Local Magazine Shop Issues Celebrates Their Return to Piedmont Avenue

After a year away from the street that started it all twelve years ago, Oakland-born magazine shop Issues opened again in a new space on Piedmont Avenue this Saturday.

Lindsey Pannor
Jun 19, 2019 · 3 min read
A party-goer views one of the many magazines Issues has stocked at their new location, on June 15 at 12:53PM in Oakland, Calif. (Photag / Lindsey Pannor)

Print may be dead, but Issues is still alive and kicking.

The magazine shop, an old favorite to many in the Oakland community, returned to Piedmont Avenue this Saturday, June 15. Small business owners and partners, Noella Teele and Joe Colley, hosted a Grand Opening and 12-year-Anniversary celebration for their shop, along with their newly neighboring storefronts. From noon and five, the three spaces conjointly celebrated Issues’ opening and anniversary, as well as Mercy Vintage’s ten-year-anniversary, and Good Neighbors’ opening.

Issues spent its first eleven years in business on the corner of Glen Avenue and Piedmont Ave., at 20 Glen Ave. The business moved to 664 40th Street, closer to the MacArthur BART station in Oakland, in July of 2018. According to Teele, their expenses were getting too high as a result of their ever-expanding inventory, and being open for so many hours, thus necessitating a move. This scale of operation required a decrease in the space’s expenditure footprint.

“We had to move, or risk not being in business anymore,” Teele said.

After having operated at their 40th Street location for about a year, friend and previous renter of Issues’ new location Dana Olsen decided to combine her storefront, Neighbor, with adjacent shop Good Stock, creating the new boutique Good Neighbor. Olsen was looking for a like-minded business to take over the space, and thought of Issues.

“Dana put us in touch with her landlord, who was familiar with Issues, and believed in the mission of print. [The landlord] was able to offer us a very affordable lease,” Teele said.

In addition to affordability, Issues had had a long-standing clientele base to tap back into on Piedmont.

“We wanted to move back because there were previous customers who missed us, and asked us to move back to the neighborhood,” Teele said.

These previous customers did not disappoint. Hundreds attended the event throughout the day — at 12:30, a small group waited outside of Issues’ doors for the party to begin. Once things were up and running, according to Teele, there were at least 15–20 people in her space at a time consistently until 5:30. The shop kept their doors open until 7.

Adriana Fracchia Leigh (left) and Gabriel Erick Ramos (right) prepare food and drink during the shop’s Grand Opening on June 15, at 12:53PM. (Photag / Lindsey Pannor)

Teele herself lives a block away from the new shop, and so among the customers at the party were many of her closest friends. Adriana Fracchia Leigh, Noella’s “best adult friend” helped to organize all of the food and drink, assisted by Gabriel Erick Ramos. They served champagne and small classic paper bags of popcorn.

Irwin Swirnoff, another close friend of Teele’s, spun vinyl for the event. Swirnoff and Teele met while DJing for KUSF in 2003, and Swirnoff now plays at various prevalent music hubs in San Fransisco, such as the Great American Music Hall, and the Chapel.

For Teele, the event was a great success.

“I knew there would be a lot of people, but in reality the amount that came was actually kind of unexpected,” Teele said.

In addition to their successes at the new shop, Issues will remain open at their 40th street location, though under a new name — TIME LAPSE.

“It’s been a dream of my partner, Joe’s, to have a used bookstore. And if we wanted to keep both spaces, we knew we had to do something different,” Teele said. “TIME LAPSE will carry the kind of books we specialize in — topics on the fringe, ephemera, curiosities, etc. You could call it a space with books, and cool things.”