Fenton’s Creamery, an ice cream parlor on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland, CA. Photographed by and © David Corby, 2006
The business district of Piedmont Avenue starts at the bottom of MacArthur and stretches up the hill to Pleasant Valley/51st Street. On almost any given day of the year in this North Oakland neighborhood, people of all ages line up at Fenton’s Creamery to enjoy a scoop of ice cream, or a famous malted milkshake. The beloved Fenton’s was established in 1893, signifying Piedmont Avenue as one of the older neighborhoods in Oakland.
Truly, the shopping street used to play a key role in trans bay transport, as it was home to the Key System’s “C Line,” which ran a street car from the East Bay to San Francisco until the 1950’s. A few other noteworthy spots include architect Julia Morgan’s brick building at 40th street, which was built in 1916; Piedmont Theater, built in 1917; Michelin-starred restaurant Commis; as well as countless other specialty shops for wine, cheese, yarn, prescription glasses, shoe repair, eclectic and vintage clothing, massage, nail and salon services, movie rentals, bubble tea, and more. It is easy to understand why those who live nearby visit this shopping street nearly every day to eat, drink, shop, or go to the movies.
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