Love, Community, and 2nd Fridays in Downtown Alameda

Wine & Waffles Chocolate Pairing

Wine and Chocolate Pairing at Wine & Waffles

As the popular song goes… “All you need is love.” Love for ourselves, our community, our earth, our country, and our world.  

One of the challenges we all face is that the fate of our communities lies in our collective abilities to support each other and communicate in meaningful ways. With everything that’s going on in our world, people have a deep need to feel connected.

In times of great divide the best strides will come in “breaking bread” with family and friends or sharing a “cuppa” with our neighbors.

Valentine’s Day is not just about romance these days. It’s about showing you care for the people around you. This amazing community — the people who live here, who work here, and those who visit us — these folks can be our focus for this month of LOVE.

Come create a culture of positive appreciation with us. Let’s help each other find new ways to connect.

“Love is about doing what you can, where you are, with what you have.”

Donna Layburn, President
Downtown Alameda Business Association

Downtown Tip: Downtown Alameda restaurants are putting together special menus and events for Valentine’s Day — you’ll want to book a reservation at your favorite place before they are full.

2nd Fridays in Downtown Alameda  Read the rest of this entry »

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In Celebration of Local Business in Downtown Alameda

Small businesses in Downtown AlamedaPark Street Plaza, Alameda have a huge impact on our community. They bring approximately $360,000 in sales tax revenue to the City of Alameda. This provides clean streets, visual improvements, safer neighborhoods, and many other important things.

According to a national study, one new small business annually contributes:

> $250,000 in economic activity

> $56,800 in payroll

> $8,400 in rents

> $17,000 in bank deposits

Speisekammer, Alameda> $39,500 in loan demand

> $2,200 in bank fees

> $25,000 in State and Local Sales Tax

> $4,700 in utilities

> $6,200 in marketing and advertising

> $4,100 in professional services (insurance, legal, accounting)

> $2,700 in supplies and maintenance

But these are national averages — you can expect Alameda’s numbers to be much higher.

Speedy Smog Alameda

Speedy Smog

So, as you can see, small businesses make Alameda a better place. With that in mind, we’d like to honor the business owners that are celebrating milestone anniversaries this year… starting with the months of January and February.

Please join us in acknowledging the anniversaries of these Downtown Alameda businesses:  

30 Years
Oil Changers

Red Onion owners

The Original Red Onion

20 Years
Pacific Coast Real Estate Company 

15 Years
Speisekammer
Linda C. Avery, CP, Ph.D.

10 Years
Speedy Smog
Lucky 13 
Read the rest of this entry »

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Decorating for the Lunar New Year in Downtown Alameda

Lunar New Year at Monkey King Pub in Alameda

Lunar New Year at Monkey King Pub & Grub

As the Lunar New Year approaches, some of our downtown merchants can be seen decorating their businesses with lanterns, couplets, paper cuttings, and other items. Dazzling and glittering Chinese New Year decorations never fail to capture the magic and energy of this fabulous season.

Chinese New Year, also known as Spring Festival in China, is the most important traditional holiday in Chinese communities. It takes place on a different date each year because it is based on the lunar calendar, marking the ‘Start of Spring’. This year’s lunar new year begins on Saturday, January 28, 2017. It is said to be a powerful one, with no middle of the road when it comes to moving forward. 

Be sure to look for colorful decorations when visiting some of the Asian-inspired restaurants, martial arts studios, and other businesses in Alameda’s downtown district.

It’s interesting to know that the decorations you may see also carry symbolic meaning:

Chinese Lunar New Year decorationsChinese Red Lanterns — Hanging a red lantern in front of the door is believed to drive off bad luck. During Chinese New Year it is not uncommon to see lanterns hung on business offices.

Door Couplets — New Year couplets contain brush works of Chinese calligraphy posted on each side of a door frame. The message on the couplets is filled with best wishes for the coming year. The couplets are thought to keep evil away.

Paper Cuttings — It is customary to display paper cutouts on windows during the Chinese New Year for luck and happiness. The theme of the New Year’s paper cutting typically contains the image of an auspicious plant or animal. The rooster is expected to be a popular image this year.

Upside-Down Fu Characters — The pasting of big diamonds of paper calligraphy with the “fu” Chinese character is deliberately inverted on or over doors. It means a business wishes for “good fortune” to “pour out” on them. Read the rest of this entry »

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New Businesses in Downtown Alameda (January 2017)

There’s always something new to discover in Downtown Alameda. If you look closely while strolling through the downtown district, you’ll find an ever-changing business landscape. During the past year we delightedly announced the opening of 28 new businesses in the district. These included everything from personal services to local eateries. The variety of businesses is also reflected in those that recently opened, just in time to kick off the new year.

