Some may have noticed that the La Boulangerie de San Francisco (formerly, La Boulange) has opened and is in full swing. The decor is a bit of a mix between industrial modern and French artisan but they are still whipping out some tasty pastries. La Boulangerie also has expanded their food menu, with more hot food and to-go options. We have yet to find their famous macaroons but are excited that they are promoting local favorites like Choux and Boba Guys. There's no official website yet so best to check La Boulangerie on Yelp or simply take a stroll and check them out.
For a few months now, we have had several vacant storefronts in Cole Valley, so what's happening to these storefronts?
From what we have gathered, Tantrum, the vintage children's toy store, is looking to expand into Doug's Suds. The owners of Tantrum have been been in talks with the landlords of Doug's Suds but nothing has been finalized yet. Apparently there is a lot of work that needs to be done to the storefront until anyone can occupy in.
Well we know that Alt School will not be coming into Cole Valley anytime soon since they are no longer pursuing the space. Perhaps there is just too much too repair and renovate, it was a car garage after all. We did stumble upon a craigslist ad for the commercial space which said it is currently being renovate and looking for a new tenant, which could include. "retail sales and services, schools or other institutions, personal service businesses including exercise studios." Please no more exercise places. Retail or a service tenant could be interesting but that's a huge space, with almost 10,000 sq-ft.
As many neighbors know, Starbucks is closing all La Boulange stores by end of September. Some have already closed in the City but rumor has it our neighborhood La Boulange might be hear to stay. Supposedly, founder Pascal Rigo is in talks with Starbucks to buy back six San Francisco locations, including the Cole Valley location (which is set to close Sept 18). Rigo told Hoodline that it is too early to tell exactly what is going on but he is definitely in conversations. Rumor also has it that if Rigo does buy back some of the locations, Starbucks will remove all kitchen equipment and will take the "La Boulange" brand with them too. This means that Rigo would have to buy all new equipment and create a new brand for his bakery. Neighbors are excited with the idea that a bakery could stay in the hood.
Son Loy Laundry
The former laundry space will soon become Midline Fitness Studio's new exercise space called Lavation Fitness Studio. The studio will focus on circuit training and indoor cycling.There is no opening date as of yet but the Midline owners are hoping for sometime in September.
Content for this article was taken with permission from SFEater and Hoodline.
Starbucks announced earlier this week that it will l close all 23 of its La Boulange bakery-cafes, mostly in San Francisco by September 2015, saying the stores "weren't sustainable for the company's long-term growth" and that it had begun very difficult to operate two different chains at the same time. For many Cole Valley neighbors this is a tearful farewell.
Many still remember, Tassajara Bakery at Cole and Parnassus. The bakery came into Cole Valley in 1976 and sparked a bakery revolution in San Francisco. Interesting fact, Tassajara Bakery was spin off of the delicious breads the Tassajara Zen Center in Carmel made. Neighbors and bread lovers mourned the closing of Tassajara in 1999.
In 2001, a French-born baker, Pascal Rigo, rented the space for his bakery, La Boulange (formerly named Bay Bread). La Boulange, greatly known for their French-inspired decor and menus, and the pink envelopes, was sold to Starbucks in 2012 for $100 million. The deal was seen as a strategic move by Starbucks to gain a bigger presence in the food business, particularly expand their bakery and food products.
"After more than 40 years, we will be able to say that we are bakers, too," Howard Schultz, CEO at Starbucks, said at the time.
But at what price? Pascal Rigo is now out of a job (is leaving his post as VP at Starbucks) and now Starbucks are bakers. And those tasty treats and French decor will only be a memory.
What do you think of this news? And next question, what will go into the La Boulange storefront come September? We're hoping for another bakery!