E’ville Biz: Dee Spot replaces Farley’s, In-Shape Emeryville closing, Shiba Ramen expanding to Oakland
In-Shape CEO Paul Rothbard broke the sad news to club members of the decision to close their Emeryville location in a letter dated September 7th. “Unfortunately, we have made the difficult decision to close this location. effective October 31, 2016.” Members were offered three options including joining 24Hour Fitness in either Berkeley or Oakland, transferring to In-Shape in another city (the nearest being Vallejo or Concord) or discontinuing their membership and be reimbursed.
“This is a big let down to loyal members” noted Deborah M. who reached out through email. “Some of us have been there since it was Mavericks” noting she was already looking at City Sports Club which is slated to open next month but would miss the intimacy of this gym.
“We heard there may have been an issue with the lease” noted one employee I spoke with who also noted that the construction was impacting membership parking which might have been another factor. “There’s also a bunch of new fitness centers opening around here so the competition might have squeezed them.” In-Shape employees are being offered an extra weeks incentive pay if they stick around until October 31st. “It was a great gym, a small community vibe. We were happy here.”
The gym opened in 2009 after operating as “Mavericks” for the first couple years of its existence. Public Market has already announced that Orange Theory Fitness has signed a lease and will be occupying the former Broken Rack space in the alley as you exit the north end of the food hall.
Dee Spot Café open in old Emeryville Farley’s spot
By Kate Williams
On Sept. 10, a small crowd gathered at Emeryville’s new Dee Spot Café for its grand opening party. An oversize character from the Minions movie stood outside for selfies as diners gobbled down sandwiches, pork ribs and Cambodian bread pudding. The event marked a quick turnaround for the space, which operated as the third location for Farley’s Coffee until it closed Aug. 30.
Dee Spot’s owner Channarith Vanthin, an engineer who has worked for Apple, Cisco and Intel, hopes to build on the community that Farley’s cultivated since it opened its Emeryville location in 2010. To that end, Vanthin has kept “every single Farley’s employee” on staff and has left much of the café’s menu intact.
What The Fork: Shiba Ramen Is Coming to Downtown Oakland
By Luke Tsai
This week in vital noodle-related news: Shiba Ramen, the popular food court kiosk in Emeryville’s Public Market, has just announced that it will open a second location at 1438 Broadway in Downtown Oakland — the former Bittersweet Cafe spot.
The brainchild of former chemists Hiroko Nakamura and Jake Freed, Shiba is best known for its relatively budget-friendly, quick-service approach to Japanese ramen — a style that, of course, works well within the food court context. Now, they’ll have the luxury of much larger kitchen and a dining room that’s all their own.