Montclair “pop-up” takes time out

MONTCLARION: January 26, 2011

It was fun while it lasted. After two trailblazing months, the pop-up shop Montclair Collective has closed for retooling.

Co-owner Reenie Raschke says November and December were “wonderful” for the collective of craftsmen and women. “Great response — total love-fest,” she says, adding that what started with a few local artisans turned into a place where neighbors came down with their pottery, photography and even musical instruments.

“We also had workshops on soap making, backyard chicken farming and a ton of musicians coming in,” she says.

But Raschke’s husband, Greg, has done the math. It will cost $400,000 to do the build-out for what they’ve planned next — a farm-to-table market that will complement, not compete with, other Montclair businesses.

“So now, we close the doors and are visiting ranches, fishermen, bakeries, coffee makers, pie makers,” says Raschke, “and working with counselors, builders, etc. to see if it will fly.” The last step, she says, is to speak with the landlords — all of them — to figure out how this kind of market can work for everyone in the Village and be fair for all.

A butcher, a baker and perhaps a candlestick maker all in one shop? Pinch me if I’m dreaming, but I’m hoping this fairy tale can come true.

Crime log: Craigslist may put buyers and sellers together, but it also puts criminals with victims. Oakland police say there’ve been a series of armed robberies involving people responding to auto ads placed outside of Oakland. Once the verbal deal is made, the seller directs the buyer to a Lake Merritt neighborhood, where the victim is ambushed and robbed at gunpoint. Needless to say, be careful when you’re doing business in unfamiliar locations with people you don’t know.

Speaking of protection, Han Martial Arts has moved in where the old Full Plate was operating in the Village Square near Italian Colors. Master Jiwhan Han was a 2000 Olympian whose father was an Olympian at the 1972 Munich Games. The school focuses on taekwondo, judo and yongmudo for the whole family.

On stage: To say the Berkeley Rep’s latest offering is haunting is an understatement. Anyone who lived through the tumultuous times marked by the assassination of George Moscone and Harvey Milk must see “Ghost Light,” the world premier production directed by Moscone’s son, Jonathan. Like a dream laced with laughter and fear, you’ll be thrust back in time to 1978, when one man with a gun changed the course of history. The play runs trough Feb. 19.

Animal tales: Somewhere in Rheem, there may or may not be an ostrich running loose. The sign on the pet shop window says Shirley the ostrich is lost, but all attempts to contact the owner have gone into voice mail. Meanwhile, the man behind the counter in the pet shop says the whole thing may be a hoax. You think?


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