Grand Avenue In the News


KQED Reviews Grand Fare


July 29, 2015

East Bay Express, Best Grand Businesses

Best Shoe Store: Solespace

Best Boot Camp: ProAction Athletics

Best New Interpretation of Meditation: The Black Pepper Buddha at Grand Tavern

Best Restaurant for a Date: Penrose

Best Movie Theater: Grand Lake Theater

Best Barbershop: Slick and Dapper

Best Bookstore: Walden Pond Books

Best Furniture Store: Uhuru Furniture

Best Wine Shop: Ordinaire


July 23, 2015

Grand merchants win big with Oakland Magazine.

Best Spirits Selection: Alchemy Bottle Shop

Best Greek/Mediterranean Restaurant: Ikaros

Best Frame Shop: Galleria Scola

Best Furniture Store: Uhuru

Best Insurance Agent: Ruth Stroup

Best Acupuncturist: Oakland Acupuncture Project


July 23, 2014

Grand Shops Win Best of the East Bay

Best Furniture Store (Readers’ Choice): Uhuru Furniture and Collectibles

Best Designer Consignment Shop: Knimble Clothing & Knick Knack

Best Brunch: Camino


From the vault:

Stu Sweetow at first Oakland Indie Awards 

Erin Kilmer Neel presents AVC Video’s Stu Sweetow, a chocolate “Oscar” as award for Grand Avenue Dynamo


Read Archived GABA Email Blasts

Splash Pad July Newsletter

Splash Pad June Newsletter

Grand Tree Maintenance Clarification

Grand Tree Maintenance

Studio Grand Owner Dies Suddenly

Splash Pad May Newsletter

Campaign to Light-up the Parking Lot

Splash Pad April Newsletter


June 25, 2014

Modigliani Cafe Reviewed in East Bay Express


By  @theluketsai

Folks who live in the Grand Lake neighborhood must be thrilled about how their food fortunes have turned, with several legitimately great options cropping up in the past year or two.

The latest restaurant to join the area’s food revival is humble in appearance: Located two doors down from the Grand Lake Theater, the Modigliani Cafe is just a tiny slip of a sandwich shop, with stools for maybe twelve diners at two bar counters and a decidedly unsexy commercial kitchen that takes up half the space. It’s a cash-only, predominantly takeout kind of place. Read more

May 15,  2014

Penrose Reviewed in Oakland Tribune

 DiningOut It’s show time at the Penrose

Hallowell’s third venture riskier, more sophisticated

By Jessica Yadegaran

Chefs tame open flames beneath a backlit glass awning. Like Camino, just a few blocks down on this strip of Grand Avenue, Penrose is carved from brick and wood, and highly skilled hostesses maneuvercustomersaround tables as if it were intermission at the Orpheum.  Read more


April 4,  2014

Panorama Framing Featured in Oakland Magazine

Panorama Framing has hosted artists at their store for several months. In the April issue of Oakland Magazine, a feature story describes the paintings, photographs and even surfboards currently on display. Read the article here.


March 28,  2014

Camino Featured in the New York Times

Russ Moore’s sardines and asparagus with citrus, chiles and sesame seeds.






Last month I ate at Camino, a Cali-Med-Asian (that is, no-holds-barred) restaurant in Oakland, Calif. Camino is funky and open, and its look, which lacks pretense, offers little clue about the delights that await. There are long wooden communal tables for you and 29 of your closest friends, over which hang chandeliers that could pass for medieval drying racks. There’s live fire in a wide-open kitchen. The whole effect is even more casual than the upstairs at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, which was perhaps the original setting for tablecloth-free four-star food. It was also the place where Russ Moore, Camino’s chef and co-owner, worked for 20 years.

Read the whole article


March 7,  2014

East Bay Express by Madeleine Key 

Studio Grand Offers a New Space for Artists and Musicians

When Holly Schneider opened an intimate arts space at 3234 Grand Avenue (in the former location of Red Crow Yoga Shala) last September, she didn’t foresee hosting nearly as many concerts as she has. Her intention was to create an informal space where artists and community members could experiment, teach, create, collaborate, and, yes, perform. Read more

February 14,  2014

Grand Bakery Featured in J, the SF Jewish Magazine








by andy altman-ohr

With its weathered floors, homey atmosphere and awesome new high-capacity oven, Grand Bakery is an institution on many levels — from being able to make such a long go of it as a fully kosher establishment to its Grateful Dead posters to the way it blankets the local Jewish community. Read more

Jan. 30, 2014

Hybrid Food Market Coming to Grand Ave.

Luke Tsai, writing in the East Bay Express, reported on plans for the site of the former Monkey Forest Road, which recently closed. He wrote that it will be “a project that combines elements of an artisanal food market, a beer-and-wine garden, a cheesemonger/charcuterer, a takeout counter, and a coffee shop — so, Rockridge Market Hall meets Gregoire meets Local 123.”

Read the story here.


