Change is the buzz word


IF “CHANGE” IS THE BUZZ WORD for 2009, then Montclair Village will have no trouble keeping up. Faster then the business association can print new maps, the list of shops keeps changing. Take the sudden closure of Jamba Juice, where even the sign outside was spirited away under cover of darkness. “Actually, we knew Jamba Juice was leaving,” said the head of the Montclair Business Association, Roger Vickery. “It’s how they did it which was surprising.”

Along with Jamba Juice, the Starbucks rumor is still swirling about town, but as I reported several weeks ago, it’s the Montclair location in Southern California that’s on the corporate closure list.

Meanwhile, high rents reportedly forced the Knitting Basket to move out of Montclair (the landlord wants to bring in a shoe store or other under-represented business) and Quality Cleaners on Moraga has moved to a smaller space next door to save money. Word has it that a Jewish deli may be moving into the dry cleaner’s old spot.

Oy vey — it’s hard to keep up with the changes.

E-mail Bag: Reader Marshall Gordon had this to say about my observation that Oakland’s Glenview Neighborhood may be the next Gourmet Ghetto. “Not yet” he writes, “but it’s a great place now to walk to dinner, get a drink or get that bus into the city for a quick Saturday visit.”

He also recommends the new Peet’s Coffee and neighboring La Farine Bakery in the Dimond District.And… it turns out I’m not the one who uses the Epiphany as the new deadline to get out my Christmas cards. “I do,” says reader Boots Rule, who admits the family photo is never ready until after the holidays, and must be accompanied by a personal, hand-written note. No Xeroxed letter? I’d be at it until Valentine’s Day!

Park Paving: Oakland may be broke but Montclair Park is getting a facelift, thanks to some money from the Feds. Park and Rec’s Mark Zinns says pathway paving, basketball court and patio resurfacing and the addition of wheel-chair accessible paths to western town and the picnic area are all thanks to funds set aside under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Tube Time: Coming to a television near you — it’s Montclair Village Hardware’s own Erik Hoffmann, who was tapped to tape an episode of TV 20’s Retro Night recently. How did a hardware guy get a gig on KOFY, you ask? “I went on their Web site,” says Hoffmann, who adds there was the option to vote for a favorite old show and the option to be a host. His choice? “The Wild, Wild West” with Robert Conrad, but Hoffmann says he loves lots of old TV shows. “My head is full of trivia,” he admits. That’s better than a mouth full of nails.


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