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What’s In Store: Retail Shakeups

Exciting retail projects coming to Walnut Creek and Berkeley; a new vintage and gift boutique replaces Queen Bee in Lafayette; an Alexander McQueen store hits the Bay Area; and more in our retail report.

Courtesy of Twisted Jewelry

If you need to recuperate from Memorial Day drinks, eats, and shopping, we have a dose of buzzworthy retail news—ahem, an Alexander McQueen store is coming to San Francisco this fall—to perk you up. Read on for a must-hit Pleasanton jewelry trunk show, new building projects in Walnut Creek and Berkeley, and an exciting update on the fate of Queen Bee in Lafayette.


The latest inventory

Pleasanton’s Studio Seven Arts hosts a Twisted Silver trunk show on Saturday, June 1, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. You can chat with the mastermind behind the line, Debbie Mitchell, as you peruse earrings, necklaces, and bracelets made from natural and recycled materials. The gallery will offer 30-percent off select pieces during the event. Visit its Facebook page on May 30 for an announcement on what items will be part of the special promotion.

Speaking of special events, we’re pretty excited to learn that Stoneridge Shopping Center is flirting with the idea of bringing back its Street Eats event. We’ll keep you updated as we hear more.

Courtesy of McCaulousWe can’t promise the return of those food trucks, but we have confirmed McCaulou’s recently opened a shoe boutique at 600 Sycamore Road in Danville; Venture Quality Goods now offers California-made (and super comfortable) AG Jeans; and that men’s clothing store Jos. A. Banks will soon open in the former Giggles space on North Main Street in Walnut Creek.

We’re also very excited to announce that the former Queen Bee space won’t stay vacant for long. New owner Julie Rubio will open a store, called J. Colleen, at 261 Lafayette Circle on September 1. The boutique will include upscale vintage clothing, original artwork, and an exclusive line called Divinty Jewelry by Michelle Mirkovich.

You might have to wait for J. Colleen’s selection of vintage finds, but if you’re looking for an immediate antique shopping fix, don’t miss the Antique and Craft Show at the Walnut Creek Historical Society on Sunday, June 9. Tom’s Cool Collectibles, Collier Antiques, Clay de Lys, and Pomelo Caribbean and Latin Arts are among the dealers and artists that will showcase their treasures from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Courtesy City of Walnut Creek (1500 CA)The East Bay’s new developments

Some people might even find relics to eventually display in a brand new apartment. Contra Costa Times recently reported that the Walnut Creek City Council approved another building project last week. The plan, described as a “game-changer” by public officials, is to open an apartment complex called 1500 California. The 164,615-square-foot building would include 141 apartments, retail and restaurant space, and an on-site gym, among other amenities. The business association Walnut Creek Downtown hopes to entice young, working professionals to the area with easy access to shopping, dining, and BART.

Walnut Creek isn’t the only city looking to attract new residents: Berkeley plans to spruce up parts of West Berkeley and Telegraph Avenue over the next few years. Construction is moving along on 10th and Gilman streets for a new shopping center currently dubbed the Gilman District. Developer Michael Fogelman stated in a press release that the lot would have two parcels, with retail facing 10th Street and restaurants and specialty food stores facing Ninth Street.

Katie Cornell

Berkeleyside confirmed back in February that Whole Foods is among the new stores on the Gilman Street block. It will take over the current Office Depot lot—that is, once the office supply store moves over to its new space across the street. Old tenants from the area seem to be adjusting fine; Eastern Classics is now up and running around the corner at 1330 10th Street and Ethnic Arts opened a colorful and cozy shop at 2236 San Pablo Avenue last December.


Telegraph Avenue: A sign of the times

Counterculturists and certain baby boomers might not be pleased with Berkeley’s recent city meeting regarding Telegraph Avenue. Berkeleyside reported that officials are looking to “wine and dine” new retailers in an effort to rejuvenate the famous street. City staffers stated that there has been a 48 percent decline in retail sales since 1990, citing the devastating fire in 2011 and the decline of music and book sales as two of the major reasons. We’ll see if projects such as the new Sequoia building, El Jardin at 2501 Haste Street, and the Mad Monk Center—all underway—will lure these unknown retailers.

Courtesy of Trendland


Alexander McQueen in San Francisco

This September, Union Square will welcome an Alexander McQueen store, according to Women’s Wear Daily. It’s the fifth U.S. location, and a great opportunity for many of us to swoon over the late designer’s legacy of lavish designs. It’s safe to say that September in San Francisco—already planning for the new Bay Bridge opening, America’s Cup races, and added shows to the America’s Cup Concert Series—is even grander with the news of this glamorous store opening. We wonder if Vogue editors will add it to their list of reasons to visit the Bay, whether as a returning native or a tourist.


Got news about new or expanding East Bay businesses? Or tips on great sales and deals? We want to know! E-mail us at style@maildiablo.com, and look for "What's in Store" every other Tuesday.