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Stash's Palaver

Business updates about AAA, Subway, Encorecake, Hassler, Hobbit. Bag police. Good pizza. Airplane at the Rialto Cerrito.

Business ins and outs. AAA Express, conveniently located inside the Lucky market at the Plaza, has closed. They opened and joined the Chamber of Commerce in December 2009. Customers are now directed to the AAA office at Hilltop in Richmond.

Subway is coming to the Safeway center at Del Norte filling one of those vacant spaces along the avenue. They have close to 40,000 outlets and soon there will be two in El Cerrito. Jared must be doing okay.

Encorecake is opening soon at Peppermint Tree Plaza, 10178 San Pablo Avenue. Owner Sherry Hoang says her new business will specialize in unique cakes and custom designed cupcakes. See www.encorecake.com or call (510) 936-2673.

Hassler Heating and Air Conditioning now occupies the old Mercuri Litho building at 1537 S. 56th Street.

The Other Change of Hobbit is El Cerrito’s newest bookstore (science fiction and fantasy), having moved from Berkeley as this Byline was being made up. Location: 1600 Kearney in the Cerrito Printing building.

Last month’s newsletter had a picture showing the installation of Natural Grocery’s new Annex signage. Now, the sign is complete as their colorful logo has been added. The new store is still under construction.

Bag Police. The word is a new bag law will be discussed and then passed by the El Cerrito City Council soon. A speaker or two may touch on the subject at this month’s Chamber luncheon (see back page for details). Presumably its intent is to ban plastic bags and add fees for requesting a paper bag. This stuff costs businesses a lot of money and hits consumers in the pocketbook as well. Bags have never been free; they are part of the cost of doing business ultimately paid for by customers just like rent, wages, subsidizing shoplifters, and what have you. A merchant in Berkeley (where they have a similar law ) told me he had to account for every paper bag on the property. I have always preferred paper over plastic and make my choice known when and where I shop. Nanny government annoys me especially with “chicken regs” (as we called them in the Navy) that cost people money. It’s a shame we are not trusted think for ourselves anymore.

Benchmark at Colusa Circle is my new go-to pizza place. Their pies are delicious and there is a craft beer menu that changes frequently. Drink your brew in a Mason jar. Open Tuesday-Sunday evenings.

Cerrito Classic. “Surely you can’t be serious?” “I am serious. And don’t call me Shirley.” Now that’s a classic movie quote. Hear that one and hundreds more at the Rialto Cerrito theater at 7 p.m. on April 11 when Airplane (1980) screens. Join the Friends of the Cerrito Theater. Get your tickets early.

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Dorothy Coakley March 30, 2013 at 09:43 PM
Hi, John... This just in: DuJour Floral and Antique (on Fairmont) will be closing its doors within a couple of months. Leaving that large site (formerly a variety store) available...good neighborhood vibes await its next occupant. Rabbit Ears will be hopping down the road toward San Pablo. it was formerly at Colusa Circle...inquiring minds are hoping for new flowershop to open there. (Darling Flowers occupied the space in the not too distant past.) As usual, John S....I'm a fan of your column. (Let's not call it a blog as its as regular as clockwork. The one reliably local "column" we have, I might add. ) Catch you at the Cerrito! And, FYI, I'm not Shirley either. But surely you knew that.
Local Mom March 31, 2013 at 11:40 PM
Boy oh boy and girl... a kids' clothing and toy store would do great at that DuJour location, although I'll be sorry to see them go.
Dorothy Coakley April 01, 2013 at 01:06 AM
I agree, LM although parking (without a lot) is always problematic in the area.

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