Alameda in business: DeLauer's Super Newsstand

Alameda in business: DeLauer's Super Newsstand

Michael Lano
DeLauer's

Photo by Michele Ellson.

Amidst many relatively new shops and restaurants on and surrounding Park Street – hopefully keeping people shopping in our city – is one that truly stands out with its own tremendous bit of East Bay history.

DeLauer's Super Newsstand (1412 Park Street) opened an historic second location last fall right here on Park Street. The original DeLauer's on Broadway in Oakland has been open continuously since 1907 and has a long and colorful history. The newsstand was the subject of much television, radio and print coverage in 2008 when it almost closed. But its very friendly current owner, Fasil Lemma, and manager James Hartig received tremendous local support from citizens, then-Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown, Congresswoman Barbara Lee and other elected Oakland officials who helped save it.

DeLauer’s has had only two ownership changes in its 100+ years. The son of the newsstand’s original founder and owner, Charlie DeLauer knew he had a dedicated long-time employee in Lemma when he helped save the Broadway location, assuming and rectifying all its debt. Now-owner Lemma has brought a second location to the Island, and people from all over are visiting and leaving with dropped jaws at its broad selection of magazines.

Because DeLauer’s specializes in often unique and unusual items, it's a great fit for Alameda and a good compliment to Books Inc. up the street. From its large offering of newspapers, including some foreign papers like the The Guardian and Le Monde diplomatique, there was no finer spot to check out Sochi Olympics coverage with a non-U.S. point of view.

DeLauer’s does carry some of the same magazines as Books Inc., but it goes beyond offering the most desirable titles, featuring sports and celebrity entertainment magazines from France, Italy, Russia, and Germany like Paris Match and Der Speigel; movie and television reporter bibles like The Hollywood Reporter and Variety; sci-fi, monster and horror movie titles; and much more. The newsstand offers sports forms, too – behind the counter.

In addition to newspapers and magazines, DeLauer's also offers comic books from Marvel, Dark Horse, DC, and Image, to name a few. If you love the world of pro wrestling, boxing or Mixed Martial Arts sports like Ultimate Fighting Championship, DeLauer's has almost every known publication. And Hartig is happy to order any additional titles Alamedans might request.

DeLauer's also has classic nostalgia candy and food and drink items from all over the U.S. and beyond for sale. If you've been missing unique sodas sold only on the East Coast, DeLauer's might just quench your curious thirst. The newsstand stocks retro candies dating from the early 1900s through the 1960s like Blackjack and Beeman's chewing gum, McCraw's taffy, Charms, Ice Cubes and candy bars. DeLauer’s also carries lottery scratchers, Power Ball tickets and fine imported cigars.

The newsstand also sells rare sports and entertainment, music, Hollywood movie and television artifacts, which makes it feel like a growing museum for pop culture just as the larger stand in Oakland has always been with its Elvis and Marilyn Monroe photos and posters and lobby cards.

DeLauer's in Oakland has always had some very obscure and out-of-print sports, comedy and entertainment books, but Hartig decided to focus exclusively on magazines here in Alameda.

Over the last two decades San Francisco has lost most of its classic newspaper and magazine stores, like long-gone Harold's on Geary Street. But DeLauer’s is defying that trend.

"I think that having DeLauer's now in Alameda is a wonderful thing but we still get people who stumble upon the store, unaware that we've been here since September of last year,” Hartig said. “We do our best to offer a fantastic and unparalleled selection of periodicals with some very hard to find titles. And we offer a bit of nostalgia for customers who appreciate print and the history of the newsstand.

“I think it's particularly interesting that in a day and age where the Internet has rendered some print altogether nearly obsolete, a unique institution like DeLauer's is defying the odds and branching out in Alameda," he said.

Comments

Submitted by Bill Garvine (not verified) on Thu, Mar 13, 2014

I love having a DeLauer's here in Alameda. Amazing selection of publications, and the staff is really, really nice!