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.
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…)
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
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
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
- 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
- Poke Koma
- Roll & Bowl
- Sidestreet Pho
- The Hobnob
- The Original Red Onion
- The Park Street Tavern
- The Star on Park
- 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.
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
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!
You’ll find a celebration for every interest in Downtown Alameda. Meet up with friends at a favorite restaurant, catch a movie, or extend the evening by ringing in the new year at one of the district’s many parties.
Alameda Theatre & Cineplex (2317 Central Ave) Catch a LIVE performance of national singing star Tora Woloshin and her sister Jasmine in the Historic Alameda Theatre before the evening movie. Tora became a national hit with her appearance in the inaugural season of Fox Television’s hit reality show, The X Factor. The pair’s explosive shows combine their sexy and soulful vocal tones as they perform today’s top hits along with original material. Purchase movie tickets online: www.alamedatheatres.com
Dragon Rouge (2337 Blanding Ave) Reminisce NYE 2019 is a 80’s and 90’s Old School Throwback Party featuring DJ Zhaldee (he’s also the owner of Zhaldee’s Eats & Beats) and other Bay Area dj’s mixing up the biggest 80’s and 90’s jams all night long! Tickets include access to a full premium open bar, two party areas, outdoor waterfront patio, live video countdown, and midnight champagne toast. A limited number of pre-sale tickets are available. Info: www.Reminisce2019.com
The Churchward Pub (1515 Park Street) Ring in the New Year at the East Bay’s self-proclaimed number one party spot. Experience amazing dj’s, dancing all night long, and video countdown at midnight. For the early birds, an open bar will be available 8:30pm-9:30pm. Get pre-sale tickets now; price goes up at the door. Info: www.thechurchwardpub.com
Rhythmix Cultural Works (2513 Blanding Ave) Pucker up and kiss 2018 goodbye on Thursday, January 3, when political satirist Will Durst brings his irreverent tribe of merry pranksters back to the Rhythmix stage. Purchase tickets for the The Big Fat Kiss Off Comedy Show: www.rhythmix.org
If you’re looking for a last-minute gathering place instead, these Downtown Alameda nightspots provide festive fun on New Year’s Eve — no reservations required: (more…)
A great big thank you to all the businesses and artists who graced our downtown with their creative and awe-inspiring artistry during our holiday window contest. Our panel of judges visited each and every display and then had the difficult job of choosing winners. Congratulations to one and all!
The Sewing Room, 2434 Webb Ave (artist: Joanne Yada)
Lost City Antiques, 1519 Park Street (artist: David George, owner)
Best Use of Lights:
West Wind Karate School, 1429 Park Street (artist: Jessica Warren)
Best Use of Merchandise/Products:
Toy Safari, 1410 Park Street (artist: Helen Dean, owner)
OMM Inc., 2514 Santa Clara Ave (artist: Jan Mason, owner)
Honorable Mentions: Daisy’s (artist: Barbara Mooney, owner), Glass Tek (artists: Haley & Emalee Phillips), PHOENIX (artist: Anita Sulimanovic), Team Silva Martial Arts (artist: Wesley Warren), Tootsies (artist: Liz Taylor, owner), and Twirl (artist: Sabrina Cazarez and the Twirl kids).
The windows will be available for viewing through New Year’s Day. To learn more about the creative personalities behind each of the displays and to take a virtual tour, go to the 2nd Friday ArtWalk website: www.FridayArtWalk.com/downtown-alameda-holiday-window-contest-2018 (more…)
Dozens of shops in the district are open until 8:00pm or later on Thursday nights. Grab a bite to eat, catch a movie, or toast the holidays with co-workers and then get a little holiday shopping done afterwards! Plus, look for Santa to be out and about visiting the shops from 6:30pm to 8:00pm.
In addition to the many shops that already stay open late, these retailers are extending their hours just for Shop Late Thursdays:
Airloom Deluxe (2322 Santa Clara Ave)
All Good Living (2332 Alameda Ave)
Bead Inspirations (1544 Park St)
Bonne Vie (1419 Park Street)
Julie’s Coffee & Tea Garden (1223 Park St)
Lauren’s Closet (1420 Park St)
Lost City Antiques (1519 Park St)
Sole Desire (1330 Park St)
To Herb with Love (1336A Park St)
Tootsies Alameda (1350A Park St)
Tot Tank (1413 Park St)
To find all 24+ businesses staying open late, just look for the Shop Late Here posters or view the complete list and interactive map on the website: www.DowntownAlameda.com/holidays#shop.
View some of the fun photos with Santa: www.facebook.com/pg/DowntownAlameda/photos/
* * * * *
Can’t make it to Shop Late Thursdays? These other retailers are open late most nights of the week: (more…)