New: Drate Pharmacy

DISCOUNT DRUGS Kenneth Okwuegbe, who worked for CVS for years, opened Drate Pharmacy about five weeks ago at 2930 Shattuck near Ashby. Drate is a discount pharmacy offering generic drugs at prices lower than you can get in the big chains, said Okwuegbe, who originally hails from Nigeria. “Berkeley is a beautiful place,” he said. “It’s a place where everyone can fit in. Berkeley supports small businesses. It will support the little guy, like us.”

New: Biketopia

HIGH REGARD FOR TWO WHEELS Zach Cohen wasn’t a bicycle enthusiast until he moved to Berkeley four years ago. Now he’s hooked on bicycling as a way to reduce his carbon footprint and help the community. His new venture, Biketopia, which opened in January, is a bicycle store and community center rolled into one. At the nonprofit “community workshop,” at 1752 Alcatraz Ave. near Adeline, people can buy parts, get a new bike, or sign up for fix-it workshops. Cohen also has an extensive internship program that teaches at-risk youth how to build and repair bicycles. Businesses interested in promoting biking to their employees can contract with Biketopia to come in and perform regular bike tune-ups. By joining Biketopia as a member, rates are reduced.

New: Walk In Closet

PASSION FOR FASHION Natalie Ridley’s new contemporary women’s clothing store, Walk In Closet at 1820 B-1 Solano Avenue, has only been open a week but business is already booming. With pictures of new arrivals quickly posted on Facebook and couches and chairs set up around the store, this former Nordstrom employee has created a store that conveys her “passion for fashion.” “At Walk In Closet we’re not just selling clothes, we’re offering a lifestyle,” Ridley wrote on the store’s webpage. “Our goal is to allow every girl to feel well-dressed and well-prepared to take on the world.” An Albany native, Ridley has fond memories of shopping on Solano Avenue. “There was no other place I wanted to be than Solano Avenue. This is home.”

Shop Talk is our regular column in which we post updates on Berkeley businesses — openings, closings, new directions, relaunches, relocations. If you’re a Berkeley business with news, or a Berkeleysider who has spotted a change in your neighborhood or on your travels, shoot us an email with the details. Read previous Shop Talk columns here.

Berkeleyside publishes many articles every day. To see all our stories in chronological order, and read ones you may have missed, check out All the News.

Avatar photo

Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...