economy

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

25 Days Project: Brotherhood Board Shop

Posted By on Wed, Dec 19, 2012 at 10:27 AM

Brotherhoodphoto.jpg

When my husband wanted to buy my two-year old, board-obsessed nephew his first skateboard, he didn’t go to Walmart or Costco or Toys R’ Us to pick up a cheaply made knock-off version of the real thing. Instead, he headed over to Brotherhood Board Shop in Santa Rosa, where he bought a sweet deck—all set up with Bones wheels and high-quality trucks—for under $100. Owned by Jon Lohne, a longtime Santa Rosa skateboarder who can be seen at backyard skate ramps and underground ledge spots (or riding around on his refurbished mopeds) as often as he can be seen in the actual store, Brotherhood is everything that a skateboard shop should be. Stop in to pick up decks—by Krooked, Antihero, Plan B, Girl and more—flatbars, trucks, wheels, shoes, hats, cruisers, grip tape, clothing, backpacks, skate DVDs and pretty much anything else that the skateboarder or snowboarder in your life wants and needs. The store also hosts video premieres—most recently of the rad Girl- and Chocolate Skateboards-produced video “Pretty Sweet,” which features one of the best opening shots ever. In the summer, the shop brims with kids, young and old, busting out tricks in the parking lot at regularly hosted skate contests. And what’s better than awesome service from people who leave, breathe and eat skateboarding? 1240 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa. 707.546.0660.


The 25 Days Project is an online series through the month of December spotlighting some of our favorite local businesses. Read more about the project here, and about our commitment to shopping locally here.

  • Pin It
    favorite

Tags: ,

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

25 Days Project: Fatty's Threads

Posted By on Tue, Dec 18, 2012 at 11:03 AM

Fattys.jpg

When you get down to it, Fatty’s Threads is probably the best store in all of Sonoma County. Fatty’s carries clothes, books, stereo equipment, baseball cards, magazines, tools, chewing gum, appliances, DVDs, posters, bicycles, sporting equipment, cleaning products, art supplies, model cars, records, patio furniture, toys and more, but calling it a “junk shop” doesn’t to it justice. Truly a neighborhood hub, it’s also a meet-up place, a treasure hunt, a trapeze act, a history lesson, a loan department and a museum of oddities. I’ve always been drawn to these kinds of stores, where the proprietors are usually cranky and condescending. Then there’s Dave Puccetti, the truly friendly ringleader of Fatty’s who acts more like a really great bartender than a store owner—doling out advice, helping out those down on their luck, giving opinions when asked and quoting you prices way below what you expected to pay. A full Atari 2600 system, from 1983, with joysticks, adapters and 30 game cartridges for just $25? Yes, it’s that kind of shop. I almost feel bad letting the secret out after 10 years, because the eBayers will be all over this place, but Dave is so great and the store is so chock-full of great finds—just go there and see for yourself. 1290 Sebastopol Road, Santa Rosa, 707.578.6916.




The 25 Days Project is an online series through the month of December spotlighting some of our favorite local businesses. Read more about the project here, and about our commitment to shopping locally here.

  • Pin It
    favorite

Tags: ,

Monday, December 17, 2012

25 Days Project: The Toyworks

Posted By on Mon, Dec 17, 2012 at 10:47 AM

toyworks.jpg
I’d already picked up a small chocolate cake and candles, but I knew that I needed something more. Something special. It was, after all, my daughter’s very first birthday. As a new dad, I was clueless as to what to get, but knew just where to go: The Toyworks. “Does she have a doll?” the woman asked, plain as day, after I presented my dilemma. Why hadn’t I thought of that? Under $20 later, I’d found the perfect doll in a little pink dress inside a big pink box. I had to be home in 10 minutes, and what to wrap it in? Alas, you never truly appreciate free gift wrapping until you really, really need it, and the Toyworks had me on my way home with an attractive, free wrapping job and a big red ribbon to boot. I’ll never forget riding home that day on my scooter, partially because I had to put the big present under my feet and I’m sure I looked silly. But as I rode down E Street, ready to put a huge smile on a beautiful little girl’s face, I was the proudest dad in the world. 531 College Ave., Santa Rosa, 707.526.2099; 6940 Sebastopol Ave., Sebastopol, 707.829.2003.


The 25 Days Project is an online series through the month of December spotlighting some of our favorite local businesses. Read more about the project here, and about our commitment to shopping locally here.

