North Beach Business Association*Complete North Beach Directory of Businesses, News & Events

The Beach Never Sleeps: New Offerings Abound

New Businesses Bring Eclectic Wares To North Beach

Here in North Beach, it has been a mighty strange couple of weeks. As much as we’ve tried to focus on our labors, the smoky, toxic air conditions brought by the tragic Camp Fire to our north has admittedly knocked our neighborhood a little bit out of whack. And that’s only natural, in a place where our residents are used to spending so much of their time outdoors.

Being that so many of us have been sticking close to home, we're here to give you a quick review of all that's afoot on the streets of North Beach. First off, we’ve got the latest landlord shenanigans, this time at longtime tenants S&S Grocery on Grant Avenue. We await further details, but apparently the rent at 1461 Grant Avenue has been doubled. Word is, the grocer has already applied for legacy business status, but as of yet there's no info on the status of the application.

As a convenience store that is open late on this often quiet stretch of Grant Avenue, S&S Grocery has become a late night sanctuary for those walking home in the quiet wee hours. It's an oasis of light and activity on a block that is very dark after closing time, and the neighborhood would lose that buffer should the business close. Here at the SFNBBA, we are advocating for S&S grocery–as we always are, against the type of usurious landlord practices that endanger our vital small businesses. After all, it's precisely businesses like these that our organization exists to protect.

On a more positive tip, we’ve got a promising wave of new businesses opening here in North Beach. Probably the biggest news of the week is word that Italian Homemade Company has purchased the building at 526 Columbus Avenue, former home of Caffe Roma (which shuttered earlier this year). It’s clearly terrific news for this recently blighted stretch of Columbus Avenue. (As of press time, there’s no word on whether the folks at Italian Homemade will be maintaining their current location at 716 Columbus.)

Back over on Grant Avenue we’ve got a couple of interesting openings in the works as well, among them the first music store to open in North Beach in years: Flute World / JL Smith & Company. The new tenants have been busy building out the space for a few weeks now, and it looks like we’ll be seeing a grand opening soon. The outfit specializes in flutes, woodwinds, accessories and expert repair. and this is only the second location for the North Carolina company. Frankly, we can't wait to see what they have in store for the neighborhood–and we’ll keep you posted.

Meanwhile, directly around the corner, two unusual shops have landed just a few steps up the hill from Grant.  First off is Igneous Theory at 478 Union Street: an eccentric little shop that isn't actually brand-new (they’ve been open since late Summer), they focus on one-of-a-kind jewelry, gemstones and unusual objets. Their selection will have you spellbound, and it’s a perfect spot for gifts as we head into the holidays–just don't be surprised by the 12-foot pteranodon skeleton that hangs above the proceedings.

Just your run-of-the-mill pteranodon, on duty at Igneous Theory. | Photo: Amy Y., Yelp
A shergottite, part of a meteorite that arrived here from Mars. | Photo courtesy of Igneous Theory

Just a few more steps up Union Street, we welcome a curious shop that goes by the (equally curious) name of 3 Standard Stoppage. Founded by three graduates of the  San Francisco Art Institute, the shop focuses on eclectic designer fashion, but rounds out its offerings with an impressive selection of art books–including rare photobooks, some with artists' signatures. Definitely not your run-of-the-mill boutique, they carry European and Japanese collections like Crista Seya, Edwina Horl and Pronounce. Take that, Hayes Valley.

Turning our attention back to Columbus Avenue, things appear to be going strong for Barbara, the new pinseria that took the former Panta Rei space on the busy corner of Stockton Street. It’s a big space to fill, but since their opening the new owners (the group behind Il Casaro and Pasta Pop-Up) seem to be gaining momentum–and reviews are solid. Along with the rest of our new arrivals, we wish them the very best of luck.

We’ll be back with more neighborhood news–including a report on the significant recent progress we’ve made in our ongoing effort to clean up our neighborhood’s alleys and sidewalks. So make sure to check back here soon!

All Posts

Featured Posts


Wintry Weather Brings Holiday Events And More To North Beach

This Friday, December 7th, the neighborhood will once again host the North Beach Wine Walk. If you haven't participated in the event before, it's a great way to meet some of the neighborhood's best retailers; shops like Z Cioccolato, Lola and Cole Hardware will be opening their shops after normal hours, and hosting local vintners to pour samples of their tastiest wines for attendees.

Business Owner Recognized For Heroism; Macchiarini Design Turns Seventy

This weekend, Edson Garcia, the owner of Brioche Bakery and Café on Columbus Avenue, was honored by Supervisor Aaron Peskin and the North Beach Business Association for a remarkable act of courage. 

Washington Square Mitigation Plan Finally In Place; Meanwhile, Ten Trees Gone

If you’ve been reading the blog, you already know Washington Square Park faces temporary closure in the coming months for renovations. Here at the SFNBBA, we’ve been lobbying the city and S.F. Recreation & Park for months.

SFNBBA Wins Neighborhood Protections In Face Of Washington Square Park Closure

The impending closure of Washington Square Park has got the neighborhood stirred up, and the people at the SFNBBA have been on the case. Take a look at this week's post to find out what we've accomplished–and what you should expect for Washington Square.

Empty Spaces: New Report Sheds Light On North Beach Vacancies

The vacancy crisis in North Beach is an ongoing concern, and this month we received some new data on the problem. According to a new report conducted by the San Francisco North Beach Business Association (SFNBBA) in cooperation with Telegraph Hill Dwellers and North Beach Neighbors, the numbers are jarring: over the past three years, the number of vacant ground-floor commercial spaces in the neighborhood has doubled.

It’s Always Sunny In North Beach: North Beach Festival Weekend Is Here

The very first street fair in America, The North Beach Festival has been the blueprint for neighborhood fairs and block parties for decades. And this weekend, we're celebrating the festival for the 64th time. In other news, is there trouble on the horizon for Washington Square Park?

On Eve Of North Beach Festival, Neighborhood Fights Washington Square Park Closure

There is always plenty afoot in North Beach, and this month is no exception: the annual North Beach Festival, due to hit our streets on Saturday and Sunday, June 16th and 17th, is always a monster event. We’re expecting a record turnout for our 64th year.