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Archive for the ‘Business’ Category


MAFIA Bags opens storefront on Clement near 20th Avenue

You may remember a story we did this summer on MAFIA Bags, a new company that set up shop on Clement to manufacture bags and other accessories made from recycled windsurf and kitesurf sails.

At the time, brother and sister team Marcos and Paz were only using the space as a workshop, where they disassemble sails and manufacture the pieces that are used in the final production of the bags.

But now, MAFIA has opened up a storefront in the 1914A Clement Street space, welcoming shoppers in time for the holidays. The store will also remain open year-round.

We ran into Marcos at the SFMade show at Fort Mason over the weekend. He said they’ve wanted to open a store so that their customers could come buy bags and other accessories on site, and even work with the team there to design their own custom bag. The company also recently launched their online shopping site.

The MAFIA Bags store is open weekdays from 9am to 7pm and weekends from 11am to 8pm. Mention you’re a Richmond Blog reader and Marcos and his team will have a special, mystery gift for you as well.

Oh and if anyone was wondering who that kitesurfer was out at Ocean Beach on the morning of the “Great Storm of 2014″, it was Marcos. He IS a champion kitesurfer after all. But still, don’t tell his mother.

Sarah B.

1:38 pm | Posted under Business, Shopping | 6 comments

Biz updates: Troya becomes Kitchen Istanbul; Jade Chocolates now open

Inside the new Jade Chocolates on Geary

In 2012, Troya opened its second location on Fillmore Street near California. Now, Troya is “leading a revamp of the Pacific Heights location, which is going to take a turn away from its current Turkish leanings towards more of a general Mediterranean bent,” according to EaterSF.

That means curtains for the Clement Street location, but it has already changed into Kitchen Istanbul. Kitchen Istanbul is being run by a a former Troya partner/manager, Emrah Kilicoglu, who’d been working there for the past two years. So even though it’s no longer called Troya, it sounds like the concept and cuisine will be really similar. Check out the website for more info and menus.

After a successful Kickstarter campaign, Jade Chocolates is now open at 4207 Geary near 6th Avenue. Owner Mindy Fong invites Kickstarter supporters to come in and pick up their rewards, and reminds us that “Monday is National Brownie Day. Come and get a sample of our Dragon’s Breath brownies.” They have one final inspection this morning and anticipate being open by 11am.

Sarah B.

11:17 am | Posted under Business, Food | 2 comments

Local links: Purple Skunk closing, BART to the beach?, MAFIA online, reclaimed furniture & more

Reindeer are back at the Academy of Sciences for the holidays. Photo by @calacademy

  • Lizzie, the owner of Purple Skunk Skateboard Shop at 6037 Geary wrote us to say they are closing their doors after the Christmas holidays. “After 21 years the Purple Skunk doors will be closing. Christmas week is our last retail hoorah. It’s time to retire, but on a good note. We will miss ALL of our customers that we have been serving throughout the years. We will always remember our little groms that got their first skateboard here.” The business is for sale so if you’re interested, contact the shop for more details. We’ll miss you Purple Skunk!
  • BART to the Beach? Don’t get too excited, but BART is “investigating” service expansions over the next decade that would include a second transbay tube and a new line out to the western part of the city. You can download the proposal here, which was presented to the San Francisco County Transportation Authority Board committee recently.
  • Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto. The Examiner reports that “Next spring, Washington High School in the Richmond is poised to produce one of approximately 3,000 teams to compete in an international robotics competition after students recently created the school’s first robotics club.” The 60 students who have already signed up will be broken into teams of four to focus on different aspects, including building the robot, developing its software, calculating the business and handling public relations. The program was supported by a $20,000 grant from Facebook.
  • Izakaya Ju-Ku on the corner of 19th Avenue and Clement closed a couple of weeks ago. That’s a nice corner spot but has always been challenging for restaurants. We’ll have to see what opens there next…
  • Arion Press, just inside the 14th Avenue Presidio gate, is hosting a free, holiday open house this Saturday from 11am until 6pm. Go on a tour, check out their gallery, and experience the historic bookmaking and letterpress workshop. See where their books are made, including their historic printing presses, 100-year-old machinery, and one of the largest collections of metal type in North America. Free tours of the typefoundry, press room, and book bindery take place at 12noon and 2pm.
  • Two Richmond District residents have started a new furniture business using reclaimed materials. “We started out small but then we quickly realized we have a love for working with reclaimed materials. We have now begun expanding our collection in hopes of sharing it with the community. We’re starting small with a few select pieces but will be expanding in the coming months.” You can check out their products on Etsy – we like that bathtub shelf!
  • Remember MAFIA Bags, a new business that set up a manufacuturing space in the Richmond District, making bags and accessories from recycled sails? Their online store is now up, just in time for the holidays.
4:30 am | Posted under Business, Food, Golden Gate Park, Museums, Schools, Shopping | 29 comments

Finally: Face-slapping massage business goes under

The strangest (legal) business in the neighborhood – Tata Face Slapping Massage – has finally shuttered their storefront on the corner of 14th Avenue and Geary.

The business offered “face slapping massages” that were “100% chemical free” and wait for it…cost $350 for a 15 minute session. Yup you read that right – hundreds to get your face worked over (or a bargain $1,000 for 4 sessions).

The treatments purported to “make you look like a celebrity, face slapping to look younger, and face slapping to charm your significant other”.