  • Pin It
    favorite

Tags: ,

Sunday, December 16, 2012

25 Days Project: California Luggage Co.

Posted By on Sun, Dec 16, 2012 at 10:33 AM

CaLuggage.JPG
There’s a reason why the wall at California Luggage Co. is covered in postcards from around the world. For over 25 years, their friendly staff has been sending people to the airport, boarding pass in one hand and quality luggage in the other. Walk in just about any hour of the day and there’s a “personal shopper” experience going on, with a customer’s personal packing and travel habits considered for the ideal luggage option. In this way, the place is a living example of the type of one-on-one service that’s impossible online. Even if you’ve never walked through the front door, you’ve no doubt seen the store’s mascot, a life-size shaggy stuffed dog standing out on the sidewalk. (Actually, it’s a sheep these days, I think? The most recent dog “died,” and a “funeral” service was held…) Local politicos, downtown merchants and journalists know owner Bernie Schwartz as the “silent mayor” of Santa Rosa—he knows everybody, and everything—but two generations of customers know him as the best thing that ever happened to their vacation since even before the vacation began. 609 Fourth St., Santa Rosa, 707.528.5799.


The 25 Days Project is an online series through the month of December spotlighting some of our favorite local businesses. Read more about the project here, and about our commitment to shopping locally here.

  • Pin It
    favorite

Tags: ,

Saturday, December 15, 2012

25 Days Project: Napa Music Supply

Posted By on Sat, Dec 15, 2012 at 10:10 AM

NapaMS.jpg
Forget the “No ‘Stairway to Heaven’” rule from Wayne’s World. At Napa Music Supply, customers are welcome to practice, sit and even electrify. NMS sells guitars, amps, keyboards, drums, recording devices, used equipment, has a clearance, all the bells and whistles. “Most music stores are really anal about you playing in the store,” explains Pacific Junior College junior Saul Escobar, contrasting the experience at a music chain store in his hometown that’s “always watching you.” He shops at Napa Music Supply for picks and accessories. “Recently I was in and picked up a ukulele and started playing. They came over and said, ‘You wanna plug that in here? Maybe use a guitar?’” Escobar looks forward to NMS’ friendly service. “They’re always cool. They encourage you to play. They don’t hassle you. They let me be myself and hang out.” 2026 Redwood Road, Napa, 707.265.8275.


The 25 Days Project is an online series through the month of December spotlighting some of our favorite local businesses. Read more about the project here, and about our commitment to shopping locally here.

  • Pin It
    favorite

Tags: ,

Friday, December 14, 2012

25 Days Project: Napa Valley Coffee Roasting Co.

Posted By on Fri, Dec 14, 2012 at 10:40 AM

nvrc.jpg
Juan Salcito is a Napa local who, at age 19, is community-building—in a coffee shop. It’s where he works and where I go with friends, the Napa Valley Coffee Roasting Company. Locally owned and operated, the Roasting Company has been serving coffee on the corner of Main and First streets for the past 27 years. Walk in, and you feel the presence of low-key friendliness in a Victorian storefront where you can sip a Cappuccino—with or without your beret—watching from the window seat as tourists march by, desperately seeking Starbucks, newly opened across the street. Locals (Juan and myself among them) feel loyalty to “our” Roasting Company, where the air is rife with aroma of coffee beans, roasted a few miles up the road in St. Helena, where a bulletin board announces local happenings, and where the walls display paintings and photographs by Napa artists. There is no pushy merchandising here, just coffee and conversation. Juan tells me he wants to revive a music night in the coffee shop so teens can have a place to congregate and express themselves, and a poetry night so older patrons can do the same. Now that’s exceptional service. 938 Main St., Napa. 707.224.2233.


The 25 Days Project is an online series through the month of December spotlighting some of our favorite local businesses. Read more about the project here, and about our commitment to shopping locally here.

  • Pin It
    favorite

Tags: ,

Thursday, December 13, 2012

25 Days Project: Northbay Computer Systems

Posted By on Thu, Dec 13, 2012 at 6:45 AM

computerkey.jpg
The best thing about that band of dweebs or gang of nerds or whatever they’re called is their personalized cars. Let’s not forget that this PC repair team from the big yellow and blue store uses these cars to provide mediocre, overpriced service that eventually devolves into a suggestion to buy one of their new computers. And when you drop off an ailing laptop or desktop, service takes forever, despite their seemingly large team of technicians. Located in the Sun Valley area in west San Rafael, NorthBay Computer Systems has been helping PC owners get back online and on task since 1995, without the pushy sales speak, long turnaround times and exorbitant costs. The staff provides network setup and server administration in addition to virus removal and the recovery of a crashed hard drive. Ed von Emster has patronized both. “NorthBay fixed our desktop in a few days, were easy to deal with, and also offered great advice and free service on virus protection software,” says the longtime Marin resident, who was burned by that other place one time too many. “We had them transfer files from our old desktop to a new one,” he says of the alliterative big-box. “That took almost two weeks!”—David Sason



The 25 Days Project is an online series through the month of December spotlighting some of our favorite local businesses. Read more about the project here, and about our commitment to shopping locally here.

