The Cutting Edge opened six months ago on College Avenue. Photo: Dionne Green

THE CUTTING EDGE A new shop for optical wear and services opened six months ago on College Avenue in the Elmwood Village shopping complex. (Emery Bay Optics, which was the previous occupant of the space, moved to Emeryville, then closed that location in February.) the Cutting Edge is the sister store to Montclair Optical in Oakland, which has been in business for over 30 years. The independent and locally owned store specializes in original eyewear made by hand. It also provides eye-care services with an on-site lab. The owner, who goes simply by Julia, took over the business on Nov. 17, and her daughter, Anissa, primarily runs the Berkeley location. A grand opening event is in the works. Cutting Edge, 2980 College Ave., (at Webster), Ste. 3, Berkeley 94705. Tel: 510-529-4102. Open Tues. – Sat., 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sun. and Mon. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  

Compass Real Estate is moving into the space previously occupied by Lewin’s Metaphysical Books at 2644 Ashby Ave.. Photo: Christian Klugmann
Compass Real Estate is moving into the space previously occupied by Lewin’s Metaphysical Books at 2644 Ashby Ave.. Photo: Christian Klugmann

COMPASS REAL ESTATE Andrea Gordon and Compass Real Estate are opening an office in the space formerly occupied by Lewin’s Metaphysical Books on Ashby Avenue in the Elmwood. (Lewin’s, which had been in business in Berkeley since 1965, closed last year.) Gordon has been a realtor in the Bay Area for more than 21 years, working with Coldwell Banker and Red Oak Realty before moving  to Compass in  January 2019. “I frequented Lewin’s Metaphysical Books and I want the space to be a creative and inspiring place for all my clients who come in,” Gordon said. The space was recommended to her by friend Jon Moriarty who owns 14 Karats nearby. An opening event is planned for April 19,  5 to 7:30 p.m., with food by Hugh Groman, a gallery showing of artist Karii Rurup-Coleman and jazz duo Eric Lenchner and Bing Nathan. Compass Real Estate, 2644 Ashby Ave., Berkeley 94705. Tel: 510-421-6818. The office will be open Mon. – Fri., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with variable hours for appointments.

Kid Dynamo in North Berkeley is closing. Photo: Kid Dynamo

KID DYNAMO The boutique specializing in clothing, accessories and books and toys for babies, toddlers and children is closing its doors soon. Located near the Walnut Square shopping enclave, the Vine Street store, which is co-owned by Holly Tomlinson and Erin Carter, has been in business since 2008 selling a non-toxic, organic and sustainable product line. When asked why the store was closing, Tomlinson said, “For all the reasons you can imagine businesses close in the Bay Area,” and nodded when asked if a rent increase was part of the decision to close. The store is having a blow-out sale until it closes after Easter. Kid Dynamo, 2108 Vine St. (at Shattuck), Berkeley 94709. Tel: 510-649-7446.

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 Read previous Shop Talk columns. And catch up with all food- and drink-related 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...