Jan. 15, 2014

Penrose Opens on Grand

The East Bay Express featured a review about Charlie Hallowell’s latest restaurant, across the street from his Boot and Shoe Service. Read it here.


Dec. 19, 2013

City Auditor reports $2.3 million in parking refunds to be returned

City Auditor, Courtney Ruby’s press release today states:

As a result of the City Auditor’s Parking Ticket Management Performance Audit, the City of Oakland has gone back and set aside $2.3 million for parking refunds due to citizens for years 2008, 2009, and 2010.

The Parking Ticket Management Performance Audit released by the City Auditor in December 2012 reported that the City was holding more than $316,000 in overpaid parking tickets from residents and businesses in FY 2010-11 alone. Under California Government Code sections 50050-50051, public agencies are required to hold such unclaimed funds for three years and notify citizens of overpayment before the agency can use the overpaid monies. Oakland previously has neither notified citizens of overpayment or had an adequate refund process – instead, the City placed the burden on citizens to identify the overpayments and request a refund.

The City Administrator’s FY 2012-13 Fourth Quarter Revenue and Expenditure Report presented to the City Council in November revealed that, as a result of the audit, Administrative Services needed to set aside $2.3 million in City funds to pay for three years of parking refunds. “Our audit identified a gaping hole in the Administration’s processes,” concluded City Auditor Ruby. “I am pleased with the Administration’s diligence after the audit to identify the magnitude of the problem and to properly set aside $2.3 million owed to the citizens.”

The Administration will send notifications of the overpayments January 9 through March 9, 2014. Citizens will have 60 days to respond. Refunds may also be requested by submitting a Refund Request Form (click here).

For a copy of the Parking Ticket Management Performance Audit, visit:


Dec. 11, 2013

DA to protect businesses from name squatter

Tom Vacar from KTVU reported today that the Alameda County District Attorney filed a lawsuit against a man who allegedly filled false claims to take existing business names. According to the report, the man offered to sell the names back to businesses on Grand and Piedmont Avenues.

Read the report here. 

See the video here


Nov. 5, 2013

Oakland Magazine: Grand Avenue Revival



Oakland Magazine recently ran a four page spread on the excitement happening in the Grand business district.

“Grand Avenue seems to have always been overshadowed by its more happening neighboring thoroughfare, Lakeshore Avenue. While cool coffee shops, pizzerias and bars dotted Lakeshore Avenue, Grand seemed to be stuck in time, filled with quaint, but hardly destination-worthy, mom-and-pop businesses.” Read the article here

October 25, 2013

Walden Pond Anniversary in Montclarion & Tribune

By J.M. Brown, Correspondent

OAKLAND — Paul Curatolo was just 7 when his father opened Walden Pond Books on Grand Avenue in 1973, sharing a small space with a plant store to play on themes in Henry David Thoreau’s beloved work of literature.

“I grew up on this block,” Curatolo said of the 3300 block of Grand Avenue, where at 17, he began working part-time in the store he now co-manages.

Forty years and two locations later, the landmark business, which has survived threats posed by chain stores, the Internet and the Great Recession, is still going strong.

“We feel we have served the people of Oakland,” said the founder, Marshall Curatolo, who at 85 can still be found behind the counter or roaming the store chatting with customers. Read the article.

Oct 11, 2013

The Alley Voted Best Dive Bar





Visit Oakland ranked The Alley as Oakland’s best dive bar.

1. The Alley

A dark bar where the walls are covered in visitors’ business cards and piano man Rod Dibble has been playing nightly since 1960. Come for the affordable food and drinks, the friendly customers, and to wobbly belt out your favorite tune. Read the Article 

Sept. 30, 2013

Ordinaire Reviewed in Oakland Tribune

by J. M. Brown

“I love that I’m in between an expensive chocolate shop, a coin exchange and a Domino’s Pizza,” said Bradford Taylor, proprietor of wine bar and shop Ordinaire, 3354 Grand Ave., which opened next to Michael Mischer Chocolates on Aug. 22 and marked its grand opening Friday.  Read the article


Sept. 3, 2013

The Star Reviewed in East Bay Express


Let me start with a disclaimer: I love Little Star Pizza. Ever since the San Francisco-based temple of Chicago-style deep-dish pizza opened its first East Bay location, in Albany, three years ago — when I took my first bite of that crisp, cornmeal-based crust and tasted that chunky, perfectly balanced sauce — well, let’s put it plainly: No other deep-dish pizza has had a place in my heart.

