Goodbye, American Apparel: Businesses that students actually want on Southside

Priyanka Karthikeyan/File

If you’re ever on Southside, you’ll notice one thing: There are a bunch of vacant spaces that were once home to some of your favorite spots around campus. We’re talking about the beloved Yogurtland, American Apparel, Smart Alec’s, Eatsa and whatever the makeshift art gallery next to the Bank of America was (if you actually know what this store is, please let us know). As you make your way to class and pass by the many “For Lease” signs on the windows of these empty units, you’ve probably wondered what these locations would become. We at the Clog don’t actually know which stores are going to occupy these vacant spots, but we do know what people are hoping will fill these spaces. Here’s a look at what we hope the new kids on the block will look like. Hopefully.

Healthy and delicious options

Now that Eatsa is closed and the lines at Mezzo have grown longer and longer, there needs to be another quick and healthy option for grab and go bites. There are many healthy options in Downtown, such as Tender Greens, Sweetgreen and Organic Greens (we know, that’s a lot of greens), and it would be nice to have some more healthy options to stop by between classes on Southside! We at the Clog feel that a Lemonade would be nice to have. Your SoCal favorite in Berkeley? Yes please!

Coffee shops

We want more coffee shops on Southside for stu(dying) and overcaffeination! Although there are numerous coffee shops around campus, they’re always packed with students. There is literally nothing worse than going into a coffee shop and finding that there are no seats available. These are supposed to be coffee shops, not Moffitt! Having another place to casually grab coffee (good coffee at that), study or meet up with friends would be great for everyone. Imagine all of the student organization interviews that could take place in a potential new coffee shop.

Pet cafe

What’s a better way to deal with the stress of school than to consume large amounts of coffee and enjoy the company of adoptable animals? It doesn’t get any better than this. Cat or dog cafes are typically coffee shops that have adoptable animals roaming around so you can enjoy your treats while playing with the animals. The closest pet cafe to Berkeley is Cat Town Cafe, a cat cafe in Oakland. How awesome would it be if there was one right off of campus? 

Chick-fil-A or In-N-Out

We have all probably thought about this one. This one speaks for itself. This one probably won’t happen, but hey, a Golden Bear can dream.

Acai bowls and juices

The acai bowls from Jamba Juice and Organic Coup just aren’t cutting it. We know what you’re probably thinking: It’s just a smoothie bowl. But here’s the thing: Not all acai bowls are made the same. An acai bowl spot would the perfect place for breakfast, a post-workout snack or a quick bite. Think about how great this would be on a warm day (or any day, really). Imagine yourself on the Glade or Sproul enjoying a delicious and healthy acai bowl with your friends.

Just good places to eat in general

Don’t get us wrong — there are plenty of places to eat on Southside, but it can get tiring after a while. Some new and inexpensive food places where you can grab a bite with friends would be a great addition to this side of town. The Clog would love to see some more Japanese restaurants. A good sushi place on Southside would definitely be a game changer (R.I.P. Joshu-Ya).  

American Apparel

Sad reacts only to the closure of this spot almost a year ago. But all jokes aside, where else are we supposed to find last-minute party outfits or comfortable basics? Please don’t say Brandy Melville. Please.


Contact Allison Fong at [email protected].