Downtown Businesses Are Best of Alameda 2015

Congratulations to all the Downtown Alameda businesses that have been selected “Best of Alameda 2015” by the readers and editors of Alameda Magazine. As usual, there are a lot of them — a total of 46 this time around!

Taking top honors are a number of Downtown Alameda businesses that received multiple “Best of Alameda 2015” awards:

  • Best of Alameda 2015American Oak (2319 Park St) Best Steaks; Best Rib Eye; Best Spirits Selection
  • Asena (2508 Santa Clara Ave) Best Greek/Mediterranean Restaurant; Best Middle Eastern Restaurant
  • Burma Superstar (1345 Park St) Best Thai/Burmese Food; Best Vegetarian Restaurant; Best Salads
  • Cinema Grill (2301 Central Ave) Best New Restaurant; Best New Business
  • East End (1650 Park St) Best Pizza; Best Raw Oysters
  • Farmstead Cheeses & Wines (1650 Park St) Best Cheeses; Best Wine Store
  • Jim’s Homestyle Diner (2333 Lincoln Ave) Best Breakfast; Best Diner
  • Julie’s Coffee & Tea Garden (1223 Park St) Best Coffeehouse; Best Bulk Loose Tea 
  • La Penca Azul (1440 Park St) Best Mexican Restaurant; Best Late Night Munchies Spot; Biggest Portions
  • Pappo (2320 Central Ave) Best California CuisineBest Wine List
  • La Penca Azul (1440 Park St) Best Mexican Restaurant; Best Late Night Munchies Spot; Biggest Portions
  • Pappo (2320 Central Ave) Best California CuisineBest Wine List
  • Scolari’s Good Eats (1303 Park St) Best BurgerBest Sandwiches, Best Comfort Food
  • Speisekammer (2424 Lincoln Ave) Best Sausages
  • Tucker’s Super Creamed Ice Cream (1349 Park St) Best Ice Cream; Best Desserts
  • Lauren’s Closet (1420 Park St) Best Children’s Store [tie]; Best Consignment Clothing
  • Toy Safari (1410 Park St) Best Children’s Store [tie]; Best Games and Toys

This year we saw a number of service-oriented businesses receive “Best of Alameda” honors for the first time since we’ve been compiling our annual version of the list. These professional service people are definitely worth checking out:

Of course, there are many more “Best of Alameda” winners located in Downtown Alameda. We’ve posted all the winners (with links to their websites) on our blog page:

For those who prefer to flip through the original “Best of Alameda 2015” magazine article to view all the great photos and business spotlights, look for Alameda Magazine’s July 2015 “Best of Alameda” issue at Books Inc. (1344 Park Street) or De Lauer’s Newsstand (1412 Park Street).

There is one other new service on the list that is definitely a “Best of Alameda” winner… 
Read the rest of this entry »

Congratulations To These Downtown Alameda Businesses (2014 PSBA Awards)

Every year the Park Street Business Association (PSBA) presents awards at the end of the year to members for outstanding performance in their specific category. The selected businesses (owners, managers, and staff) elevate the success of our shopping district by actively participating in our local business association and its activities. They also go out of their way to support the local community. These businesses and individuals are excellent examples of the quality of goods and services, along with fantastic customer service, you will receive from PSBA members.

We’re proud to announce the 2014 award winners. Be sure to stop by and check out these businesses the next time you are in Downtown Alameda’s historic shopping district…

Dandelion Flower Shop, Alameda

Dandelion Flower Shop

Retailer of the Year:
Dandelion Flower Shop, 1419 Park Street
Dandelion is a flower boutique located in the heart of Alameda’s historic Park Street District. Founded in 2010 under the leadership of Karim Preuss, Dandelion has grown from a humble flower stand to a full-service flower resource offering elegant arrangements and a wide array of memorable locally-made gifts.

Professional Business of the Year:
Island Print Express, 2534 Santa Clara Avenue
Owner Joe Dalipe is “Keeping Alameda in Business, One Document at a Time.” But he doesn’t stop there. Joe cares about the people around him and was instrumental in starting a campaign and organizing fundraisers to aid individuals who lost their personal belongings in last year’s arson fires. Joe is a member of numerous community groups and continually finds ways to support those in need — if you have any surplus kids’ books, he is currently collecting donations for a children’s reading project.

Lola's Chicken Shack, Alameda

Lola’s Chicken Shack

Culinary Business of the Year: (tie)
Lola’s Chicken Shack, 1417 Park Street
“Incredible Food with Exceptional Hospitality.” That’s the mission of Lola’s Chicken Shack. The menu provides a terrific selection of healthy chicken dishes and the food is made fresh on the premises. The restaurant is operated by a longtime Alameda family. The Rogers are helping Park Street to thrive by opening the restaurant in a space that was vacant for too many years.

