The design of the Berkeley Fern’s Garden store on Solano will be similar to the Long Beach store shown here. Photo: Fern’s Garden

FERN’S GARDEN Good news for local artisans and “ethical” consumers: Fern’s Garden is coming to Solano Avenue in March in the space formerly occupied by Sal’s Pharmacy. Company president Fern Solomon, a member of, told Berkeleyside: “We currently operate a store in Long Beach … and the Berkeley store will be similar to our Southern California store in selling handcrafted and fair-trade gift items made by local and international artists. After being in Long Beach for 17 years it is a true thrill to be opening up a second location in Berkeley to support the art community.” Solomon said her daughter, a Cal grad, lives in Berkeley and helped her find the space on Solano after a five-year search. “I just love the vibe in Berkeley, it feels like my people,”  she said. The target date for opening is March 15. Fern’s Garden, 1831 Solano Ave. (at Colusa), Berkeley 94707. Tel: 1-800-759-0871. Connect with Fern’s Garden on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

New co-working offices Cotton CORE Spaces are at 3220 Sacramento St. Photo: Cotton CORE Spaces

COTTON CORE SPACES In January, Ria Cotton, a Realtor with Eden Hearth Fine Properties, opened Cotton CORE Spaces on Sacramento (at Alacatraz) to offer co-retailing and co-working rental spaces (CORE). Shared spaces means small businesses and entrepreneurs have access to private offices, kitchenettes, conference rooms, print and copy capabilities, wifi and more. Raised in Berkeley and a graduate of BHS, Cotton said she started her satellite real-estate office in South Berkeley “because as the neighborhoods become more diverse I see the potential in this area. I am hopeful more businesses will move into these vacant storefronts as well. My office location, formerly a therapy office, lists homes and commercial space, including co-working and co-retailing space that is available. By providing these opportunities, I would like to see business owners thrive in the community.” Cotton CORE Spaces, 3220 Sacramento St., Berkeley 94702, Tel: 510-385-0409Open 9 a.m.  to 7 p.m., seven days a week. Connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Levels Barber & Shop has opened on Addison Street. Photo: Mary Corbin

LEVELS BARBER & SHOP A new men’s barber shop has opened on Addison between Shattuck and Oxford. You can find it easily by the traditional barber shop pole out front. Services offered include fades and mohawks with a nod to the past with buzz cuts, beard trims and straight razor shaves with a hot towel treatment. Discounts are available for kids, seniors and Cal students. Levels Barber & Shop, 2110 Addison St. Berkeley 94704  Tel: 510-529-4657. Open Tues. – Fri., 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Connect with them on Facebook and Instagram.

Redbird on Domingo Avenue is now Radbird Fashion and Consignment. Photo: Radbird

RADBIRD FASHION AND CONSIGNMENT In the space that used to be Redbird opposite the Domingo Avenue entrance to the Claremont Hotel, a new consignment shop has opened. Radbird owner Lori Tiedemann told Berkeleyside: “I worked for the previous owner of Redbird and she spoke to me about starting my own store after she retired. We sell quality, well-made consignment clothing, along with some new local designers and basics. Our consignment is extremely well curated — each piece is not necessarily a designer item but a quality piece that will last a lifetime. We hope to show the community that fast fashion is not the way to go and that paying a little more for a quality piece means that you will keep it for a lifetime and not just a season.” The shop had its grand opening on Feb. 11 and is now open for business every day except Monday. Radbird2938 Domingo Ave. (near Ashby), Berkeley 94705. Tel: 510-845-0142. Open 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Tues. through Sat., and Sun. 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Connect with them on Facebook and Instagram.

Shop Talk is our regular column in which we post updates on Berkeley businesses. If you’re a Berkeley business with news, or a Berkeleyside reader 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 catch up with all food business news with our Nosh coverage.

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...