Andronico’s on Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley. Photo: Tracey Taylor

SAFEWAY COMMUNITY MARKETS The transition of Andronico’s after being acquired by Safeway picked up some big momentum over the weekend. The two stores in Berkeley, located at 1550 Shattuck Avenue (at Cedar) and 1850 Solano Avenue (at Fresno), have begun the process of inventory liquidation which will continue until the store is cleared out for its transition into the new brand of Safeway Community Markets. CEO for Andronico’s, Suzy Monford, told Berkeleyside, “We will begin a liquidation sale on the entire store at 30-50% off while keeping produce and dairy inventory stocked for the duration of the sale. We anticipate liquidation will  last about 4 or 5 days after which we will close for a couple of weeks for repairs and a remodel.” Wendy Gutshall, a Safeway spokeswoman, added: “Once the Berkeley stores have closed we will take time to install Safeway systems, stock the store and provide employee training. The goal is to reopen the Berkeley stores by early March.” Most of the artisanal product lines, specialty areas and staff of Andronico’s will be retained as detailed in early November. Andronico’s has three other stores in the Bay Area that are also closing.

THE EVENT CENTER A new rental venue for hosting events has opened in the former Black Oak Books space that closed last year at 2618 San Pablo Avenue (near Carleton). In fact, it is even called the Event Center and is expressly for that purpose: weddings, parties, music events, business meetings, trainings, and corporate events. According to the website, the 7,000-square-foot-space has “a state-of-the-art kitchen and multimedia capabilities”. For booking information, visit the website. The Event Center, 2618 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley 94710 Tel: 877-414 3836. Connect with them on Instagram

FARROW & BALL The home design shop in West Berkeley’s Fourth Street shopping district is now open. Farrow & Ball is a supplier of interior and exterior eco-friendly paint finishes, wall coverings, and products for preparation and application, as previously reported in an October installment of Shop Talk.  Farrow & Ball, 1813 Fourth St., Berkeley 94710,  510-848 8153. Open Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sun. 12-5 p.m. Connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest.

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 at Read previous Shop Talk columns, and check out Bites for the latest East Bay restaurant news.

Mary Corbin is a writer and artist who has lived in Berkeley for over 30 years. Mary moved to the Bay Area from St. Louis to attend California College of the Arts in Oakland where she completed her BFA...