Fans of that Gourmet Ghetto standby, Black Oak Books, will be glad to learn that fewer than six months after its abrupt closure, it will re-open this week. But if they loved lingering over its shelves while digesting a meal from nearby Saul's or the Cheeseboard or Chez Panisse, they might be less than glad to learn that Black Oak is opening in a new location far across town.
The bulletin we've just received from insiders reveals:
"After we were forced to shut down our Shattuck Ave location in June 2009, we have been looking for a new home. We have found one! We will be reopening on Thursday Dec. 17 at 11:00 a.m. at our new location at 2618 San Pablo Ave. in Berkeley.
"A group of local investors led by Gary Cornell, the co-founder of Apress Inc. (one of the largest publishers for IT professionals in the world), stepped in to pay off IRS liens on the old Black Oak Books in June of 2008. By doing so, they bought the name and many of the assets of the old Black Oak Books. They tried very hard to keep a community icon alive. Unfortunately, high rents and the economic downturn led to continued losses and they were forced to shut down the Shattuck Ave location a year later. Nonetheless, they have hoped since then to reopen Black Oak Books somewhere in Berkeley."
They purchased the space formerly occupied by Rountree’s nightclub.
Opening hours will be extended until 8:00 p.m. from Dec. 17 through Dec. 23, and a free broadside will be given away with each purchase throughout the store's opening week. — Anneli Rufus