SLASH DENIM Slash Denim at 2840 College Ave. has reopened its doors two months after a smoky fire damaged the inventory. The store, which sells high-end denim, is adding a mix of vintage clothes from its vintage store downstairs, according to owner Carla Bell. She opened Slash Denim eight years ago and the vintage store 35 years ago. The denim store will still carry new jeans, but will expand its vintage Levi collection, she said. On May 7, a light fixture fell from the ceiling and set part of the wall on fire, said Bell. Two people from the 7-11 store across the street spotted the flames and ran to a nearby fire station. The fire department responded at 4:20 a.m. and quickly extinguished the flames. Slash Denim held a 25%-50% off sale for two months while it was fixing the store, said Bell. The store was not insured, said Bell.
THE WHOLE CAKE The Whole Cake is coming soon to Berkeley. Since its opening in 2011, the wedding cake design company has been operating out of various commercial kitchens, but will set up shop in its own studio at 1609 San Pablo Ave. near Hopkins Street. The company was founded by Kelsey Robinson, an alumna of the Rhode Island School of Design. She had her start making anatomical medical models in Massachusetts, but discovered cake design when she returned to her hometown of San Francisco in 2005. After a stint in sculpting and printmaking, she made the full transition into cake art. The shop is scheduled to open Aug. 16 and, by the looks of her Twitter feed, the necessary equipment has already started arriving on location. Connect with The Whole Cake on Facebook.
SLYDE PILOT PROGRAM Twelve eateries in Berkeley — including popular ice cream shop CREAM, King Pin Donuts, El Burro Picante, Cheese N Stuff and Almare Gelato — are participating in a pilot program developed by SK Planet, the U.S.-based mobile commerce subsidiary of SK Telecom. According to a statement released by the company, the program will allow customers to pay for meals without a credit card or phone ever leaving their pocket. Anyone interested simply has to download SlydeNow, an app that uses “beacon technology” to detect when a person enters an eatery, then automatically pays the bill after the meal. Upon entering, store owners are sent relevant information about the customer — who is identified by a photo — which they use to complete the transaction. Customers receive a receipt as well as a coupon and loyalty points that can be put toward future purchases. According to the Kihyun Jung, chief operating officer and chief product officer of SK Planet, the goal of the program is to “facilitate connections between small businesses and their customers.” This is the first time such technology will used in a U.S. market. Connect with Slyde on Facebook or website.
Shop Talk is our regular column in which we post updates on Berkeley businesses. 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, and check out Bites for the latest East Bay restaurant news.