There’s always something happening in Downtown Alameda during the 2nd Friday ArtWalks, whether your interest is in attending artist receptions, dancing to live music, or having fun shopping and dining. And now the 2nd Friday ArtWalk Shuttle makes it even easier to experience a fun-filled evening.
The new 2nd Friday ArtWalk Shuttle loops around the island from 6:00pm to 9:00pm with several stops along Park Street, Jingletown, and Webster Street. Guests can go from venue to venue at their own pace by walking or catching a ride on the hourly loop shuttle.
2nd Friday ArtWalks are free to attend. Check the official website for updated show listings, walking map, and shuttle schedule: www.fridayartwalk.com
Downtown Alameda Shuttle Stops:
2309 Encinal Ave (Studio 23, 3Dot Gallery)
1333 Park Street (The Local)
2300 Lincoln Ave (PHOENIX, Speisekammer)
1523 Park Street (Curated, Autobody Fine Art, The Space)
1645 Park Street (McGee’s Bar & Grill)
1700 Park Street (Alameda Island Brewing Co.)
1820 Park Street (NoFu Skincare Studio)
Strolling through our downtown commercial district and viewing the varied architecture reveals that Downtown Alameda has long been historic, hip, and worth the trip. At the time that the historic Alameda Theater was being built on Central Ave in 1930s, Art Deco was swiftly becoming the preferred style for the new age. Confident, vibrant, and electric, it was different from styles of the past and its new message fit the growing Park Street community.
The next time you stroll the downtown district, see if you can identify the Art Deco details on these and other buildings:
1222 Park Street – Bernardi Building
Built in 1946, this structure is a late example of Moderne Art Deco style architecture and is notable for its stepped pylon, metal signage, and high degree of historic integrity. It is a prime example of how even small structures can contribute significantly to the overall character of a historic district.
The commercial building was built for Bernard Bernardi as a tailor shop and clothes cleaners. Bernardi learned his trade while working in the family business originally established directly across the street in the 1920s.
What’s there now? The building has remained in its original splendor throughout its later owners that include a tropical fish store and now a restaurant. The Original Red Onion opened its Alameda location in 2012.
2320 Central Avenue – Alameda Dairy Company
The first business at this location was a retail outlet for the milk and ice cream of the Alameda Dairy Company — their main store and processing plant was located on Webster Street.
Built in an Art Deco style in 1931, the building had a black tile facade flanked by stepped pilasters and Mayanesque transoms. During subsequent remodeling, the tilework was trowelled over with stucco. When the building was improved in 1995, the stucco was removed and the broken glass in the transom was repaired.
What’s there now? Pappo is a New American bistro serving a fresh seasonal menu produced sustainably and from locally purchased ingredients.
1419 Park Street – Longs Drugstore
In 1936, a large building was constructed at 1419 Park Street and a few other Deco buildings were built on the block as well. Longs Drugstore moved into the large commercial space sometime within the first decade it was built.
Sometime in the 1970s, a facade “makeover” covered the Art Deco details. In 1999, new owners Frank and Debbie George began re-adding art deco architectural details with completion being done in 2011. A new black and red Art Deco building sign was added, accent tiles were added to the storefront, and striped black and maroon awnings were selected to echo the original Longs awning.
An interesting note: A one-story wooden building attached to the rear of the building appears to date from the 1900’s when a bowling alley was located at this site.
What’s there now? Park Street Plaza is a collection of local shops including Lanvie Apparel, Joona Fabriculture, Merle Norman Cosmetics, Bonne Vie (fine wine, beer, and cigars), Dandelion Flowers & Gifts, and Tutu School Alameda.
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 2 of our history series: https://downtownalameda.com/news/historic-downtown-alameda-part-2/
Have fun in Downtown Alameda on July 4 while viewing one of the longest Independence Day parades in the nation. The Alameda 4th of July Parade is one of the best Fourth of July celebrations in the Bay Area and begins at 10:00am at the corner of Park Street and Lincoln Ave.
