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Downtown Alameda Filled with Summer Activities

By Downtown Alameda Business Association | June 5, 2019
Downtown Alameda Art & Wine Faire on Park Street 2019

School break is almost here and it’s time for families to make summer plans. Get ready to shop, play, eat, and learn in Downtown Alameda while enjoying art, music, and more. Our historic business district is full of fun things to do this summer.  

Alameda 4th of July Parade
Thursday, July 4th, 10:00am

Alameda’s parade is one of the largest in the nation and it starts on Park Street at 10:00am. The Alameda R.A.C.E. is a 5K run/walk that starts at 9:00am in front of Lauren’s Closet (1420 Park Street) and follows the Alameda parade route. For optimal viewing of the activities, arrive well before the start time to grab a front row seat on the curb. Details and parade route: (Note: Volunteers are needed for the parade:

Alameda Summer Art Fair & Maker Market
Sunday, July 7, 10:00am-6:00pm

See over 65 local Alameda and Bay Area artists at this free outdoor art festival. Mingle with local emerging and established artists while enjoying art demonstrations, poetry, live music performances, kids creative activities, and open studios. The outdoor festival takes place in the lot of Studio 23 near the intersection of Oak Street and Encinal Avenue. Details:

35th Anniversary Art & Wine Faire
July 27 & 28, 10:00am-6:00pm

Come see what’s new at the Art & Wine Faire and stay to enjoy all that Downtown Alameda has to offer! Visit local shops and restaurants while browsing over 250 art and craft booths; dance the day away in front of three music stages. The expanded area on Central Avenue features local talent on the third stage, lots of dining tables, and family-friendly activities. Details and music schedule:

Alameda Mini Maker Faire at Alameda Point
Sunday, August 11, 10:00am-4:00pm

FREE, all-ages event where makers, businesses, artists, DIY enthusiasts, and crafters showcase their work. Attendees will have the opportunity to experience interactive exhibits and be inspired by the creativity and innovation of the maker community. The Alameda Mini Maker Faire is a collaboration between Downtown Alameda Business Association, West Alameda Business Association, and the City of Alameda. More information:

Best of Alameda 2019: Downtown Winners

By Downtown Alameda Business Association | May 17, 2019

Congratulations to all the Downtown Alameda businesses that have been selected “Best of Alameda 2019” by the readers and editors of Alameda Magazine. A number of downtown businesses, both new and old, received recognition for the very first time.

Winners were selected in four categories: Food & Drink, Retail, Services, and Lifestyle & Leisure.

We encourage you to check out these Best of Alameda 2019 winners the next time you find yourself in the Downtown Alameda business district…

(blue = first-time winner)

Alameda Bicycle Family Rides
Alameda Bicycle: Best Bike Shop


Alameda Bicycle (1522 Park Street) Best Family Bike Ride

Mayor’s 4th of July Parade (Park Street and beyond) Best Cultural Event

Starland School of Music (1631 Park Street) Best Music Lessons

The Local (1333 Park Street) Best New Business; Best Comedy Night 


Alameda Bicycle (1522 Park Street) Best Bike Shop

Alameda Eyes Optometry (1432 Park Street) Best Eyeglass Store

Alameda See Spot Run (2510 Santa Clara Ave) Best Pet Store

Books Inc. (1344 Park Street) Best Book Store

Lauren’s Closet (1420 Park Street) Best Children’s Clothing; Best Resale Clothing

Second Home (2534 Santa Clara Ave) Best Furniture Store; Best Antique Store

The ReCrafting Company (2449 Santa Clara Ave) Best Way to Clear Out Your Crafting Stash

To Herb With Love (1336 Park Street) Best Spot to Score a Pair of Retro Sunglasses

Toy Safari (1410 Park Street) Best Children’s Store

Walgreens (1600 Park Street) Best Pharmacy (more…)

Strolling Historic Downtown Alameda – Part 2

By Downtown Alameda Business Association | May 2, 2019
Starbucks in the Historic Post Office Block

Strolling through the downtown district reveals that Downtown Alameda is historic and hip. With its grandiose old buildings, its unique businesses, and its vibrant community, the Historic Park Street district is always worth a trip.

Prior to 1864, the Park Street area was home to just a few scattered farm houses. With improved railroad transportation came hubs of commerce. By 1905 over 150 ornate commercial buildings lined the downtown streets. But, as time progressed, many of the older buildings were either replaced or converted into something else.

