A new Target store has opened on University Avenue. Photo: Target

TARGET We first reported in November 2016 that a new, small-format Target store would open on University Avenue. One year later, on Nov. 12, it has. The store is likely to serve West Berkeley and the student community with basic essentials including easy meal solutions, multicultural food choices, beauty options and men’s and women’s apparel. The site also includes a Starbucks and a CVS pharmacy.  Target1414 University Ave. (at Acton). Store hours are Mon.-Fri.,  7 a.m. to 10 p.m, Sat., 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sun., 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Hours for CVS pharmacy: Mon.-Fri.-,  9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sat.,  9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sun: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Hours for Starbucks: Mon.-Fri., 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sat. and Sun., 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

A new online gems and jewelry boutique has been launched by a Berkeley resident. Photo: Kathryn Quigley

THESIS GEMS & JEWELRY Berkeley’s Cate Claus has launched new online business Thesis Gem & Jewelry. Claus, a local pediatrician, is an amateur gemology aficionado and collector. “Having been scammed too many times, I grew frustrated with the flagrant corruption in gems and jewelry and decided to create a higher standard,” she said. To maintain a better value for customers, she has no plans to open a brick-and-mortar store. Her collection, comprised exclusively of jewelry made by artisans from Berkeley and San Francisco, is available on her website and at Zaver and Mor in North Berkeley. Claus plans to have pop-ups every few months and is available by appointment as well. Her next pop-up shop is scheduled for Dec. 9 at Neyborly at 2518 San Pablo Ave., from 5-7 p.m. She will also be featured in the upcoming Berkeley Artisans Holiday Open Studios. A resident of Berkeley for eight years, Claus said, “I think Berkeley has an incredible wealth of artisans with true understanding of craftsmanship.” Thesis Gems & Jewelry, Connect on Facebook and Instagram

Curbside EVC station at the West Branch of the Berkeley Public Library. Photo: Tom McGuire

ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING STATIONS Ownership of electric vehicles is on the rise in Berkeley. As part of the City of Berkeley’s Climate Action Plan, the Berkeley Public Library added a public Electric Vehicle Charging (EVC) station at its West Berkeley branch in mid-May 2017 and more stations are in development. There are currently three other public EVC sites in Berkeley. This one runs on solar energy, powered by solar panels on the rooftop of the library. It’s also the only public station situated curbside. Fees are $1.5o per hour with a two-hour charging limit. Other public stations in Berkeley are located at the Oxford garage, the Telegraph/Channing garage and the Berkeley Marina.  All of the city’s EVC’s are managed through Chargepoint, which allows you to pay using your phone. One more EVC station is in the works. “The Center Street garage is currently on schedule to reopen in May 2018, with 20 Level- 2 EVC station spaces and the potential to increase to 57 spaces,” Sarah Moore, sustainability planner with the City of Berkeley, said. At the end of 2016, there were approximately 1,500 electric vehicles registered to Berkeley owners. To learn more, visit the City of Berkeley’s web page on EVC stations which includes other resources for electric car owners in Berkeley. BPL West Berkeley Branch, 1125 University Ave. (near San Pablo), Berkeley 94702. Tel: 510-981-6270. The charging station at the West Branch Library is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Check website for up-to-date library hours and special closures.

The retail space occupied by Jeffrey’s Toys on Fourth Street is now empty. Photo: Tracey Taylor
The retail space occupied by Jeffrey’s Toys on Fourth Street is now empty. Photo: Tracey Taylor

JEFFREY’S TOYS The Jeffrey’s Toys store at 1810 Fourth St. has closed and moved to San Francisco. The store, owned and operated by the Luhn family, originated in San Francisco in 1966, and opened in Berkeley in October 2015, taking over the space of the former toy store, The Ark. After two years on Fourth Street, Jeffrey’s Toys closed its doors due to “lack of sufficient business sales.” The new San Francisco location opened on Oct. 27. It’s not known who will take over the vacant space on Fourth Street.  Jeffrey’s Toys, 45 Kearney St., San Francisco 94108. Tel: (415) 291-8697.

Shop Talk is Berkeleyside’s regular Berkeley local business column. 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 editors@berkeleyside.com. 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...