American Oak, 2319 Santa Clara Avenue
Located just off Park Street, American Oak is the purveyor of fine foods and even finer spirits. The popular restaurant features a variety of classic comfort food favorites and over 120 different whiskeys. But what is incredible is that the owners were able to bounce back following a mysterious fire that closed the restaurant for nearly a year. As a result of that experience, co-owners Melanie and Chuck were instrumental in organizing an event to help a downtown restaurant that was destroyed by an arson fire this past year.

Urgent Care Center of Alameda

Urgent Care Center of Alameda

New Business of the Year:
Urgent Care Center of Alameda, 2421 Encinal Avenue #A
Opening its doors last January, Alameda Urgent Care brings a new kind of service to Downtown Alameda. Their professional, courteous staff provide personalized, compassionate, thorough, and timely medical care to the community — from preventative care to urgent care issues. In addition, Sonia Shefayee (executive director and physician’s assistant) is now on hand at our street fairs to provide first aid assistance if needed.

PSBA Member of the Year:
Kate Pryor (Tucker’s Ice Cream, 1528 Park Street)
Tucker’s Ice Cream has been a part of Alameda’s historic Park Street shopping district for over 70 years. As part of a much loved establishment, Kate does her best to give back to our local community in whatever way she can. This past year, she revived our Maintenance & Improvement Committee and is making good strides in bringing recycling and other improvements to the downtown district.

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The Park Street Business District offers great food & drink establishments, charming shops, professional services, and fun things to do! To learn more about the businesses and events in Downtown Alameda, visit our website: You can also find the “Park Street Business Association” on FacebookTwitter, and other social sites.

Sign up for our Customer Club to receive event announcements and special offers from businesses in the Park Street Business District! Click Here 

Park Street Business Association PSBA logo

Best of Alameda 2014: The Best Shopping District in Alameda

The winners of Alameda Magazine’s annual poll have been announced! Congratulations to all the downtown businesses that were selected “Best of Alameda 2014.” As usual, there are a lot of them — a total of 44! So it’s no surprise that Park Street was once again selected by islander dwellers as the Best Shopping District in Alameda.

Taking top honors for individual awards are a number of well-established businesses that received multiple “Best of Alameda 2014” awards:

  • Scolari's and Lucky 13 Best of AlamedaPappo was recognized for Best Restaurant, Best California Cuisine, Best Steaks, Best Wine List, Best Date Night Restaurant, Best Chef, Best Restaurant Service, and Most Charitable Business.
  • Scolari’s Good Eats was voted Best Burger, Best Sandwiches, and Best Late Night Munchies Spot.
  • La Penca Azul received honors for being selected for Best Mexican, and having the Biggest Portions, Best Happy Hour Food, and Best Happy Hour Crowd.
  • Lucky 13 was selected for Best Bar, Best Neighborhood Bar, Best Beer Selection, Friendliest Bar, and Best Bartenders.

But some of Downtown Alameda’s newest businesses certainly weren’t overlooked. Consider the following list of winners to be a hearty recommendation to check out the newer “Best of Alameda” businesses:

To view an alphabetic list of ALL the “Best of Alameda 2014” winners located in Alameda’s downtown Park Street Business District, visit our summary page:  Read the rest of this entry »

PSBA Businesses Give Back to the Community

This week’s happenings in the Park Street Business District: View Calendar

Please join us in congratulating the first recipients of our newly created “President’s Award.” The Park Street Business Association’s Board of Directors is presenting this award on a monthly basis to businesses and/or individuals who have done something extraordinary for the Alameda community and/or the PSBA community. Our first awards were presented to a couple of restaurant owners in the district for their humanitarian service during the holidays:

The Great Turkey Give-Away…The Dudum family, owner of Linguini’s Restaurant and Habanas, and their management staff provided 1,500 free turkeys to the public at Thanksgiving time. They have been doing this in Alameda for three years and say this past year was probably their biggest giveaway yet. When asked about how the annual program started, restaurant manager Shadi responded, “The owners of Linguini’s & Habanas have been fortunate enough to be successful here on Park Street for many years and wanted to give back to the community.”

Linguini's Turkey GiveAway

Warm Soup for Everyone… Every year on Christmas Eve, John Thiel, owner of Pappo, provides hot soup to anybody in need of a warm meal. John and his staff have been doing this since 2006. Even his family pitches in to spread the cheer. In addition to providing a sustainable meal, they distribute toiletries and warm winter coats that are donated for the event. John told the PSBA Board of Directors that he continues to do this because he just feels he needs to give something back to the community.