Watch as more than 170 entries and 2,500 parade participants travel along Park Street before proceeding to Webster Street. Spectators will marvel at the huge variety of hand-decorated flatbeds, antique cars, marching bands, dance troupes, bicyclists, musicians, clowns, costumed characters, and dancing horses.
The 2019 July 4 Parade Grand Marshals are two downtown business owners who are known for their inspiring community support:
Otto Wright (The Local, 1333 Park Street) has hosted community food and supply drives for victims of the North Bay fires, federal employees during the government shutdown, and residents of Midway Shelter. He also employs students with disabilities through a program with AUSD.
Gene Oh (Alameda Bicycle, 1522 Park Street) conceived of and organizes the annual Bike For The Parks fundraiser that raises thousands of dollars for our parks each year. He also sponsors an annual kids’ Books 4 Bikes program and gives away bikes and helmets to encourage reading for fun.
The best viewing spots for the parade can be found in Downtown Alameda where the performances, cheering, and flag waving are especially exciting along the first stretch of the parade. For a front row seat along the sidewalks, plan to arrive well before the parade’s start time.
There’s also a 5K run and walk that follows the parade route starting at 9:00am — an hour before the parade. The start line is located in front of Lola’s Chicken Shack at 1417 Park Street.
And, if you’re in want of a refreshment or are looking to do a little shopping on July 4 (or any day of the year), you’ll find a parade of locally-owned businesses in the downtown district, from breakfast spots to bookstores.
For more information, go to www.alamedaparade.com
Downtown Alameda is a marvelous destination for shopping, dining, playing, relaxing, and socializing. The district is ever-changing with new places to discover on each visit. Help us welcome our newest businesses!
New Downtown Businesses:
Dose of Lashes, 1343 Park Street (inside We Are Hair)
Customized eyelash extensions.
Lashfab, 1421 Broadway
Quality eyelash services.
Made Pho You, 1245 Park Street
Trendy Vietnamese restaurant utilizing fresh ingredients and old family recipes in every dish.
New Style Salon, 1219 Park Street
Styling for men, women, and children. Walk-ins welcome.
The Cusack Group, 2310 Alameda Ave
Real estate matchmakers dedicated to refining the process of buying and selling homes in the East Bay.
Windermere Bay Area Properties, 1700 Park Street #220
Experts in all areas of real estate focused on creating thriving communities.
New Associate Members:
Admiral’s Cove by Greystar, 101 Singleton Ave
Luxury townhouse apartments with with easy access to entertainment and dining.
Bloom Innovations (Alameda NUG Shop), www.nug.com
Vertically integrated Cannabis company with state-of-the-art retail stores.
Coral Reef Inn, 400 Park Street
Family owned and operated hotel featuring well appointed rooms, a pool, private balconies, and lagoon views.
Edit One Productions, 2310 Clement Ave
Full service video production for commercials, corporate videos, live events, and more.
Jamestown Properties, 523 South Shore Center West
Open-air shopping destination featuring nationally known retailers, local businesses, and restaurants.
Tinker Bus, www.tinkerbus.com
Mobile maker space, classroom, and innovation lab for kids of all ages — on a remodeled school bus!
In the Works:
Dunkin’ Donuts, 2413 Clement Ave
Fire & Wings, 1620 Park Street
Holiday Inn Express, 1825 Park Street
Park Street Bar & Grill, 1511 Park Street
Spinning Bones, 1205 Park Street
Twelve 31 Eatery, 1231 Park Street
View more new businesses: https://downtownalameda.com/news/new-businesses-april-2019/
Do you have a new business in the works within the downtown district? Contact the Downtown Alameda Business Association at (510) 523-1392 or email@example.com.
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: www.alamedaparade.com (Note: Volunteers are needed for the parade: www.alamedaca.gov/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: www.alamedaartfair.com
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: www.DowntownAlameda.com/artandwine
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: www.alameda.makerfaire.com