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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: https://downtownalameda.com/news/historic-downtown-alameda-part-1/

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: www.DowntownAlameda.com/SpringFestival

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:

Fraction, www.fractiondeals.com
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: 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

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