Shop Local Saturday – Find Deals in Downtown Alameda, November 28

Shop Local Saturday, Downtown AlamedaMake local businesses a part of your holiday tradition and let our merchants help you find your holiday gifts, jewelry, clothing, toys, wine, and much more! You’ll find a wonderful collection of shops and restaurants here in Downtown Alameda.

Did you know that when shopping local, a greater share of every dollar spent is recirculated into the local economy? By shopping or dining at a small business in Alameda, you’re not only showing your support for local businesses but you’re also investing in our island community and preserving Alameda’s unique charm.

Be an Alameda Island Shopper! We invite you to “Shop Local Saturday” on November 28 when businesses throughout Downtown Alameda will be offering special discounts, free treats, and fun activities:

All in One Fitness Training LabArtistic Home Studio (2317 Santa Clara Ave) –  $25 off any $100 gift card; open from 7am-6pm

All Good Living
(2332 Alameda Ave) – 20% off all regular priced items, including all custom print orders.

Aphrodite’s Closet
(1419 Park Street) – 75% off the lowest price on many items

Artistic Home Studio (1419 Park Street) – Homemade cookies and cider; Special discounts! People can “pick a card” at the door to get 5-25% off any purchase.

Bonne Vie Beer Wine & Fine Cigars (1419 Park Street) – 25% off accessories; 15% off beer and wine; Buy 3 Get 1 FREE on Cigars

C&M Upholstery and Fabrics (1211 Park Street) – 60% off all stock fabric

Crispian Bakery, AlamedaCrispian Bakery (1700 Park Street) – Complimentary little treats and cups of hot cocoa; open 7:00am-7:00pm

Daisy’s (1347 Park Street) – Free ornament for little ones to make with the petite proprietor, plus treats for all. Enter our drawing for a $40 gift certificate.

Himalayan Gift Shop (1623 Park Street) – 15% off clothing items, jewelry, and bags

Kau Kau Corner (1635 Park Street) – $1 off every Aloha Plate 11:00am-10:00pm

Lost City Antiques (1519 Park Street) – 10-50% off on select items; open from 11:00am to 7:00pm

Ozone (1431 Park Street) – 10% off all clothing and custom built skateboards; 10-40% off select glasswares from the smokeshop area

The ReCrafting Co.The Sewing Room, Alameda (2449 Santa Clara Ave) – Holiday refreshments; free magnet directory to local “green” businesses for the first 40 customers.

The Sewing Room (2434 Webb Ave) – 10% off store merchandise, $10/hour drop-in sewing & $50 off Winter camp for sign ups that day.  Meet our fantastic instructors — open house 10:00am-6:00pm

We Are Hair (1343 Park Street) – 25% off all hair care products

Yoga Alameda (1502 Park Street) – 20% off all merchandise including yoga mats; one month unlimited classes for $75

Nestled between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday is another opportunity for shoppers to get great deals. Forget the malls on Saturday, November 28. Shop small in Downtown Alameda and find even more special offers throughout the district.

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You’ll always find great food & drink establishments, charming shops, friendly services, and fun things to do in Downtown Alameda! To learn more about the businesses and events in Downtown Alameda, visit our new website:

We invite you to join us for Shop Local Saturday on November 28 when businesses throughout Downtown Alameda will be offering special discounts, holiday treats, and fun activities.

Downtown Alameda Business Association

We’ve changed our name!  Keep following us on your favorite social media sites as we switch over to our new name and add fresh content: FacebookTwitterPinterestInstagram, and Google+

Shop Local – Finding Children’s Gifts in Downtown Alameda

Toy Safari_posterDowntown Alameda has a terrific collection of shops and restaurants. Did you know that by shopping or dining at a small business in Alameda, you’re not only showing your support for local businesses but you’re also investing in this island community, helping to preserve Alameda’s unique charm. When shopping local, a greater share of every dollar spent is recirculated into the local economy. Be an Alameda Island Shopper!

This week’s featured local businesses: Children’s Retail Stores

Lauren’s Closet (1420 Park Street)
This is your local one-stop-shop for children’s clothes, accessories, and toys. They carry a great selection of both new and used items to meet every budget.

Monkey Bars (1339 Park Street)
This specialty store features everything that earth-concious parents need to go green with their new baby or toddler: feeding accessories, clothing, diapering solutions, toys, and much more!

