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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

Downtown Alameda Announces 2019 Events

By Downtown Alameda Business Association | January 29, 2019
Downtown Alameda Spring Festival on Park Street

Events and activities are abundant in Downtown Alameda, from the newer Downtown Strolls to the ever-popular annual street fairs. Mark your calendar for these fun happenings:

Downtown Whiskey Stroll

March 1, 2019

Ticket holders will stroll our historic downtown district tasting premium small-batch whiskeys crafted by Northern California distilleries paired with locally prepared bites at ten unique pouring locations. Tickets go on sale February 1!  Official Event Page

Downtown Easter Egg Hunt

April 20, 2019

Kids and their families are invited to bring a basket to collect treats from participating businesses. Special posters in the windows and doors of participating businesses provide a clue that a treat is waiting inside.

Downtown Alameda Spring Festival

May 11 & 12, 2019

Enjoy a Mother’s Day tradition in Alameda with a fantastic variety of festival foods and beverages, arts and crafts booths, live music, as well as a play area for kids. An expanded area on Central Avenue features local talent on a new third stage and a large outdoor dining area.  Official Event Page

Mayor’s Fourth of July Parade

July 4, 2019

Grab breakfast, a smoothie, or a coffee and then plop yourself down for the best seat in the house during the 4th of July parade. Best viewing spots can be found on Park Street along the first stretch of the parade.

Downtown Alameda Art & Wine Faire

July 27 & 28, 2019

The Downtown Alameda Art & Wine Faire has something for everyone — over 250 artisans, festival foods, local premium wines and craft beers, continuous live music on three stages, as well as kids’ areas with games and carnival rides.  Official Event Page

Alameda Restaurant Week Returns January 17-27

By Downtown Alameda Business Association | January 14, 2019

The second annual Alameda Restaurant Week returns to the island. This year more than 40 restaurants throughout the island are taking part, with dozens of eateries located conveniently in Downtown Alameda.

From January 17-27, you can have fun visiting local restaurants. Most of the restaurants will have a prix fixe menu with several choices that allow diners to taste a few items that may not appear on their regular menus. Other restaurants will be offering 2-for-1 entrees, happy hours menus, or other culinary specials.

New this year… pick up a raffle card at any participating restaurant and get your card stamped at each participating restaurant you visit. After collecting at least 10 stamps, turn in your card to any participating restaurant to be entered for a chance to win over $1,300 in Alameda restaurant gift cards.

It’s a fun way to try some new places in Downtown Alameda!

Alameda Restaurant Week 2019
Downtown Alameda restaurants:

  • Alameda Cinema Grill
  • Asena
  • C’era Una Volta
  • East End
  • Hang Ten Boiler
  • Julie’s Coffee & Tea Garden
  • Linguini’s Pasta & Vino
  • Lola’s Chicken Shack
  • Main Squeeze
  • Mama Papa Lithuania
  • McGee’s Bar & Grill
  • Pappo
  • Poke Koma
  • Roll & Bowl
  • Sidestreet Pho
  • Speisekammer
  • Subway
  • The Hobnob
  • The Original Red Onion
  • The Park Street Tavern
  • The Star on Park
  • Tomatina
  • Town Tavern
  • Tucker’s Ice Cream
  • Yojimbo Sushi

For a comprehensive list of participating eateries and their Restaurant Week specials, go to www.alamedarestaurantweek.com.

New Businesses in Downtown Alameda (January 2019)

By Downtown Alameda Business Association | January 7, 2019
Town Tavern Alameda

Town Tavern – owner Stan Yee

Downtown Alameda is a marvelous destination for dining, playing, relaxing, and socializing. The district is ever-changing with new businesses to discover with each visit. Help us welcome the newest businesses! New Downtown Businesses: Beautified Studio (2505 Santa Clara Ave #8) Eyelash extensions and nail service with specialties in gel and nail art. Marley G’s Pizzeria (1330 Park Street) Rotating menu of Italian classics, pizza, stromboli, and rotisserie chicken. OneStop Commercial & Building Services (2447 Santa Clara Ave #205) Professional janitorial service. Roll & Bowl (2302 Encinal Ave) Rolled ice cream and healthy poke bowls. Sushi Valley (1635 Park Street) Sushi rolls and Japanese classics including bento boxes. Thai House Barn (1319 Park Street) Thai and Lao cuisine. Town Tavern (1437 Park Street) Specialty cocktails, microbrews, and globally-inspired small plates. Name Change: Compass Real Estate (1414 Park Ave) Formerly Pacific Union. New Owners: Diva Beauty Nails (1430 Park Street) Formerly Sparadise. Imports Auto Group (1927 Park Street) Formerly Island Auto Sales. In the Works: (more…)

2018 Downtown Business Awards

By Downtown Alameda Business Association | January 2, 2019

Downtown Alameda Retail Store of the Year Daisys

Retailer of the Year: Barbara Mooney (Daisy’s) with Janet Magleby

At its annual holiday party in December, the Downtown Alameda Business Association presents awards to member businesses in recognition of their contributions to the success of our historic downtown. The awards represent splendid examples of the top-notch service provided by businesses throughout the district. The owners and staff are also active in Downtown Association activities and strive to cultivate improvements in our community.

Congratulations to our 2018 recipients:

New Business of the Year:
The Star on Park, owners Ben Seabury and Susannah Blumenstock

Culinary Business of the Year:
The Park Street Tavern, owner Christos Frangoulis

Retailer of the Year:
Daisy’s, owner Barbara Mooney

Service Business of the Year: (two winners)
Honey Salon, owner Jone Stebbins
West Wind Karate School, instructor Krizten Delossantos

Associate Member of the Year:
Nannies Plus, owner Joy Colino

Member of the Year:
Otto Wright, owner of The Local

Additional business award recipients include:

Rick Krinks, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices | Drysdale Properties (President’s Award)
Tracy Goodman, McGee’s Bar & Grill (Block Captain of the Year)
Julie Baron, Julie’s Coffee & Tea Garden (Outstanding Service Award)
Kyle Conner, Alameda Theatre & Cineplex and Cinema Grill (Outstanding Service Award)
Donna Layburn, Marketplace and Alameda Natural Grocery (Special Board Recognition)

Stop by and congratulate these folks the next time you’re in Downtown Alameda!

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