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Lights Out: mapping shuttered businesses in the East Bay

on April 13, 2009

Over the last couple months, we’ve been watching East Bay businesses go belly up against the backdrop of the recession. Shuttered storefronts are popping up where businesses once stood, replacing the beloved, the basic, and littering entire blocks in between.

What have you noticed? Is your usual lunchtime spot suddenly M.I.A.? How’s your local pharmacy doing? Share your tips and sightings of “Store Closing” signs in the comments section. We’ll do our best to contact former owners and figure out whether it was a recession-related casualty or not.

We’ll add your tip to Lights Out, our upcoming map of East Bay businesses lost to the recession. Stay tuned!


  1. Julia on April 14, 2009 at 11:24 am

    Of course there was my beloved Elephant Pharm. But nearly as tragic was the loss of the Pri Pri Cafe in Albany on Solano that closed last year. 1309 Solano Ave. It was a Spanish-style cafe designed for families with kids (nice play area and kiddie food). We miss it a lot. Maybe the cost of cleaning up crushed Goldfish crackers just got too high…

  2. hedera on April 14, 2009 at 11:42 am

    The one that hit me hardest was Piedmont Stationers, 4171 Piedmont Avenue up by St. Leo’s; I did all my office supply shopping there. I went by to get some printer paper and the place was cleaned out. I’m acquainted with the owner, and she tells me it just got bad and there was no sign it would get better, so she decided to fold before things collapsed.

    More locally, Cotton & Co. at the corner of College and Chabot closed a few months ago.

    On Piedmont Avenue, I regularly frequent J. Sahadi Jewelers at 4206 Piedmont; in the last 4-5 months the dry cleaners next door to them and the antique shop on the corner have closed. The antique store had been there for years.

    It’s getting bad.


  3. tasneem on April 14, 2009 at 11:52 am

    Tasneem from Oakland North here. I got this tip from one “Mary S.”:

    Cattleman’s in Newark

    Mervyn’s in Newark

    Rasputin’s in Newark

    Black Angus in Fremont

    Yuri’s Sushi in Fremont

  4. Chris Vernon on April 14, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    New Harbinger Books is the publishing company that’s had an office at 57th and Shattuck and is expanding across the street, with a bookstore on the first floor and more office space on the second floor.

    Brick Pig does have delicious food and the owner/operators are very, very nice.

    There was an auto repair business on MLK at 56th that closed, but a new auto related business has opened in it’s place.

    Another new business in the area is an art gallery at 57th and Telegraph that moved in when a hydroponic growing business closed.

    There’s also a new holistic health clinic at 58th and Shattuck that opened in the past year.

    I love OaklandNorth by the way!

    Chris Vernon
    Aileen and Dover

  5. mcpm on April 14, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    Milk, a high-end kids’ boutique on college ave.

  6. Dara on April 15, 2009 at 9:50 am

    Here’s the on-going list I have from Piedmont Avenue:
    Cunningham Partridge Gallery and Framing
    4299 Piedmont Ave

    Lost and Found Antiques
    4220 Piedmont Ave

    Mee Rae Cleaners
    4214 Piedmont Ave

    Tango Gelato
    4184 Piedmont Ave

    T&G Nails
    4184D Piedmont Ave

    Healthy Step
    4184C Piedmont Ave

    Piedmont Stationers
    4171 Piedmont Ave

    4167 Piedmont Ave

    4168 Piedmont Ave

    Piedmont Lighting
    4094 Piedmont Ave

    China Garlic Restaurant
    3941 Piedmont Ave

  7. Katina on April 16, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    Interestingly enough, I’ve noticed that in the NOVA area (roughly from 51st to Alcatraz, and Telegraph to MLK), there have been more businesses starting than going out of business.

    Although The Brick Pig’s House on Shattuck opened a couple of years ago, it was still rather recent, and they appear to be doing well. [the food is gooood.]

    Also the long-time book publisher on Shattuck (Harbinger) bought the building across the street from them and expanded their operation. The new building is open to the public with a small bookstore.

    The Wine Mine, a small operation on Telegraph @ 55th St (along with a little bakery) also opened 2 or 3 years ago. My husband and I go there often.

    This along with all the new restaurants opening along Telegraph between 40th and 51st makes it seem like business may be improving in this little area.

    Perhaps at the expense of College and Piedmont Avenues … I’ll let the people who live over there update you on all the nice places that have closed recently (including Cafe JoJo).

  8. Quercki on April 17, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    The little bakery is Mariposa Bakery. They make gluten-free biscotti, brownies, muffins, cookies, lemon bars, pizza, etc. I really like their morning muffins.

  9. lisa on April 21, 2009 at 12:26 am

    SEVERAL businesses (6) gone in elmwood ..
    what the traveler saw,
    another 2 restaurants
    a gift store there on ashby

    WELL in temescal

    Green Bean cafe on Claremont

  10. Elizabeth on April 23, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    Habit – small, friendly clothing boutique next to George & Walt’s

    Twenty Two shoes – high end shoe seller across and up from Zachary’s

    (Not that I could afford to shop at these fine stores!)

  11. Claudette on April 26, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    Within past 2 years:
    Rockridge Realty
    Cotton & Company
    Galvin’s on College
    Noah’s Art, College @Lawton
    Laundromat on College (became Elizabeth H’s)College @ Kales
    used clothing place on College @ Taft, unoccupied now
    Baby’s World (within past 2 years) 6000 College
    Loot (within past 2 years)next to Rockridge Library

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