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