Tot Tank_cowTot Tank (1413 Park Street)
Tot Tank is your neighborhood infant gear and juvenile products store. In addition to parent “must-have’s,” they have a full inventory of toys and activities including brands such as Alex, Melisaa & Doug, Green Toys, Fisher Price, and more.

Toy Safari (1410 Park Street)
Toy Safari strives to create a magical atmosphere that engages the imagination. They carry toys that light up the eyes of kids of all ages. You’ll find an enormous inventory of new, used, and collectible toys at this popular toy store.

More gift ideas for children:  Read the rest of this entry »

Historic Downtown Alameda – A View of the Old Bank Buildings

Park Street, Alameda, 1909Sometimes, “what’s new” is not as interesting as “what’s old.” That’s certainly the case with the grand old buildings in Downtown Alameda.

Prior to 1864, Alameda was home to a few small farmhouses scattered around the peninsula. However, things began to change in that year when a rail and ferry system was introduced to the city. With the improved transportation, businesses began to crop up near the train stations.

By 1905 over 150 structures lined Park Street and the surrounding roads. Apparently this became an ideal place to build a bank, or two, or three…

Citizens Bank, Alameda 1907We invite you to step back in time and take a stroll through Downtown Alameda. Look for these large ornate bank buildings that are contributors to the Park Street Historic Commercial District (National Register, 1982):

Citizens Bank of Alameda Building
1500-1504 Park Street

The Citizens Bank building was completed in 1907 at a cost of $30,000 and was the second reinforced concrete structure on Park Street,. It was designed by Oliver & Foulkes, and built by Grank B. Gulbreth & Co. A major addition completed in 1924 nearly quadrupled its size to the current dimensions.

What’s there now? This is the easiest bank building to spot and houses the longest serving bank in Alameda. Citizens Bank was acquired in the 1920’s by the Bank of Italy, which was to become the Bank of America in 1930. Bank of America is still there, along with many professional businesses that are located on the second floor above.

Post Office Block, Alameda 1890 Post Office Block/Commercial National Bank Building
1350-1364 Park Street

The Post Office Block was a landmark of 19th century Park Street. It housed Alameda’s main post office from 1890-1900, and then the Commercial National Bank starting in 1922. William Patton, the designer, was a noted San Francisco architect and Alameda resident.

Originally, the corner building was a prominent example of Queen Anne commercial architecture. In 1938, the bank commissioned a major remodel, resulting in the building’s present “Streamline Moderne” appearance.

What’s there now? The expansive building went through an additional renovation in the late 1990’s and is home to Sumbody and the Sumtime Spa, Perfect Vision 1 (eyewear boutique), House of Bagels, and Starbucks coffee house.

Alameda Savings Bank, 1910Alameda Savings Bank Building
1400-1410 Park Street

Everybody is familiar with the sight of the corner building at 1400 Central Ave, although few know that it was originally home to the Alameda Savings Bank. Even fewer people know that the handsome and intact building next door was erected as income property for the bank. The building at 1410 Park Street was built at a cost of $30,000 in 1910 by the Alameda firm of MacRae & Swenson. The stuccoed north wall is adjoined by a fragment of the Artesian Waterworks Building, which was demolished in 1955. The building is noteworthy not only for its distinguished architecture, but for its historic integrity.

What’s there now? Toy Safari offers one of the best selections of kids toys in the East Bay. Upstairs, you’ll find Alameda Ballet Academy (with affiliate Alameda Civic Ballet — known for its annual Nutcracker performance) which was founded in 2003 by Artistic Director Abra Rudisill. Next door in the corner building (partly shown to the right) is Capone’s Speakeasy in the former bank building.

There are many more historic structures to see! Keep an eye on this site for future posts or view the history of Downtown Alameda on our website: Read the rest of this entry »

McGee’s Bar and Grill Announces New Kitchen: Park Street Grill

McGee’s Bar and GrillMcGee's Bar and Grill, Alameda (1645 Park Street, Alameda) was established in 1977 by John Costello on the ground floor of the old Leona Hotel. It soon became one of Alameda’s favorite local hangouts. As the years passed, McGee’s evolved into a family-friendly sports bar and grill. In August 2014, long-time manager Tim Goodman and his wife Tracy purchased the business from the Costellos. Tim and Tracy are proud to carry on the Alameda legacy that is “McGee’s.”

