1864, Alameda was home to just a few small farm houses scattered around the peninsula. With improved railroad transportation came hubs of commerce along the train routes, including the Historic Park Street District. By 1905 over 150 ornate commercial buildings lined the downtown streets. But, as time progressed, many of the older buildings were either torn down or converted into something else.

Today, thirty of the historic structures are still standing. Here’s a story about two of them:

1327-1333 Park Street – Old Masonic Temple

The stately structure located at 1327-1331 Park Street is the last monumental Victorian building in the downtown district to retain its original form. It was completed in 1891 in a style that is essentially Italianate with Queen Anne and Romanesque Revival elements. The construction contract of $31,250 went to local brickmason James H. Cory. Originally bid to be a three-story structure, plans were altered when construction bids exceeded budget.

The Masons final meeting in the Temple was in 1927, when a new temple was dedicated next door.

What’s there now? The ground-floor spaces are currently leased to various retail businesses: All Good Living, The Local, Supercuts, and Salon One.

1402-1410 Park Street – Alameda Savings Bank Building

The commercial building located at 1402-1410 Park Street is noteworthy not only for its distinguished architecture, but for its historic integrity. The building was completed in 1910 and its exterior has remained mostly unchanged. Built by the Alameda firm of MacRae & Swenson at a cost of $30,000, the building served as income property for the Alameda Savings Bank, which was located next door at the time (the space is now occupied by The Star on Park).

An interesting note… the stuccoed north wall is adjoined by a fragment of the Artesian Waterworks Building, which was demolished in 1955.

What’s there now? The front of the building is recognizable with Toy Safari, The Watch Hospital, and Alameda Ballet Academy. Separate entrances are in the back of the building for additional commercial spaces: Ushakiran Khade, MD; Jazzercise; and MGH Discovered Art.

As you stroll through the the historic downtown district, look for these marvelous old buildings and imagine the bustling streets of another time.

Read more about the historic buildings.

New Businesses in Downtown Alameda (February 2019)

By Downtown Alameda Business Association | February 19, 2019
Tutu School Alameda kids play education

Downtown Alameda is a marvelous destination for shopping, dining, playing, relaxing, and socializing. The district is ever-changing with new businesses to discover with each visit. Help us welcome these newest businesses!

New Downtown Businesses:

AVN Motorsports, 2429 Lincoln Ave
Your source for passenger and light truck tires and wheels.

Therapy with Audrina Smith, 2515 Santa Clara Ave #106 
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in working with teens, adults, and highly sensitive people.

Tutu School, 1419 Park Street 
Boutique-style ballet school that cater specifically to children 18 months to 8 years-old.

New Associate Member:

Little House Cafe, 1300 Blanding Ave
Serving farm fresh, sophisticated yet down home Breakfast, Lunch and Weekend Brunch plus Catering

In the Works:  (more…)

Fall In Love This Valentine’s Day

By Downtown Alameda Business Association | February 13, 2019

Take a chance and fall in love with a book and other gift ideas from downtown businesses…

The Alameda Free Library ever-popular “Blind Date With A Book” is back! Visit the the main library to pick up your mystery book (and some chocolate).

Or if you’re already in love…

There’s no reason to go home empty-handed on Valentine’s Day. A number of florists and gift stores can be found in the Downtown Alameda. To personally pick out a beautiful arrangement of flowers stop by Dandelion Flowers & Gifts, Central Florist, or South Shore Florist. For unique gift ideas, check out the selection at Books Inc., Daisy’s, Therapy, and To Herb With Love.

Chocolates may be the norm for Valentine’s Day but there are lots of unique treats to be found in Downtown Alameda. Purchase gifts of artisan cakes, divine cookies, and creamy ice cream at places like Crispian Bakery, Feel Good Bakery, Roll & Bowl, and Tucker’s Ice Cream.

It’s not too late to make plans to share the evening with your special person at one of the many restaurants in Downtown Alameda. Find last minute seating at one of the Alameda Restaurant Week favorites such as Alameda Cinema Grill, East End, Linguini’s, Sidestreet Pho, Speisekammer, and The Park Street Tavern.

Dinner and wine at home? Alameda Marketplace and Dan’s Fresh Produce can help you complete your shopping list with their delectable selection of meats, fruits, and veggies. To accompany the evening meal with your sweetie, pick up a luscious (and affordable) bottle of wine at Alameda Cellars, Bonne Vie, CRAFT Beer & Wine, or Farmstead Cheeses & Wines. Make a stop at Video Factory to pick out a romantic movie to watch after dinner.

