Reinvention is the philosophy behind Ohmega Salvage General Store on San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley. Transform your humdrum living room with a bird's-eye maple mantel rescued from a failed restaurant, the idea goes. And lately the shop's neighborhood in west Berkeley is experiencing its own renaissance.
Anchoring the resurgence is the newly opened third outpost of Caffe Trieste, the coffee shop and opera house founded in the 1950s in San Francisco's North Beach. Near Trieste, on Dwight Way, a copse of inventive home stores has emerged, with handmade furniture, antiques, and custom lighting shops sharing space with a groovy ecology center, an excellent nursery, a global range of restaurants, and plenty of car-repair shops. Along these blocks, a shopper could transform her whole life.
Arias with lattes.
WHAT: Opera to blues concerts at Caffe Trieste. Plus Italian coffees, sandwiches, pastries.
WHEN: Concerts Fri night and Sun afternoon; cafe open daily. HOW MUCH: $.
WHERE: 2500 San Pablo Ave.; 510/548-5198.
Doorknobs to foo dogs.
WHAT: Gothic chandeliers, stained glass, and more finds at 29-year-old Ohmega Salvage General Store.
WHERE: 2400 San Pablo Ave.; www.ohmegasalvage.com or 510/204-0767.
WHAT: Books, seeds, hemp accessories, and info on earth-friendly activities at Ecology Center.
WHEN: Closed Sun-Mon.
WHERE: 2530 San Pablo Ave.; 510/548-3402.
WHAT: Asian antiques, Buddha statues, and tea service in a pocket garden at De Sino Gallery.
WHEN: Closed Mon.
WHERE: 2216 San Pablo Ave.; 510/843-1449.
Gifts with attitude.
WHAT: Handbags and shirts at Dollybird.
WHEN: Closed Mon.
WHERE: 2522 San Pablo Ave.; 510/540-7255.
WHAT: Organic and rare cheeses, plus gourmet groceries at Country Cheese Co.
WHERE: 2101 San Pablo Ave.; 510/841-0752.
Meals with spice.
WHAT: Cucumber-pineapple juice and jerk chicken at Jamaican Soul.
HOW MUCH: $.
WHERE: 2057 San Pablo Ave.; 510/502-0828.