Read the entire review here


July 22, 2013

Grand Businesses Best of East Bay Express

Best Furniture Store: Uhuru Furniture, 3742 Grand

Best Gluten-Free Baked Goods: Monkey Forest Road 3265 Grand

Best Acupuncture: Oakland Acupuncture Project 3718 Grand

Best Service at a Restaurant: Boot & Shoe Service 3308 Grand



July 19, 2013

Grand Tavern Featured in SF Chronicle

by Karen Reardanz

“Driving down Grand Avenue in Oakland, you might not even notice Grand Tavern. But tucked away in an old renovated home on the bustling street, the pub – owned by Temoor Noor, who is also a partner in the new Tribune Tavern – is home to good pre-Prohibition-style cocktails, seasonal food, abundant outdoor seating and a quirky interior.”  To read the whole article click here


July 9, 2013

Grand Businesses Best in Oakland Magazine

Oakland Magazine presented Best-of awards to the following Grand businesses

Best Bookstore – Waldon Pond

Best Manicure/Pedicure – Natural Nails Plus

Best California Cuisine – Camino

Best Mediterranean/Greek Cuisine – Ikaros



June 20, 2013

Grand Lake Theater Previews Fruitvale Station

According to Huffington Post, Oakland’s Grand Lake Theater rolled out the red carpet on Thursday night as hundreds gathered for a private screening of “Fruitvale Station,” the film outlining the last day of Oscar’s Grant’s life before he was killed by a BART police officer.

The film’s cast and crew, including Octavia Spencer, Michael B. Jordan, Forest Whitaker and others, attended the screening at Oakland’s famed Grand Lake Theater–just miles from where Grant was killed.

Read more


June 8, 2013

Second First Thursday on Grand a Success

According to Ken Katz on Facebook:

Considering that this marked only the second incarnation of First Thursdays on Grand, tonight’s event was hugely successful. Photos in the order posted are from the “Fashionista” Fashion Show at Urban Boutique; a Patrick Kelly Spikes’ shadow box on exhibit at Rebooty; Harry Best playing in front of Galleria Scola where Elida was exhibiting her own prints and assemblages; Bradford Taylor during the sneak peek into the interior of The Red Whale; artist Kevin Keul with Lili Smith and the “Lost Sidecar” — one of the mixed-media pieces he is exhibiting for the first time at Panorama Framing.

See Ken’s Facebook photos here


June 4, 2013

Michael Mischer Chocolates Featured in Sunset Magazine

The Insider Guide reports, “Incongruously placed between a gym and a weight-loss center is one of Oakland’s sweetest spots. The house-made chocolates are as beautiful as they are creative and delicious. You can choose from truffles (called by their German name, pralinen) or spiced and salted bars all produced by German-born Mischer. Choose from traditional fillings such as chocolate ganache and caramel, or something a little more offbeat, like chipotle or lavender and honey.”


May 17, 2013

Results of Survey about Grand Avenue Businesses

Thanks to Ken Katz and David Flack for performing this survey. Go to this website to read the results


October 2012

Larson Shores Architects featured in article on Monkey Forest Road in Interior Design magazine



September 20, 2012

Article About Oak Common in Refinery 29

Read Article About Oak Common, a men’s and women’s clothing shop recently opened at 3231 Grand (next to Newfangles).

Here’s their website:

May 8, 2012

Longtime Letter-carrier, Joan Reilly, Dies

Several merchants and residents gathered last Saturday for a memorial to Joan Reilly, the petite letter carrier who brought mail to the upper Grand businesses and residences. She had been on the route for at least 20 years, and died about a year after she retired. Her family requests that donations in her name be made to the City of Alameda Animal Shelter.

April 10, 2012

Monkey Forest Road featured in California Home Design


Feb. 22, 2012

Monkey Forest Road, Ikaros and Rebooty in East Bay Express


Jan. 28, 2012

Oakland Tribune article highlights new Grand businesses

Jan 6, 2012

10 Great Things about Grand Tavern

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan Hears Grand Parking Woes

September 02, 2011|Matthai Kuruvila, Chronicle Staff Writer


September 20, 2011

Oakland Tribune Reports on Bonaire Bakery Re-opening on Grand Ave

June 24, 2011

Montclarion ran a story about Natural Nails Plus at 3527B

March 21, 2011

Sunday’s LA Times Travel Section had a positive article about Oakland, including Grand stores.,1,2662774,full.story

July 14, 2010

Walden Pond Books Wins East Bay Express “Best Book Store.”

July 14, 2010

Grand Tavern Wins East Bay Express “Best Unidentifiable Veggies”

July 14, 2010

Boot & Shoe Service Wins East Bay Express ” Best Nouvelle Pizza”

July 14, 2010

Camino Wins East Bay Express “Best Use of a Fireplace”

July 13, 2010

Grand Lake Theater in SF Chronicle

April 14, 2010

Boot and Shoe Service Reviewed in East Bay Express

March 31, 2010

Rod Dibble and The Alley Reviewed in the East Bay Express

March 5, 2010

Boot and Shoe Service reviewed in Oakland Tribune

February 26, 2010

Read about Grand Bakery’s Bob Jaffe in the current East Bay Express Insiders Guide

Silver Moon, Waldon Pond and the Grand Lake Theater were also mentioned

January 7, 2010
Oakland’s Grand Avenue shines with new star restaurants, tavern