The Bar

Beer at McGee's, AlamedaMcGee’s is one of the best places in Downtown Alameda to stop in for a drink with friends or to watch your favorite sports teams. The bar has 13 flat screen TV’s showing all major sporting events with DirecTV’s MLB package and NFL ticket. The shuffleboard table and internet juke box are also fun, entertaining, and favorites with customers.

The bar at McGee’s features 13 beers on tap, along with a full selection of wine and spirits. McGee’s supports local breweries like Faction Brewing and Alameda Island Brewing Company by having their beers on tap, along with St. George Distillery vodka (original, citrus and chili flavors). Daily drink specials are also offered.

The Grill

Cardel Catering, AlamedaThe owners of McGee’s are very excited to announce that, as of November 3, Chef Scott Cardel and Chef Michele Cavaleri have taken over the kitchen and are cooking up new and innovative pub-style cuisine along with a kid-friendly menu. The new restaurant inside the bar has been dubbed Park Street Grill.

Scott and Michelle have been working side-by-side for the last 12 years at nearby Cardel Catering in Alameda. With Scott’s 40 years chef experience and Michele’s 25 years experience (including the opening of Speisekammer), they promise to offer fresh, seasonal items for lunch and dinner that everyone can enjoy. On weekends, they will also be offering brunch for football fans.

Putting It All Together 

McGee’s Bar and Grill is the perfect place to bring the whole family — booster seats and high chairs are available for the little ones.

Looking to have a small private or team party? The outdoor patio is perfect for outdoor dining. It’s wind-protected with heater lamps and a flat screen TV. Read the rest of this entry »

Dealing in Coins and Precious Metals at Fort Knox of Alameda

Fort Knox of Alameda

Fort Knox of Alameda has been selling and buying gold, silver, rare coins, estate jewelry, diamonds, watches, sterling flatware, and bullion for over 30 years . Their well-trained staff are always available to help you in any way they can — Fort Knox of Alameda can even provide spot appraisals on a range of items.

Are you interested in selling or buying a collection of old coins? Are you thinking of selling some unwanted jewelry? Or maybe you are looking to invest in precious metals or precious stones?

If you’ve never worked with a dealer, the following questions and answers can help you understand how a local dealer  such as Fort Knox of Alameda can be of greatest assistance:

How long has Fort Knox of Alameda been in business?
We have been serving the Bay Area for over 30 years and counting. The entire staff is very knowledgeable and has access to an expansive network of resources (both buyers and sellers).

What types of precious metals does Fort Knox buy and sell?
We deal in precious metals, including Gold, Silver, Platinum, and Palladium.

Fort Knox of AlamedaWhat types of gold items does Fort Knox buy?
We buy any form of gold such as gold coins from any country; used or unwanted gold rings, chains, bracelets, and necklaces; dental gold; gold dust; etc.

What types of silver items does Fort Knox buy?
We buy any silver items regardless of condition including .999 silver coins, .925 sterling coins, and sterling silver flatware.

Does Fort Knox buy U.S. currency?
We buy and sell all types of United States coins and paper money. We also are big buyers of rare coins and can handle any collection that you might have. Michael Sr., Linda, and son Michael are all expert, certified coin graders.

Can Fort Knox help me find precious stones that I’m looking for?
Fort Knox can provide you with any size or quality stone that you desire. (If selling, we are always in constant need of diamond rings and loose gem stones.)

Can Fort Knox help me identify the value of items that I am interested in selling? 
If you do not know the market for an item that you want to sell, if there is one, we will find it for you. We are currently part of a networked computer system with approximately 1,500+ dealers nationwide. Read the rest of this entry »

New Businesses in Downtown Alameda’s Historic Park Street District (Aug/Sept 2015)

My Hidden Lagoon_front door Alameda location

My Hidden Lagoon

Sometimes it’s worth the extra steps to explore the side streets and alley spaces in Downtown Alameda. Just like Park Street, there’s always something new to be found.

If you take the time to walk through Redwood Square (the open space located between Tomatina and Scott’s Shoes), you’ll find a gorgeous brick building to the left. The building was originally home to the Park Theater (1904-1919) and was the first vaudeville theater in Alameda. Although its heyday was brief as bigger and more modern movie theaters opened, the building was solid enough to stand up against time. Over the years, the large building has housed a warehouse, a showroom, and miscellaneous office spaces.