For something sexy and fun, take your significant other to pick out an artistic rose or heart tattoo at Pretty in Ink or Lucky 13 Tattoos.

Maybe you’re in love with your four-legged, furry friend… Alameda See Spot Run has delicious treats for your favorite pets.

Sometimes it’s easier to shop online. Tickets to Whiskey Stroll 2019 make a wonderful gift. Stroll the historic downtown district with your sweetheart tasting handcrafted small-batch whiskeys paired with yummy bites at more than ten unique locations on March 1. Tickets are going fast — purchase your pair of tickets at www.DowntownAlameda.com/whiskey.

For more gift ideas and a list of downtown restaurants and shops, go to www.DowntownAlameda.com/explore.

Tickets Available for Whiskey Stroll 2019

By Downtown Alameda Business Association | February 6, 2019
Downtown Alameda Spirits Stroll

Handcrafted small-batch whiskeys paired with yummy bites prepared by local chefs await guests as they stroll through Alameda’s historic district at the 2nd Annual Downtown Alameda Whiskey Stroll on Friday evening, March 1 from 6:00pm to 9:00pm. Tickets or on sale now!

Ticket holders will have the opportunity to visit unique downtown shops and spaces while tasting premium whiskeys from around the Bay Area and learning about the creative process behind each unique flavor. Price of admission includes collectible tasting glass, premium whiskey tastings at more than ten unique downtown locations, a delectable bite at each location prepared by downtown eateries, as well as a commemorative guide. Come early for the pre-stroll specials and stay late to visit additional downtown restaurants, shops and bars offering exclusive specials to participants.

“Downtown Alameda’s first-ever Whiskey Stroll sold out in a flash last year and attendees of the event have been waiting for this announcement ever since,” said Janet Magleby, Executive Director of the Downtown Alameda Business Association. “The 2019 Whiskey Stroll will feature eleven premium whiskeys curated alongside eleven scrumptious bites prepared by local chefs.”

Ticket prices are $40 each until February 22 and, if still available, increase to $50 after that date. All participants must be 21 and over. Proceeds benefit programs to keep Downtown Alameda clean, green, and safe. To purchase tickets and for more information, go to www.DowntownAlameda.com/whiskey.

Distinguished distilleries represented at the event include (more…)

Three Members Join 2019 Board of Directors

By Downtown Alameda Business Association | February 4, 2019
Otto Wright owner of The Local in Alameda

The Downtown Alameda Business Association welcomes three new members to the 2019 Board of Directors: Otto Wright, Eric Olney, and Joe LoParo. The new appointees were elected by the membership at October’s Annual Meeting and join existing board members who were re-elected or are completing a second year of their terms.

“I am delighted to have Otto, Eric, and Joe join us for all the excitement on tap,” said Executive Director Janet Magleby. “They are passionate advocates of the downtown district and join an energetic Board that works diligently to keep the downtown clean, green, and safe for all.”

Otto Wright (pictured), owner of The Local, is always ready to greet customers with a smile and an enthusiasm for life. He has traveled the world, living in Russia and China, but now is happy to stay in a one-mile bubble between work and home. When Otto is not at his coffee house, he can often be found enjoying the funky and artsy vibe of Alameda at Studio 23 or dining at one of his favorite spots such as Speisekammer or Marley G’s.  

Eric Olney, a financial professional for Shum Financial Group, was born and raised in Alameda. Eric went to college in San Diego, returning to our wonderful island after being there for more than ten years. He has been working at Shum since July 2017. When he’s not working, Eric can be found at The Star on Park for happy hour or shopping for his wife at Therapy.

Joe LoParo, owner of RE/Max Tribute, brings an enormous heart and infectious smile to Downtown Alameda. You can often find Joe strolling the district where he is happy to have an office within walking distance of so many places to shop, eat, and visit with friends. Favorite places include Lola’s Chicken Shack when he wants a great meal, or McGee’s Bar & Grill after work with his wife. Joe has lived in Alameda for 42 years.

The Downtown Alameda Business Association and its Board is hard at work year-round with its 470+ member businesses in mind. The Downtown Association promotes a healthy retail/service climate as well as a district that is family-friendly, clean, green, and safe.

The 2019 Board of Directors list can be viewed at www.DowntownAlameda.com/about/leadership

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