The business garnered national media attention for its odd-ball treatments and even odder owners, who looked and moved a lot like Power Rangers. Watch the video below to see for yourself.

The Tata Massage storefront also won awards, at least in our book, for the gaudiest storefront in the neighborhood that (coincidence?) prevented prying eyes from seeing what was on actually going on inside.

Turns out there probably wasn’t much of anything happening in there, as the face slappers closed their doors after a longer-than-expected 2 year run. But if you still want to get beautified through slapping, you can find Tata and her ancient ways online.

Word on the street is that the Geary Dance Center just down the block may be interested in the space.

Sarah B.

4:10 am | Posted under Business | 22 comments

Photo: Just a wee bit of fabric and sewing sundries

It’s not a new business, but shop Wee Scotty is new to the Richmond District. Located on Clement near 7th Avenue, the shop has “taught numerous children to sew, helped countless brides look their best on their wedding day, and designed clothing and prototyped for many local and national brands.”

Welcome Wee Scotty!

Sarah B.

10:27 am | Posted under Business | Add comments

European Foods demolished to make way for new condos & retail

A rendering of the new development coming to 3038 Clement

Always-on-top-of-it development blog Socketsite posted an update yesterday on the condominium project at 3038 Clement Street near 32nd Avenue.

As they reported back in November 2012, the property that the market sat on was being considered for a six-unit condominium development.

Fast forward two years and the market is no more. Bulldozers put the final touches on the demolition, and permits have been pulled to make way for the building which includes three two-bedroom units and three three-bedroom units.

The building will be 40 feet tall and includes parking for ten bikes and six cars over a smaller ground-floor retail space. No word yet on what will occupy the retail space.

The permit issued for the project puts the construction costs at $2,500,449. The new address for the condos will be 3032-3038 Clement Street.

Remarkably, the gas/service station on the corner next to the new condo development continues to stand, and has not yielded to what we imagine are regular “Will you sell?” inquiries from developers.

Sarah B.

5:02 am | Posted under Business, Real Estate | 17 comments

Food news: De Place will be Dragon Beaux, Mescolanza closing, more on Pivot

“De place! De place!” Reader @cassfung tells us that something is happening at the former Big Heart Video Cafe / De Place space at 5700 Geary. As you may remember, it was under construction for over a year, then finally opened as De Place, only to close a few weeks later. According to a sign on the door, “De Place” is going to become “Dragon Beaux”. We couldn’t find any info online about Dragon Beaux other than that their beer and wine liquor license is pending. “Hope the food is better than its name,” @cassfung said.

Cozy Italian restaurant Mescolanza, located on Clement near 23rd Avenue, is closing its doors after 26 years in business. On their website, restaurant owner Ruben Macedo says that the business has to relocate, and that its last day of business will be December 31. Let’s hope they find another home soon in the neighborhood.

More details have emerged about Pivot, the new wine bar opening at 443 Clement Street between 5th and 6th Avenues. According to EaterSF, the venture is spearheaded by veteran sommeliers Michael Ireland (Restaurant at Meadowood, Quince) and John Vuong (Ame, Gary Danko). Expect an “elected group of 30 wines by the glass, from $6 a glass from the keg to rare and pricey finds from the proprietors’ personal collections.” The 47 seat space will also feature a menu focused on “super high-quality snacks and light meals that pair with their wines”. They anticipate opening in Spring 2015.

Sarah B.

2:27 pm | Posted under Business, Food | 18 comments

Droolworthy: Award-winning Jade Chocolates to open store on Geary & 6th

If you’ve spent any time at the Clement Street Farmer’s Market, and you like chocolate (who doesn’t?), then you have probably sampled some Jade Chocolates. And if you haven’t, you’re missing out.

Jade Chocolates has been around for 8 years, and has won awards for its chocolates and confections that blend teas and spices from Asia and the Pacific Islands. The popular Genmai bar blends in roasted brown rice mixed with jasmine tea (and also comes as little chocolate Buddhas!), and the Dragon’s Breath bar features smokey lapsang souchang tea, roasted sesame, and red chili. Their Terracotta Bar (tamari soy sauce almonds and sea salt) won in the Best New Product category at the San Francisco Chocolate Salon.

But it’s just now that owner Mindy Fong has embarked on opening her first storefront which will be located here in the Richmond District.

The shop will be on Geary near 6th Avenue, next to the Coco Cafe. As Fong says in her Kickstarter video, she chose the space because of its central location and proximity to other businesses. And perhaps most importantly, because it will be the only artisan chocolate shop on the west side of San Francisco.

Fong’s entrepreneurial spirit came from her grandfather, who owned several businesses in San Francisco after immigrating from China. A self-taught chocolatier, Fong weaves her family’s history, heritage and influences into her confections.

In addition to selling award-winning chocolates in the new shop, Fong has plans to add a line of hot chocolates, pastries and baked goods also with Asian and Pacific Island influences.

Jade Chocolates hopes to open by the holidays but needs to raise some more funds to finish construction on the space. Check out their Kickstarter to learn more and lend your support.

So far the campaign has raised about $7,500 of its $20,000 goal. Rewards for backers range from boxes of handmade truffles to various gift baskets of Jade’s bars, confections and new hot chocolate products.

In the meantime, be sure to stop by the Jade Chocolates booth at the Clement Street Farmer’s Market every Sunday. It’s a delicious stop and I for one can’t wait to have fine chocolates just around the corner every day. :)

Sarah B.

4:15 am | Posted under Business, Food | 1 comment