Today, thirty of the historic structures still stand with a variety of commercial uses. Here’s a story about two of the buildings:

1435-1437 Park StreetSchroeder Building

Believe it or not, this is the oldest building in what is officially designated as the Historic District. It was built in 1873 for Fritz Boehmer who had a grocery and hardware business on the ground floor. The upper floor contained a public meeting hall. In 1876, Fritz sold the building to Adolph Schroeder (co-owner of a local feed and fuel business), who used it as rental property. Between 1882 and 1894, a portion of the ground floor housed Alameda’s first telephone exchange. While significantly altered over the years, the building still retains its original architectural shape.

What’s there now? The ground level corner space is now occupied by Town Tavern — one of the newest businesses in Downtown Alameda. Above, on the second floor, is China House — one of the district’s oldest continuously operating restaurants.

1350-1364 Park Street; 2402-2410 Central Ave – Post Office Block

Originally completed in 1890, the “Post Office Block” was a landmark on Park Street with its prominent Queen Anne architecture and corner tower. William Patton, the designer, was a noted San Francisco architect and Alameda resident. The grandiose commercial building housed Alameda’s main post office from 1890-1900, and then the Commercial National Bank starting in 1922. In 1938, the bank commissioned a major remodel that resulted in the building’s present appearance. With the removal of the corner tower and the addition of stucco walls, it became an excellent example of Streamline Moderne.

What’s there now? The eye-catching building is currently home to a multitude of popular businesses. Sumbody Spa, Tootsies, Poke Koma, Rocket Fizz (the newest business in the block), House of Bagels, and Starbucks fill up the Park Street side while TuttiMelon and Central Florist face Central Ave. Additionally, PloyThai Spa can be accessed from the adjacent parking lot.

As you stroll through the historic downtown district and view these magnificent buildings, imagine the bustling streets of another time.

Read about other historic Downtown Alameda buildings in Part 1 of our history series:

Celebrate Mom at the Spring Festival

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

The 19th Annual Downtown Alameda Spring Festival is a Mother’s Day weekend tradition and has something for everyone. The outdoor street fair will be packed with 150 art and craft vendors, festival foods, local craft beer and premium wine sales, nonstop live music on three stages, and an interactive kids’ area. The fun happens May 11 and May 12 from 10:00am to 6:00pm each day.

Festival-goers will enjoy a stroll in Alameda’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 expanded area on Central Avenue called “Alameda Alley” will contain an enlarged outdoor dining area, local talent on a third stage, and fun activities. The Alameda Stage sponsored by Common Networks and programmed by Alameda musician Jim Parodi, will be rich with local talent including Amber Marie Knezevic (finalist at The Voice auditions in San Francisco), Michael Barrett (member of The Sun Kings), Dave May (host for Alameda’s Got Talent), and Kevin Kearney with The Mighty Neptunes.

downtown alameda spring festival on park street

“I am thrilled to work with such amazing local talent to put together a super show for the 19th Annual Spring Festival,” says local music coordinator Jim Parodi. “The two-day, live sets will feature a wide variety of island favorites as well as some newcomers. The show includes acoustic rock, blues, and folk music and even dancers from Encinal High School.”

The 19th Annual Downtown Alameda Spring Festival is presented by the Downtown Alameda Business Association as a fundraiser for the district. Proceeds help keep Downtown Alameda clean, green, and safe.

Getting to the event is easy. AC Transit bus lines run through Alameda with stops at the festival. Complimentary secure bike parking will be available at Vietnam House (1527 Park Street).

View music schedule and details on the official event page:

New Businesses in Downtown Alameda (April 2019)

By Downtown Alameda Business Association | April 18, 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:

Baguette, 2353 Santa Clara Ave
Vietnamese sandwiches and salads.

Curated, 1525 Park Street
Mid-century modern furniture and accessories.

Gong cha, 1501 Park Street
Menu includes boba tea, foam tea, milk tea, fruit tea, smoothies, and coffee.

The Space, 2319 Santa Clara Ave
Multi-functional art studio and website dedicated to Art and Pop Culture

New Associate Members:

Creates digital offers for businesses that drive in-store traffic and increase revenue.

In the Works:  (more…)

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:

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:

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:

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:

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!

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Holiday Activities

From Shop Late Thursdays to our popular Hot Cocoa Crawl, downtown merchants have plenty to offer for a festive holiday shopping experience.

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