The Park Street Business Association commends these restaurant owners and managers for their exemplary community service and going that extra yard for the Alameda community.

If you would like to recommend a PSBA member for a President’s Award, please contact our office at (510) 523-1392 or parkstreet1 @

More about the restaurants…  Read the rest of this entry »

2013 PSBA Business Awards

This week’s happenings in the Park Street Business District: View Calendar

The 15th Annual Park Street Business Association Awards were presented at the PSBA holiday party held last month. The awards are given to businesses in five different categories. Finalists are selected based on their involvement in PSBA, participation in district-wide activities, and making a positive contribution to the Park Street Business District.

Congratulations to the following businesses!

New Business of the Year
Island Print Express
, 2434 Santa Clara Ave
Island Print Express, Alameda, Joe DalipeWhen owner Joe Dalipe first opened Island Print Express at the beginning of 2013 his mission was to “keep Alameda in business, one document at a time.” Joe has truly gone beyond that simple statement by providing excellent print services for everybody – whether it’s banners, envelopes, or larger print jobs. Additionally, he jumped right into PSBA activities by participating in roundtable discussions, offering special services for PSBA members, and designing the promotional materials used for last year’s Customer Appreciation Day.

Retail Business of the Year
Artistic Home Studio & Boutique
, 1419 Park Street
Artisitc Home Studio & Boutique, AlamedaArtistic Home Studio & Boutique opened its doors inside Park Street Plaza in May 2013. Created by two local artists, the combination art store and studio has brought a fresh sense of creativity to the Park Street district. In the boutique, you’ll find beautiful artisan-made items, hand-painted furniture, glass supplies, as well as the full line of Chalk Paint® decorative paint. In the studio, people can participate in classes on mosaics, stained glass, and decorative paint for refinishing furniture and other household items. For a fun experience, sign up for one of Rachel and JaYing’s group sessions such as ladies’ night out for adults or after-school art classes for youth.

Professional Business of the Year
Park Centre Animal Hospital
, 2501 Central Ave
Park Centre Animal Hospital, AlamedaOne of Alameda’s oldest veterinarian clinics, the Park Centre Animal Hospital has been serving pets since 1964. Their exceptional care of animals reflects their motto: “We care for your pet as we do our own; with gentleness and understanding.” Services range from routine physical exams and preventive care to senior care and laser therapy. In addition, Park Centre Animal Hospital provides veterinary-supervised boarding facilities for both cats and dogs — all boarders enjoy clean, bright, comfortable surroundings in the well-maintained building. And you won’t find a better maintained building and grounds anywhere in the district.

Culinary Business of the Year (tie)
With so many food and drink establishments in our district, the membership committee always has a tough decision in this category. Our two award winners are longtime favorite establishments in the district; both restaurants have been in business for over 10 years and have hosted some of the best PSBA mixers:

C’era Una Volta, 1332 Park Street
Cera Una Volta, AlamedaNestled in the back of Redwood Square, C’era Una Volta has something for everybody. They serve a great Panini (those wonderfully tasty Italian sandwiches), exceptional crepes and frittatas, and world-class coffee and cappuccino. But what truly sets C’era Una Volta apart is Chef Rudy’s presentation of food and wine. His dinner menu provides diners an avenue toward understanding Italian traditions while offering a classic selection of slow-cooked pasta dishes and traditional Italian entrees, along with an extensive wine menu.

Speisekammer, 2424 Lincoln Ave
Speisekammer, AlamedaSpeisekammer is one of those treasured spots located on one of our side streets — there’s an outdoor beer garden; cozy, low-lit dining areas; and regular, live entertainment. But it’s the food that keeps people coming back. You won’t find a better Sauerbraten, Wiener Schnitzel, or potato pancake elsewhere. Their annual Oktoberfest celebration is not to be missed and attracts families of all ages to the district.

Member of the Year
Terry Mitchell
– Allstate Insurance, 2504 Santa Clara Ave
Terry Mitchell, Allstate insurance, Alameda“You’re in Good Hands with Allstate” definitely describes insurance agent Terry Mitchell. He has been with Allstate for over 12 years and is said to have worn many hats. But namely, Terry has been leading PSBA’s Membership Committee for nearly five years. With his oversight, our members receive regular district news updates and enjoy monthly business mixers. (He’s also been known to entertain us with a song or two.)

