This is really four stories in one. But we’re all about value here at Haighteration!
Over the past two weeks, an anonymous tip, some rumors, a slew of permit applications, interviews, confirmations and denials have all created a somewhat muddled picture of some big changes coming to the 400 block of Divisadero.
But, here’s what we can tell you.
The western side of the block currently consists of one empty storefront, a truffle shop, a cheese shop, a parking lot, and a gas station. Aside from the gas station, it looks like all of it will soon be changing.
The corner space has been vacant since at least 2007, and even made our recent list of the 9 sexiest vacant storefronts in the neighborhood. Fortunately, it looks like its lonely days are over — probably.
Earlier this week, a rep from a major, nationally-known brand confirmed to us their plans for moving into the space.
But this morning as we were prepping for publication, both the space’s broker and another rep from the potential tenant walked that confirmation back a bit. So, we’re going to hold off on announcing this one until it’s a done deal. Stay tuned.
Now for the sad news.
For starters, after 4 years in business, Five Star Truffles will be leaving its space at 411 Divisadero by the end of the year.
Owner Santos Euan told us a number of factors make the timing right for a move, including competition from an increased number of coffeeshops in the vicinity, low levels of foot traffic on the block (aside from the morning rush hour), and his desire to operate in a smaller space.
He’ll stick it out through the holidays (his busiest season), and then will close up shop.
Don’t fret just yet, though.
Santos has already signed a lease on a space in the Castro near the post office — a smaller space that used to house a flower shop. Though he’ll continue to sell coffee, he wants to refocus on his specialty — chocolate truffles. The smaller space should allow him to do just that.
More sad news. Country Cheese Co., a neighborhood staple for 26 years, will also be closing shop by the end of the year.
Owner Mario Mariscal tells Haighteration that he has just received a 90-day notice confirming that his month-to-month lease on the space is coming to an end.
While his future plans are unclear, Mario hopes to relocate the business to somewhere nearby, citing his devoted local customer base. He expects to start that search next week.
However, since much of the interior of the store, including the wall of refrigeration units, belongs to the building’s owner, a relocation will require a significant investment on Mario’s part. Needless to say, he is not thrilled about that prospect.
Regardless, Mario says his last day on Divisadero is likely to be around, or possibly on, Christmas.
And now for something completely different.
While researching for this story, we discovered a surprising new addition to the neighborhood.
A new street food vendor, The King of Cürrywurst, will be setting up shop in the lot adjacent to 425 Divisadero.
Cürrywurst is a dish invented in Germany around 1949 that consists of sliced sausage covered in a curry tomato sauce, served with a roll of bread on the side.
Apparently it’s crazy popular over there. (Any German Haighteration readers want to confirm?)
German native Dirk Adolphs (the aforementioned “King”) moved to the Bay Area about three years ago, and has been selling his vegan version of cürrywurst via catering, at the Underground Market, and at Off the Grid for the past six months or so. Reaction has been so good, Adolphs is now looking to expand.
For starters, his wursts will be available at Whole Foods in Noe Valley and SOMA starting next week. And four weeks ago, Adolphs signed a year-long lease on the Divisadero space.
As soon as the permitting process is complete (probably by December or January), Adolphs will be operating his cart daily for lunchtime and afternoon crowds.
We’ll let you know when he launches. But for now, Adolphs just wants folks to know how much he loves the neighborhood, and how excited he is to be setting up shop in the area.
So what does this all mean? Two long-standing businesses moving out at the same time, and a major tenant potentially moving in? Well, we’re not 100% ready to say that these are all connected, but, well, you do the math.
We’ve reached out to the building’s owner for comment, and will of course keep you posted. But one thing’s clear– this block is about to undergo a serious tranformation.
Until it does, let’s flood the truffle and cheese shops with some love, huh? These are two of the nicest guys in the neighborhood, with two of the tastiest inventories around. Let’s throw some business, or at least some well-wishing, their way.
Something tells us they’d appreciate it right about now.