  • Pin It
    favorite

Tags: ,

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

25 Days Project: Video Droid

Posted By on Wed, Dec 12, 2012 at 5:40 AM

VIdeoDroid.jpg
In an age of Netflix and Redbox and Hulu and Amazon Instant Video and This Super Shady Site My Friend Sent Me the Link To, how does an old-fashioned video rental store like Video Droid survive? Easy: knowing their shit. If you’ve ever pined for the ignoramuses at Hollywood Video to reopen, this isn’t your place. If you’ve ever pined to walk into a store and suddenly find yourself in fervent discussion about John Cassavetes, Akira Kurosawa or Billy Wilder, then look no further. (Video Droid even has a special director’s section for “Alan Smithee.” Film buffs get it.) Often I’ll be looking for something from some forgotten director made in some forgotten year with some forgotten actress, and lo, it shall be waiting for me on the shelf. Or, on several occasions, it’ll be ordered for me. “But I’m only going to rent it once,” I protest. “That’s OK. We’ll put it in stock. Someone else might want to watch it, too.” In fact, this has translated into a new “Customer Picks” shelf—films that were specially ordered just because someone asked for them. How many other stores can you name that let you curate their inventory? Now in a new location but with the same beautifully nerdy passion and massive inventory of both rentals and sales, Video Droid gets two thumbs up. 1462 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa, 707.526.3313.—Gabe Meline



The 25 Days Project is an online series through the month of December spotlighting some of our favorite local businesses. Read more about the project here, and about our commitment to shopping locally here.

  • Pin It
    favorite

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

25 Days Project: Golden Carrot Natural Foods

Posted By on Tue, Dec 11, 2012 at 4:30 PM

GoldenCarrot.jpg
I can picture the red-haired Lorna Bridsall in another age, holding court in a Celtic cottage where dried herbs hang thickly from the rafters and more than one cauldron steams fragrantly over the peat fire. There, Lorna’s calm presence would have a placebo effect, getting clients to start healing even before she gave them their herbs. For a shopkeeper of the 21st century, Lorna comes pretty close to that archetype at her corner store, Golden Carrot Natural Foods. When I drop in to pick up something organic or hard-to-find, she’s usually listening patiently to someone about an ache, pain or dietary challenge; she responds not as a salesperson but as an empathetic and knowledgeable healer who’s been through it all herself and genuinely loves to help people. Small wonder her few employees do not turn over. It’s like a family. The other day her employees threw Lorna a private birthday party in the back of the store; when I came in they showed me what they’d created for her—an intricately adorned scene, replete from ceiling to table with nesting birds and bits of forest treasures. Pretty Celtic-looking, I thought, and pretty loving. You can’t buy this at Whole Foods. 1621 W. Imola Ave., Napa, 707.224.3117.—Juliane Poirier



The 25 Days Project is an online series through the month of December spotlighting some of our favorite local businesses. Read more about the project here, and about our commitment to shopping locally here.

  • Pin It
    favorite

Tags: ,

Monday, December 10, 2012

25 Days Project: Starbase No. 1 Arcade

Posted By on Mon, Dec 10, 2012 at 10:27 AM

Starbase.jpg
In the late ’70s and much of the 1980s, when people wanted to play the latest video games, they didn’t turn on the TV and fire up the PlayStation. They went down to the nearest video arcade, dropped some quarters into the blinking, blurring, electronic-music-making machine of their choice, and were transported—right there in public—into a world of space invaders, centipedes, Pac-Men, paperboys and asteroids. Today, the once-thriving arcade biz has been driven to near-extinction by the multibillion dollar, often-internet-driven home-video-game business, providing an endless stream of interactive entertainment for the lonesome formats of television, laptops, tablets and cell phones. But there are still a few places to play your favorite game in public, alongside others who still appreciate the noisy thrill of the live arcade experience. Video Bob’s Starbase No. 1 Arcade, in downtown San Rafael, is a good, old-fashioned, bells-and-whistles mom-and-pop operation, not unlike the one nostalgically portrayed in the hit animated movie Wreck-It Ralph. One of the last dedicated arcades in the Bay Area, Star Base Arcade, run for years by Bob Allbritten, is a splash of newfangled video magic with the pleasantly retro charm of days gone by. 1545 Fourth St., San Rafael, 415.459.7655.—D.T.



The 25 Days Project is an online series through the month of December spotlighting some of our favorite local businesses. Read more about the project here, and about our commitment to shopping locally here.

  • Pin It
    favorite

Tags: ,

Find It

Submit an event

Facebook Activity

Twitter

Read more @nbaybohemian

Copyright © 2016 Metro Newspapers. All rights reserved.

Website powered by Foundation