Help welcome the newest businesses to our downtown district! Stop by and check them out…

Black Bull Tacos Y Cerveza Alameda

Black Bull Tacos Y Cerveza

New Businesses:

Black Bull Tacos Y Cerveza, 1635 Park Street
* A creative and flavorful twist on Mexican favorites.

Hewitt, Jones, & Fitch, 2421 Encinal Ave #C
* Certified public accountants serving closely held businesses.

New Owner:

Park Family Dental, 1621 Park Street (formerly Albert S. Lin, DDS)

In the Works:  Read the rest of this entry »

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Downtown Alameda Welcomes 2017!

Welcome to the year of the Rooster! Fun and interesting things are being planned by the Downtown Alameda Business Association. In addition to our annual events, we will be supporting many more merchant sponsored community events.

Look for events like these to take shape in Downtown Alameda this year:

2nd Friday Art Walk Downtown Alameda2nd Friday Art Walks – Celebrating artists and merchants in Alameda.

Made in Alameda Showcase – Sponsored by the Friends of the Alameda Free Library.

Community Blood Drive – People need and we can give.

Saint Patrick’s Beer Crawl – For the luck of the Irish!

Easter Egg Hunt – Help your kids find the eggs and collect the treats.

Wine & Chocolate Walk – Perfect for a date night in Downtown Alameda.

Downtown Alameda Spring Festival 2015Downtown Alameda’s Spring Festival – More artists and music than last year.

Night Markets – Lights, Music, Food, and Shopping!

4th of July Celebration – After the parade passes Park Street, remain in Downtown Alameda where the celebration continues.

Downtown Alameda’s Art & Wine Faire – The biggest collection of art, shopping, music, and fun in Alameda at one time.

Scarecrow Contest – It gets a little scary around Halloween. Come judge the Scarecrow competition!

Zombie Crawl – Alameda pub crawl benefiting local schools and charities! Don’t loose your head!

America Recycle Day – Alameda is working on being a “Zero-Waste” city.

The Downtown Alameda Business Association and our merchants are working hard to promote an economically vibrant community and make a lasting positive impression on visitors. Look for several clothing and food drives benefiting local charities to take place this year.

Additionally, we have many more exciting businesses moving into our downtown district. Stay tuned for announcements…

Downtown Alameda is the place to be in 2017!

# # #

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: www.DowntownAlameda.com.

Downtown Alameda Business Association

Downtown Alameda is the commercial, cultural, and civic center of our island city. We represent over 425 businesses in the Historic Park Street District and nearby side streets. Follow us on your favorite social media sites for updates: FacebookTwitterPinterestInstagram, and Google+

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Celebrate New Year’s Eve 2016 In Downtown Alameda

You’ll find a New Year’s Eve celebration for every taste and every budget in Downtown Alameda. Meet up with friends at one of your favorite restaurants, catch a movie, play a game, or extend the evening by ringing in the new year at one of the district’s many parties.

Looking for ideas? You can find a list of the best night spots in Alameda on our website: www.DowntownAlameda.com/Food-Drink

The Downtown Alameda Business Association wishes you a safe and happy new year!

New Year’s Eve Pajama Movie Party

Alameda Theatre Pajama Movie NightWhat’s better than curling up in your PJ’s with some popcorn and a movie at home? Dressing up in your PJ’s and hitting the town to watch a current blockbuster on the big screen!

For the regular price of movie admission at the Alameda Theatre & Cineplex, guests are welcome to come wearing pajamas and enjoy free pinball games, live music and magic, photo ops with costume characters, and any movie on the theatre’s marquee (current selections include Moana, Rogue One, Sing, and Passengers). Movies ending at 9:00pm and 12:00am will be treated to an on-screen New Year’s countdown to welcome the new year.

More information: www.alamedatheatres.com or (510) 769-3456.

Downtown Tip: If you’d like to celebrate the new year with the family but want the kids in bed early, opt for an early showtime to watch the East Coast countdown at 9:00pm.

New Year’s Eve “Secret” Party  Read the rest of this entry »

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Downtown Alameda Businesses Receive Outstanding Service Awards (2016 DABA Awards)

Edward Jones Investments Alameda Office Jane Watson

Edward Jones (Office of Jane Watson)

At the end of each year, the Downtown Alameda Business Association presents special awards to member businesses in recognition of their outstanding service. The awards are given in four categories: Retail Business of the Year, Professional Business of the Year, Culinary Business of the Year, and New Business of the Year.

