Blogging Bayport Alameda

July 30, 2013

Round my Hometown Donuts

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda Point, Business — Lauren Do @ 6:00 am

Despite the fact that no one seems to want chains around and everyone wants “small local businesses” to pop up into every vacant storefront it’s tough for some retail store fronts to actually stay in business despite all those people out there insisting that they hate big corporate baddies and love to embrace the small mom and pop shops.

Case in point. At the corner of Main and Atlantic/Appezzato there has been a series of businesses since I’ve moved here that have come and gone. The only thing that remains consistent is the donut shop, which literally has survived on selling calorie laden donuts (mmmm) and a sundry of other random things, but whatever they are doing keeps them in business.

Since I moved to Alameda eight years ago the store front two doors down has been vacant, then it was the original out post for Everett & Jones until Everett & Jones moved to Webster Street where it lasted not that long and then left Alameda, figuring that if Alamedans wanted barbecue they could just go to Jack London. Then it became Ben’s Barbecue which, I’m guessing, wanted to capitalize on the fact that the spot used to be an Everett & Jones, but Ben’s BBQ didn’t last that long either. The few times I was there it was a ghost town. After Ben’s BBQ it was Rio California which was really good — and has been in business in Oakland’s Preservation Park forever so it’s not as though the owners didn’t know how to run a business — but didn’t have enough business in Alameda to stay afloat. Then it became the second outpost for Park Street’s Taqueria Viva Mexico and their stay at Main and Atlantic/Appezzato was also pretty shortlived. Probably because their hours of operation were pretty weird. Every time we tried to stop in, they seemed to be closed and my kids really enjoyed the food there.

The other day I noticed that there was yet another “open” sign in that store front after the Taqueria moved out. I hadn’t had time to check it out, but a neighbor on Twitter noted that it was a new Thai restaurant. So here it is: Monkey Thai. Here’s a menu from grub hub because I can’t seem to find a real website for the restaurant.

Of course the exception to the “we want local mom and pop places” is always the Asian restaurant exception.  In that people think that there are too many “Asian” restaurants in Alameda.   Of course this disregards the fact that Asia is a huge diverse place with many unique cultures and not some monolithic place where one Asian cuisine is virtually indistinguishable from the next.     It’s akin to saying that there’s too much “European” food out there and making the assumption that British food is exactly the same as Italian food.    I’m pretty sure I’ve ranted about this once before, but even within Asian countries there are regional cuisines that have their own unique flavor profiles as well.

So here’s to Monkey Thai staying in business in that really difficult location.   I’m looking forward to trying the “Winging”  which is fried chicken wings topped with crispy basil and a sweet chili sauce.  Yum….

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5 Comments

  1. We have ‘Monkey Bars’ and ‘Monkey King Pub and Grub’ and now ‘Monkey Thai’.

    Comment by frank — July 30, 2013 @ 6:28 am

  2. Reblogged this on Melanie Bennett and commented:
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    Comment by Melanie — July 30, 2013 @ 6:48 am

  3. I guess donuts do well because the soccer fields out that way attract lots of hungry kids whose parents have limited time. Also, even in a recession, people like a treat. If you don’t have the cash to go out to dinner, at least you have enough for a donut or an ice cream cone. Some business locations seem doomed. I wonder if anyone has ever done a study to determine the number of business licenses have been associated with a particular address. It’s amazing to me how many people start businesses without doing any real research at all. Others see being their own boss as being the ticket to flexible hours and less stress. HA! If you do start your own business, and expect it to support you, you better be willing to live and breathe that sucker 24/7 for several years before you even get an inkling of whether or not you’re going to make it. My parents had their own business, were very successful, put five kids through college and retired comfortably. Before that happened, they worked seven days a week, took one week off a year and, considering they watched both the “Today” and the “Tonight” shows, could not have gotten more than 6 hours of sleep a night for 25 years. That was in the 1950s, 60s, and early 70s, too, when money fell from the sky. I agree with Lauren. If you don’t want Wal-Mart, you should really make an effort to support your local independent businesses. Yes, you’ll spend a little more money. It’s worth the investment.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — July 30, 2013 @ 9:11 am

  4. And in other epicurean news for the west end, Chicha Bistro http://www.chichabistro.com/ has opened up in the old Frog and Fiddle – authentic peruvian cuisine, and the owner is the most fantastic, friendly family ever (of course I might be slightly biased since I used to work with them), and no they didn’t make my pisco extra strong just to get me to say that!

    The other evening I was walking by the hole in the wall with the signs for a greek deli coming soon (the signs have been up for a year or more ) and someone was doing some work. I asked if they were getting ready to open and he said they were hoping to in a month.

    Comment by Doug Biggs — July 30, 2013 @ 10:10 am

  5. Good news for both! We have enjoyed the Furia Chalaca on Broadway in Oakland, which does Peruvian cuisine, and it will be nice to have a Greek place on Webster, too.

    Comment by Kate Quick,. — July 30, 2013 @ 10:38 am


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