Truth to tell, I’m still mourning the loss of Elmwood Hardware a few years ago. But there are some signs that retailing is picking up from the depths. Keneoue Vivere opened in December, Summer Kitchen Bake Shop looks like it’s thriving, the long-running remodeling of the old Elmwood Pharmacy into a lunch place is nearly complete, and just yesterday I saw that what was once Lara’s Closet at 2926 College is going to be a hat store.

Not just any hat store, apparently. I’m not a hat person myself, but it seems that Goorin Bros has a national reputation for those that like to cover their heads. Add that to Keneoue Vivere and the long-standing Jeremy’s mini-empire and perhaps the Elmwood will become something of a fashion destination.

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Lance Knobel (Berkeleyside co-founder) has been a journalist for nearly 40 years. Much of his career was in business journalism. He was editor-in-chief of both Management Today, the leading business magazine...