The selected businesses are recognized for their contributions to the success of our downtown district — owners and staff actively participate in downtown activities and they find ways to give back to the community in a number of ways. These businesses are excellent examples of the quality of service you can expect to find in Downtown Alameda year-round.

Congratulations to the recipients of our 2016 Downtown Alameda Business Awards!

Retail Business of the Year

Alameda See Spot Run pet supplies and cat adoption

Alameda See Spot Run

Alameda See Spot Run, 2510 Santa Clara Ave
Alameda See Spot Run is a local, family-owned store committed to providing products, services, and educational programs that help customers care for their pets without breaking the bank. When you shop with them, you receive personal service by staff who have a sincere desire to share their time and knowledge. Owner (and Alameda resident) Cynthia Schorle is also committed to serving the community at large. She serves on two of our committees — the Membership Committee and the Maintenance & Improvement Committee.

Professional Business of the Year (tie)

The Sewing Room Alameda sewing workshops and instructor classes

The Sewing Room

The Sewing Room, 2434 Webb Ave
The Sewing Room is not only a retail store, but it’s also a sewing workshop. Jennifer Serr and her instructors have a passion for the needle arts and enjoy sharing their expertise with students of all skill levels. Jennifer is known to have a remarkably relaxed and respectful way with kids that allows them to take risks and gain confidence. Jennifer also inspires community members to participate in sewing projects that benefit various charities. Jennifer first joined our Membership Committee in October 2016. Shortly after, she was appointed to our 2017 Board of Directors.

Edward Jones (Jane Watson), 1430 Everett Street, Suite A
There’s an advantage in working with an advisor who knows you and provides top-notch service. Edward Jones advisor Jane Watson exemplifies this by taking the time to help her clients identify personal financial goals, develop strategies to achieve those goals, and then monitor the progress for potential adjustments. Jane is also dedicated to supporting the greater Alameda community. She regularly hosts free retirement planning events and has served on our Membership Committee since 2013.

Culinary Business of the Year

Speisekammer German Restaurant Oktoberfest in Alameda

Speisekammer

Speisekammer, 2424 Lincoln Ave
Owners Peter Kahl and Cindy Kahl know how to provide an experience that entices people to return again and again. Patrons routinely go to Speisekammer for the authentic German food, one of the best beer lists in the area, and the weekly live music. Their hugely popular Oktoberfest is a signature event in the district every year. In addition, the staff at Speisekammer graciously play host for the Downtown Association’s annual meeting/mixer. Cindy has also been involved with our Maintenance & Improvement Committee for the last two years.

New Business of the Year   Read the rest of this entry »

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New Businesses in Downtown Alameda (Oct/Nov 2016)

Tango Leather Alameda authentic Argentina leather goods

Tango Leather

There’s always something new to discover in Downtown Alameda, from charming shops to friendly services. These past few months have brought a number of changes along Santa Clara Avenue as businesses have found terrific spaces to occupy not too far from Park Street.

While strolling along Santa Clara Ave, you’ll find two new family-operated real estate offices that can help you acquire either a new home or an investment property. You’ll also find the new office location for the folks that know how to get things up and running on a timely schedule.

New retail is always of special interest in Downtown Alameda. The next time you’re window shopping on Santa Clara Ave, you might find yourself enticed by a stylish boutique that redefines trends with their display of unique handcrafted leather goods. There’s also a new shop-inside-a-shop on Park Street.

Help welcome the newest businesses to our downtown district! The next time you’re in Downtown Alameda, be sure to stop by and check them out.

New Businesses:

ReMax Tribute Alameda real estate

RE/MAX Tribute

NextHome Generations, 2545 Santa Clara Ave
* Real estate services with focus on investment opportunities.

PK Consultants, 2516 Santa Clara Ave
* Strategic management services and event planning for corporations, businesses, and individuals.

RE/MAX Tribute, 2437 Santa Clara Ave
* Full service real estate office owned and operated by a local family.

Tango Leather, 2543 Santa Clara Ave #C
* One-of-kind authentic leather purses and accessories handcrafted in Argentina.

New Associate Member:

Hilliard Management Group, 3527 Mt. Diablo Blvd, Ste 390
* Financial accounting and bookkeeping consulting firm dedicated to helping Alameda small businesses.

In the Works:  Read the rest of this entry »