The 12th Annual Park Street Business Association Awards were presented at December’s PSBA holiday party. Congratulations to the following PSBA businesses!
New Business of the Year
The Churchward Pub, 1515 Park Street
The Churchward Pub was established in 2009 at the former Pop Inn location. With its bright façade and large windows, the new proprietors have helped to create an improved image of that section of Park Street. The lively pub has all the ingredients for a good time: a roomy taproom, great lighting, a live DJ, happy hours, charming bartenders, and a gigantic bar top made of brazilian mahogany wood first installed in 1927. Customers can watch their favorite sports game with friends, play a game of pool, hang out on the weekends to dance to the Bay Area’s best DJ’s, and eat the best BBQ from Bonnie’s — also operated by the Churchward family. The pub attracts a friendly, diverse crowd.
Retail Business of the Year (tie)
Lee Auto Supply, 1525 Park Street
Not many downtown car parts stores remain viable these days, what with the spread of big chain outlets on one hand and newer vehicles having specialized electronic systems on the other. But Lee Auto Supply remains on Park Street! During 82 years of business (the first family opened shop in 1928), the various owners of the auto supply store have not only gained a reputation for providing extraordinary customer service, but they have continually adapted to the changing industry and business market.
Current owner Duane Watson has owned the business since 1986; his family owned it since 1959. In response to the ongoing economic recession, he made the decision in 2010 to partner with NAPA Auto Parts in order to keep the business open. Not only is NAPA a recognized brand name and leader in auto parts distribution, but the two businesses share the same values: customer focus, team effort, attention to detail, integrity, honesty, and pride. New and regular customers of Lee Auto Supply will tell you the staff have a passion for cars; they treat everybody with respect and never talk down to the novice; and they know what you need and why you need it… and if they don’t have it, they’ll get it.
But Duane’s business doesn’t stop inside his store. He is an active member of the Park Street Business Association, serving on both the Board and the Promotions Committee. Duane is also the founding organizer and coordinator of the annual Park Street Classic Car Show (held the second Saturday in October).
Alameda Bicycle, 1522 Park Street
Alameda Bicycle is not just another bike shop, the staff here do what they love and love what they do! The store has been in business since 1969, and a local family took over in 1987. The friendly, knowledgeable staff can help you choose the right bike from a great selection of commuter, mountain, and road bikes. If you can’t find what you need in the shop, a special order catalog is available, as well as repair and tune-up service.
Alameda Bicycle gives back to the community by sponsoring a “Books 4 Bikes” school program, offering free bicycle riding and repair clinics, donating gift cards to nonprofit and school fundraisers, and organizing free community bike rides. Alameda Bicycle also operates a free bike valet service at the Fruitvale BART station. In October 2010, owner Gene Oh was selected by CBS 5 as winner of the broadcast channel’s prestigious Jefferson Award for public service and his success in the “Books 4 Bikes” program.
“Team Alameda” bike rides launch every Saturday morning at 8 am and Sunday morning at 9am from the Kaiser Permanente Alameda Medical Center at 2417 Central Avenue, just off Park Street
Professional Business of the Year
Edward Jones Investments, 1336 Park Street #D
Edward Jones is an investment firm that serves its clients through dedicated, hands-on relationships. As one of the largest firms in the country, it prioritizes business by putting investors first and thinking long-term. Edward Jones offers financial services to both individuals and businesses, providing retirement and savings solutions, insurance, investments, advisory solutions, education and more.
Deb Knowles, Edward Jones Financial Advisor, is a 20-year Alameda resident and has had an office in the Park Street District since 2008. In her goal to help others, she has been providing free financial advice each month in the PSBA newsletter. She also hosts informal coffee chats at Julie’s Coffee & Tea on the second Friday of the month. Deb is on the boards of both Girls Inc and the Alameda Rotary club. Each holiday, Deb coordinates Toys for Tots collections on behalf of Edward Jones Investments.
Our financial advisors make every effort to build one-on-one relationships with clients, offering personalized attention and financial guidance.
Culinary Business of the Year
Scolari’s Good Eats, 1303 Park Street
Scolari’s mission is: “To provide you with great, passionately prepared food with friendly service at a fair price, and send you off feeling satisfied and excited to come back to see what’s next.” Since opening in August 2010, Scolari’s Good Eats has garnered quite a bit of attention. Items on their ever-changing menu continually receive rave reviews from patrons.
The small restaurant is co-owned by Dan Nichols, who also runs the popular Lucky 13 watering hole next door, and Michael Boyd, a chef and restaurant consultant with an inventive culinary outlook and a fondness for local, seasonal, sustainably farmed foodstuffs. Their chosen cuisine is traditional take-away comfort food. The basic menu includes burgers, hotdogs, stromboli, garlic fries, and hush puppies. And there are also several daily specials added to the menu based on the season and what’s available from the farmers’ market, Dan’s Fresh Produce, the Feel Good Bakery, and other local resources. The daily specials include delectable sandwiches, gourmet pizzas, flavorful soups, and creative salads. The specials might also include turkey stew, grilled boneless short rib, smoked meatloaf plate, or seared Cypress Island salmon with greens and mushrooms.
But how does one find out what is on their menu each day? Scolari’s has embraced the social web scene. Fans and web surfers can find the mouth-watering Scolari’s Good Eats menu posted on their Facebook page.
Member(s) of the Year
Rob & Tracy McKean, Alameda Publishing Group, 1416 Park Ave
Rob and Tracy McKean are the publishers of Alameda Magazine and Oakland Magazine — premium magazines filled with meaningful content about local people, places and events. The McKeans are also the publishers of the Alameda Telephone Directory, affectionately known as “The Blue Book.” In 2010, they acquired Parents’ Press. But this doesn’t stop them from getting involved in the community.
Throughout the years, Rob and Tracy have served on various committees and boards in Alameda including the Alameda Boys & Girls Club. Rob and Tracy have been highly involved with PSBA for many years. Rob became a member of the PSBA board of directors in 2001. He was elected Secretary in 2006, a position he holds currently. Tracy served on the PSBA Board as Secretary in 2005-2006.
Rob and Tracy both started out as members of the Art & Wine Faire Committee in 2000 and then took over the Chair position in 2001. They took a two-year hiatus from the co-chairs role in 2005 and 2006, welcoming their son Michael to the PSBA family but stayed on the committee. They have remained as co-chairs since 2007 and are looking forward to co-chairing the event in 2011.