Special Awards

In recognition of our 15 years of business awards, the Membership Committee and the PSBA Board of Directors thought it fitting to extend special awards to two of our longtime merchants:  Read the rest of this entry »

Best Holiday Windows in Alameda

The Park Street Business District is looking quite cheerful this holiday season thanks to all of the businesses that have decorated their windows and shops.

Our blue ribbon committee took a stroll through the district and came up with a list of this year’s standouts. The judges looked for unique displays that invoke smiles, dreams, and warm holiday wishes. We hope you get a chance to stop by each of the businesses and take a look yourself. You just might discover your own favorites.

Congratulations to the following businesses for their fun and creative displays!

Artisitic Home Studio & Boutique, Alameda

Artistic Home Studio

Best Nutcracker Display –
Artistic Home Studio & Boutique, 1419 Park Street

Best Accessorized for Winter –
Lanvie, 1419 Park Street

Best Decked for the Holidays Display –
Juniper Tree Vintage, 1320 Park Street

Pixies & Peony, Alameda gift shop

Pixies & Peony

Best Winter Playland –
Pixies & Peony, 2305 Santa Clara Ave

Best Skate Girl –
Starbaby Studio, 1309 Park Street

Best Snow Creatures –
Subpar Miniature Golf, 1511 Park Street

Best Cool Rider Display –
Lee Auto Supply, 1525 Park Street

Dog Bone Alley, Alameda

Dog Bone Alley

Best Holiday Warmth Display –
Dog Bone Alley, 1342 Park Street

Best Frosted Sign –
Redux Studios & Gallery, 2315 Lincoln Ave

Best “Shop Local” Window –
Goods, 2537 Santa Clara Ave

Juniper Tree Vintage Clothing, Alameda

Best Holiday Window:
Juniper Tree Vintage

Grand Prize Winner: Photos were posted online and our Facebook fans got to select their favorite holiday window displays. This year’s PSBA Facebook Fan Award goes to… Juniper Tree Vintage!

In addition the winners listed above, we had a number of Honorable Mentions in the Park Street Business District:

Alameda See Spot Run, Aphrodite’s Closet, Daisy’s, Happy Feet, Jadyn Taylor Nail Spa, Kamakura, Ole’s Waffle Shop, Park Street Antiques, Rocket Reuse, Starland Music Center

We’d also like to recognize our other businesses for getting into the spirit and decorating their windows for the holidays:

Read the rest of this entry »

Best of Alameda 2013: Park Street is Alameda’s Best Shopping District (and more)

Best of Alameda 2013, Alameda Magazine

John Thiel, Pappo

“Alameda is the kind of place movie location scouts probably dream about as the setting for a film about the quintessential American town. Neither too big nor too small, Alameda manages to hold on to its charm while still offering everything that the most discerning resident could possibly want — from shopping to restaurants to recreation…” writes Paul Kilduff in the July/August issue of Alameda Magazine.

What do discriminating Alameda Magazine readers love most about Alameda? The results of this year’s Best of Alameda poll were announced last month. Categories include Restaurants, Drinks, Goods & Services, Kids, Pets, and Lifestyles.

Congratulations to all the Park Street District businesses that have been selected “Best of Alameda 2013.”  As usual, there are a lot of them (a total of 36) so it’s no surprise that Park Street was chosen as the Best Shopping District.

Taking top honors are a number of businesses that received multiple Best of Alameda awards this year:

  • Scolari's burger, Alameda

    Scolari’s Good Eats

    Pappo – Best Overall Restaurant, Best California Cuisine, Restaurant With the Best Service, Best Restaurant With Staying Power (5-plus years in business), Best Date Night Restaurant, Best Wine List, and Best Chef

  • Scolari’s Good Eats – Best Burger, Best Nonburger, Best French Fries, Best Late-Night Munchies, and Best Food Truck
  • La Penca Azul – Best Mexican Restaurant, Best Happy Hour, and Best Margaritas
  • Lucky 13 – Best Beer Selection, Best Neighborhood Bar, and Best Place to Drink Cheap
Speisekammer patio, Alameda

Speisekammer German Restaurant

  • Speisekammer – Best Outdoor Restaurant, Best Dog-Friendly Restaurant, and Best Live Music Venue

The Park Street Business District as a whole also won a couple of Best of Alameda 2013 awards: Best Shopping District and Best Local Fest or Annual Event (Park Street Art & Wine Faire).

To view an alphabetic list of ALL the winners in the Park Street Business District, visit:

But here’s a tip… To enjoy the great photos and business spotlights that accompany the original Best of Alameda 2013 article, look for a copy of Alameda Magazine’s July/August issue at  Read the rest of this entry »


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