Legacy Re­tail

The only in San Fran­cisco stores that have be­come part of the city's fab­ric.

Where San Francisco - - Contents - BY RE­NEE BRINCKS

Goorin Bros.

NEIGH­BOR­HOODS: North Beach, Union Square, Haight Street

THEN: Cas­sel Goorin launched his hat-mak­ing busi­ness in 1895, op­er­at­ing from a horse-drawn cart on the streets of Pitts­burgh, Penn­syl­va­nia. His sons moved the busi­ness to San Fran­cisco in 1949; to­day, Cas­sel’s great-grand­son Ben over­sees op­er­a­tions.

NOW: Goorin Bros sells hats and of­fers cus­tom fit­ting ser­vices at more than 30 stores in the United States and Canada, in­clud­ing the flag­ship North Beach bou­tique. “North Beach has an old-world ro­man­tic charm and over­flows with unique his­tory. It is un­like any other neigh­bor­hood in San Fran­cisco,” says Ben Goorin. He out­fit­ted his sig­na­ture lo­ca­tion with an­tiques and fam­ily me­men­tos, and show­room dis­plays fea­ture heir­loom-qual­ity bowlers, cloches, fe­do­ras, flat caps and more. In 2017, Goorin Bros. will in­tro­duce a line of trucker caps crafted at the brand’s newly ac­quired New Jer­sey fac­tory. 1612 Stock­ton St., 415.402.0454, goorin.com

Spec­ta­cles of Union Square

NEIGH­BOR­HOOD: Union Square

THEN: Two sis­ters helped build this eye­wear busi­ness launched in Detroit in 1932. It has pro­vided pre­scrip­tion lab and eye­glass-craft­ing ser­vices on San Fran­cisco’s Maiden Lane since 1959.

NOW: Af­ter study­ing un­der master op­ti­cian Horst Goos, owner Kevin Her­shey took over the lab at Spec­ta­cles in 1996. The store spe­cial­izes in cus­tom rim­less mount­ings, han­dles frame ad­just­ment and re­pairs, and sells vin­tage eye­wear as well as mod­ern brands like Cartier. 177 Maiden Ln., 415.781.8556, spec­ta­cles-sf.com

Needle­point Inc.

NEIGH­BOR­HOOD: Jack­son Square

THEN: When she opened a full-ser­vice needle­point shop on Post Street 28 years ago, Diane Ner­heim turned her hobby into a pro­fes­sion. She moved to the cur­rent Jack­son Square lo­ca­tion in 2015.

NOW: In ad­di­tion to stock­ing em­broi­dery sup­plies and of­fer­ing cus­tom- de­signed pil­lows, home tex­tiles and hol­i­day decor, Ner­heim sells a pro­pri­etary line of fine silk thread. She also em­ploys a full-time artist who cre­ates pat­terns sold at the store. “Ev­ery­thing is painted by hand— noth­ing is stamped. It’s like cou­ture needle­point,” says Ner­heim, who wel­comes cus­tomers from across the coun­try. “We re­ally are a des­ti­na­tion for those who en­joy this hobby. Needle­point is a unique craft that peo­ple get hooked on.” 177 Maiden Ln., 800.345.1622, needle­pointinc.com

Wilkes Bash­ford

NEIGH­BOR­HOOD: Union Square

THEN: San Fran­cisco icon Wilkes Bash­ford founded his renowned cloth­ing store in 1966, set­ting the bar for fine men’s ap­parel and ce­ment­ing a spot on Esquire’s “In­ter­na­tional Best Dressed List” for decades.

NOW: Bash­ford passed away in 2016, but his legacy lives on through shops in San Fran­cisco and Palo Alto. Now part of the Mitchell Stores fam­ily, the busi­ness of­fers ex­panded jew­elry and women’s de­part­ments as well as clas­sic menswear la­bels and made-to- mea­sure ser­vices. 326 Jack­son St., 415.986.4380, wilkes­bash­ford.com

Lang An­tique & Es­tate Jew­elry

NEIGH­BOR­HOOD: Union Square

THEN: Mrs. Jarmilla Lang opened this Sut­ter Street store in 1969, draw­ing on her fine arts back­ground to cu­rate an up­scale se­lec­tion of jew­elry and col­lecta­bles. Cur­rent co- own­ers Mark Zim­mel­man and Suzanne Martinez took over in the early 1990s and moved the store just down the block in 2014.

NOW: Lang’s An­tique & Es­tate Jew­elry buys and sells fine an­tique, vin­tage and es­tate jew­elry dat­ing back to the late 1700s, from rare en­gage­ment rings to art deco watches

Gump fam­ily mem­bers es­tab­lished a Union Square shop in 1861, sell­ing home goods and gifts to cus­tomers who amassed Cal­i­for­nia Gold Rush for­tunes.

to cuff­links crafted with onyx and di­a­monds. Sparkling front win­dow dis­plays draw col­lec­tors as well as ca­sual shop­pers. “These pieces tell us about times past and how jew­el­ers took so much time and pride in their work,” says Martinez. “The old pieces were pri­mar­ily die-struck, hand- fin­ished and hand- pierced. Here, we can point out those de­tails that make each piece spe­cial.” 309 Sut­ter St., 415.982.2213, lan­gan­tiques.com


NEIGH­BOR­HOOD: Union Square

THEN: Gump fam­ily mem­bers es­tab­lished a Union Square shop in 1861, sell­ing home goods and gifts to cus­tomers who amassed Cal­i­for­nia Gold Rush for­tunes. Own­ers re­built and re­stocked af­ter the city’s 1906 earth­quake, and con­tinue car­ry­ing high- end decor, ap­parel and ac­ces­sories to­day.

NOW: More than 150 years af­ter open­ing, Gump’s re­mains a stylish an­chor in San Fran­cisco’s re­tail scene. Dis­plays show­case el­e­gant lux­ury goods, jew­elry, cloth­ing and unique gifts, and a Ch’ing Dy­nasty gilded wood Bud­dha ac­quired in the early 20th cen­tury still over­looks the store’s first floor. 135 Post St., 800.284.8677, gumps.com

Cliff’s Va­ri­ety


THEN: Re­tired mer­chant and teacher Hi­lario DeBaca opened a Cas­tro Street shop in 1936, sell­ing sew­ing sup­plies, cigars, candy, mag­a­zines and other ba­sics in a space named for his youngest son, Clif­ford. DeBaca’s old­est son, Ernie, and sub­se­quent gen­er­a­tions have man­aged the store through ex­pan­sions and lo­ca­tion changes lead­ing to the cur­rent spot at 479 Cas­tro.

NOW: True to its name, Cliff’s Va­ri­ety car­ries a range of hard­ware, house­wares, art sup­plies, fab­ric and toys, plus sea­sonal items and play­ful gifts for all ages. 479 Cas­tro St., 415.431.5365, cliffs­va­ri­ety.com

Wilkes Bash­ford

Needle­point Inc.

Cliff’s Va­ri­ety

Cliff’s Va­ri­ety

Lang An­tiques

Cliff’s Va­ri­ety

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