A branch office of Edward Jones has been visible on the ground floor for a number of years. But most folks don’t realize there is a door next to the office that leads to more office spaces on the second floor. If you climb the stairs, you’ll discover two of Downtown Alameda’s newest businesses… My Hidden Lagoon and Secrets & Winks.

Save the date! Come welcome chef Saboor Zafari back to the Downtown district. A Mayor’s Ribbon Cutting is being planned for Angela’s Restaurant to be held on Monday, November 2, 4:00pm.

Help us welcome all of these new businesses to Alameda’s vibrant and historic downtown district:

New Businesses:

Angela's Restaurant_Chef Saboor

Angela’s Restaurant

Angela’s Restaurant, 1640 Park Street — Mediterranean cuisine. Chef Saboor Zafari is back!

Cut Hair Studio, 2515 Santa Clara Ave #102 — Hair Salon for men and women.

My Hidden Lagoon, 1336 Park Street #F — Full body waxing services available for both men and women.

Refinement Salon, 2323 Santa Clara Ave — Hair salon where every stylist is a true artist.

Secrets & Winks, 1336 Park Street #F — Waxing and lash services for both men and women.

Taste of Alameda, 1354 Park Street — American and Vietnamese menu.

The Law Office of Holly Gutkovsky, 1402 Park Street #F — Dedicated attorney who handles a wide range of family law and divorce issues.

New Location:

Honour Brand, 2447 Santa Clara Ave #204 — Heritage graphic t-shirts and hoodies.

In the Works: 
Read the rest of this entry »

Historic Downtown Alameda – Respect Your Elders

Park Street, Alameda historic buildingsSometimes, “what’s new” is not as interesting as “what’s old.” That’s the case with our great old buildings in Downtown Alameda.

Prior to 1864, Alameda was home to a few small farmhouses scattered around the peninsula. However, things changed that year when a rail and ferry system was introduced to the city.

With improved transportation, hubs of commerce sprang up along the train routes. The primary local stop for the San Francisco & Alameda Railroad was Alameda Station, located near what is now the intersection of Lincoln Avenue and Park Street. From that point, businesses spread out mostly in a linear fashion along a road that divided two large tracts of land. That road ultimately became “Park Street.”

Between 1877 and 1880, more than thirty large ornate commercial buildings were erected — ones that were grander than their wooden predecessors. In 1896, Alameda’s City Hall building was completed and by 1905 over 150 structures lined Park Street and the surrounding roads.

There were a few building booms following The Great Earthquake (1906) and between the two World Wars. But the old Victorian landmark buildings didn’t seem that cool any more, so they were either torn down or converted into something else. Thankfully, thirty of the historic structures were left standing, including one that still retains its original architecture.

It was in 1981 that a group of merchants in their wisdom applied to have Alameda’s downtown area designated a national historic business district. Since then, from an architectural standpoint, Park Street has pretty much remained as we see it today.

We invite you to stroll through Downtown Alameda and look for the buildings that are contributors to the Park Street Historic Commercial District (National Register, 1982):  Read the rest of this entry »

Downtown Alameda’s Classic Car Show Revs Up Park Street

2015 Downtown Alameda Classic Car ShowGet Ready! Get set! Downtown Alameda’s 22nd Annual Classic Car Show takes place on Saturday, October 10. The free one-day event runs from 10:00am to 4:00pm and is fun for everyone.

Cars of every description will line up along Park Street, from Encinal Ave to Buena Vista Ave — antique roadsters, coupes, hot rods, muscle cars, and much more. Entertainment and prizes will be available and DJs will be spinning oldies from the ’50s and the ’60s.

Enjoy over 400 classic vehicles on display as you meander through Alameda’s historic downtown district. Most of the cars come from the magical decades of the ’50s and the ’60s. You can also expect to see plenty of muscle cars from the ’70s, along with vintage beauties from the ’30s and ’40s.

The Wounded Warrior Project will have a booth to sell raffle tickets for a drawing being held on January 1, 2016. The grand prize is a 50th anniversary Shelby Cobra. You’ll find the Wounded Warrior booth and car located in front of Capone’s Speakeasy.

Downtown Alameda’s Annual Classic Car Show is one of the best car shows in the Bay Area. A national representative of the Mustang Club of America has described the Downtown Alameda Classic Car Show as “the best that he has ever seen.”  Read the rest of this entry »


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