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Café Buenos Aires & Aloha Fun Skating Rink Open; Cornology & Community Foods Market Closing

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A mixed-bag of news to report in this month’s local business updates since our January report.

Among these are the news that the former Moomie’s space on the corner of Powell & Hollis has a new tenant as well as the sad closure of a grocery store that provided relief to a West Oakland food desert.

Meanwhile, Bay Street’s “come-back” experienced a setback with the closure of Cornology. To offset this, the shopping center announced a roller skating pop-up and lease-signing of a Claire’s Jewelry & Accessory shop.

Photo: @JennifersJungle via Instagram.

Open: Cafe Buenos Aires

Café Buenos Aires, who have a location on Shattuck in Berkeley, opened at the former Moomie’s location last week.

Moomie’s closed back in October of last year after about four years in business.

Like Moomie’s, Café Buenos Aires specializes in empanadas. In addition to empanadas, they offer a host of other Argentinian dishes as well as coffee and pastries.

Browse their full menu and order online on their website.

Soft Opening: Aloha Fun Center Roller Rink

Aloha Fun Center held a soft-opening last Saturday after announcing last December they’d be coming to Bay Street Emeryville. They offer roller skating as well as a variety of arcade games.

The roller rink at the former Old Navy space will only be a “seasonal pop-up” though and is scheduled to run through at least March. The building is slated for demolition to make way for a highly anticipated grocery store.

Aloha is the latest addition of entertainment experiences to Bay Street that will also soon include a Flatstick Pub mini-golf center that is expected to open later this year.

Their grand opening is scheduled for this Saturday, February 12. For updated prices and hours, go to Aloha’s website or follow them on Instagram.

Closed: Bay Street Cornology

Gourmet popcorn maker Cornology closed their Bay Street location on January 30.

“Regrettably, we will be closing Cornology Bay Street permanently,” they posted in a sign taped to their door. “Thank you for all your support through all the years.”

The Emeryville Cornology became notorious for a moment after their CEO used a racial slur back in 2018 that forced the sale of the location.

Their Walnut Creek location remains open and the announced a new location in Gilroy.


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Closing: Community Foods Market

West Oakland Grocery Store Community Foods Market announced they they will be closing their doors for good. “We have made the decision to close our store for good,” they announced in a Instagram post.

They opened in 2019 after a nearly decade-long process providing fresh groceries to a so-called “food desert” along San Pablo Avenue. 90% of CFM’s employees are BIPOC as are 70% of their customers.

Eight months after finally opening their doors, the pandemic hit creating further challenges to their fledgeling business.

The struggling market sounded the alarm last year mounting a “Save our Store” campaign asking patrons to commit to shopping their at least once per month, helping spread the word of their store to neighbors and contributing to a GoFundMe campaign.

Founder and CEO Brahm Ahmadi indicated that the final nail in the coffin might have been the pace of inflation and ongoing national supply-chain issues. “The rate of inflation has been moving so fast it’s really hard to keep up with the price changes,” he to told an NBC reporter in a video segment.

Their last day in business will be February 13. Everything in the store will be marked down 50%.

Open: Claire’s Bay Street Location

Claire’s announced they will be opening a Bay Street store at the form Body Shop location. The Body Shop closed shortly after the pandemic hit.

Claire’s sells jewelry and accessories that are primarily marketed toward “tweens” and teenage girls.

Most of Bay Street’s recent announcements have been smaller, independent tenants including Bougie Smoothie, Dipped and Fresh N Fitted. This is the first new “formula retail” tenant since CenterCal Properties took over ownership of the struggling mall last year.

Rob Arias

is a third generation Californian and East Bay native who lived in Emeryville from 2003 to 2021. Rob founded The E'ville Eye in 2011 after being robbed at gunpoint and lamenting the lack of local news coverage. Rob's "day job" is as a creative professional.

3 Comments

  1. So the newest council member suggested a publicly run supermarket when they ran for office last year. The closing of the market noted in the article is prime example of how clueless they are.

    • Not sure I fully agree. Yes it may be hard to run a profit on a community supermarket with healthy foods. But such a business would generate positive externalities for Oakland: a healthier population and stronger neighborhood community. When you have positive externalities that aren’t captured in the business’s bottom line, that’s exactly when you want a public subsidy. It’s why we fund public libraries and schools, which otherwise would never run a profit.

      • You forgot arizmendi’s (almost $500k sucked off the public teat). For all the love shown by this community for them, it’s an unfair advantage for other companies trying to make it a go in emeryville.

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