East Bay Bridge Center: Big-box shopping
East Bay Bridge Center is one of the four big shopping centers in Emeryville, located near the Bay Bridge and the intersection of highways 80 and 580.
The center itself is a collection of big-box retail stores, such as CompUSA, OfficeMax, OfficeDepot, Toys'R'Us, and a huge parking lot in front of the buildings. The center is served by Emery-Go-Round, the free shuttle service around Emeryville shopping and accommodation locations. Plan to come by car if you are going to purchase anything bigger.
There is also a Starbucks joint and Taco Bell fast food restaurant
Trader Joe's: Organic and exotic foods
Trader Joe's is not your basic neighbourhood grocery store -- instead, they specialise in foods that are not easily available in normal stores. Normal food is carried, too.
If you have any dietary requirements, this shop is an excellent place to buy your hotel room refreshments and snacks. They have a wide variety of gluten free, low fat, kosher, sodium free and organic products among others.
Their website has a lot of information about their selection and you can find helpful hints, too. The staff seemed to be extremely glad to help.
Powell Street Plaza: Parking lot surrounded by shops
Powell Street Plaza is one of the four shopping centers in Emeryville. It makes me wonder how on earth one can fit four profitable shopping centers in a town with population of 7,000? On the other hand, Emeryville has 20,000 workers, so maybe the owners have done their math.
Anyhow, this particular shopping center has a central parking area and surrounding shops. So no idyllic strolling around with your family, as in Bay Street Shops area.
The shops, especially those selling fashion, are a little bit lower in commercial pecking order than the stores on Bay Street. There are still some perks, such as Tower Records, Circuit City and Trader Joe's. There are a few restaurants and Burger King in the area, too.
Steve Madden: Fancy Shoes and Bags
Steve Madden designs fancy, colourful shoes, bags and garments for her. There are a handful of items for him, too, but they are in so tiny minority that let's not discuss them here.
You either love or hate the design, these items are not for everyone. It is also a blessing as you do not encounter that many people wearing the same shoes or bags as you do...
The shop in Emeryville is located on Bay Street, an European style shopping area. The store is quite small, but hosts a good variety of shoes and other stuff. The prices are okay, too.
Gymboree: Clothing for the little folk
Gymboree provides clothes for children from infants up to seven years old. The garments are very colourful and the selection is good. Everything is not just baby blue and baby pink, but the whole spectum of colours is used. Excellent!
However, the prices are quite steep compared to the design and the brand. You may get better deals in Baby GAP across the street. This depends, of course, on the sales events and clearances.
The staff is helpful, as usual in the States.
Apple Store: Miniscule Apple Shop
Apple seems to be able to find the premium spots for their stores in every city with a sizable geek population. Emeryville is not an exception, the store is located on the fashionable Bay Street Shops area.
The store itself is not very huge, especially when compared to Apple's flagship store across the bay in San Francisco. The selection is still abundant and all required models are on display. There is genius bar for solving your Mac related problems and plenty of other staff to assist in purchase. The store hosts also a wide variety of workshops, check their website for schedules.
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Bay Street Shops: Shopping European style
Bay Street Shops is a newly developed shopping center in Emeryville. The parking lots are hidden from the view behind the shops and there is no "mall" feeling. Instead, the street looks like any shopping street in central Europe.
The shopping area is not huge, one street and shops for two blocks only. Still, there is a plenty of small boutiques. Most of them are chain stores, such as Banana Republic, GAP and Abercrombie and Fitch. There are a few local stores, too. All the stores are in the middle class; not top-notch, but not hard discounts either.
The restaurants are clustered in the southern end of the street, on the second floor. The selection is once again very casual, no fine dining possibilities here.
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