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Zuri pops up to stay

Zuri owners Ashleigh Miller and Sandra Zhao found a home on Fillmore Street.

By SHELLEY HANDLER

After popping up for four months at 2029 Fillmore, the just-one-dress women’s boutique Zuri has now put down permanent roots a block south at 1902 Fillmore in the small storefront that was home to Narumi Japanese Antiques for nearly four decades.

The clothing company sells mainly one style: a loose-fitting, below-knee-length frock with three-quarter-length sleeves that can be worn as a dress, jacket or duster. Fashioned from African wax fabric, Zuri’s signature fashion item proved to be a hit with locals.

Owners and founders Ashleigh Miller and Sandra Zhao say they carefully sought out their setting. The two were looking for a shopping street both eclectic and active enough to bring the devoted and the curious their way. They methodically searched for a location that would be both showcase and gathering place, much like their flagship shop on Bleeker Street in New York.

They found what they were looking for on Fillmore Street.

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Pop-up gifts from Gwyneth

Goop Gifts offers a 24-karat golden dildo named Olga.

POPPING UP at 2241 Fillmore, next door to the Clay Theatre, and slated to remain there only until Christmas Eve, is a hot new spot for holiday shoppers: Goop Gifts. Shop curator and company founder actress Gwyneth Paltrow is both revered for her attention — and reviled for her overattention — to self-care.

She’s stocked the Fillmore shop with a collection from this year’s Goop Holiday Gift Guide — part of the lifestyle brand she started, she says, “as just sort of a way to share information.” One of her suggestions: a doctor-supervised treatment involving bee venom injections. “I had it done on my cesarean scar,” says Paltrow. “I had some buckling in the scar, and it really evened it out.” Outfitted with a moving conveyor belt laden with wrapped and displayed gifts, the Fillmore pop-up offers many quintessentially Paltrow items: dietary supplements, bath salts, makeup remover pads, edible pre-probiotic skin refiner and lots of things in pink and gold.

It also has on hand some gifts you might not have realized that person on your list really needs: a sneaker cleaning kit, a gold champagne cork puller, a digital luggage scale for those prone to overpacking, 24-karat gold rolling papers, as well as a 24-karat golden dildo named Olga, available for $3,490.

A buying trip to Southeast Asia

‘A grocery, not Shake Shack’

The now-shuttered space at 3060 Fillmore and Filbert was formerly home of Real Food Co.

A BIG CROWD of neighbors showed up on January 24 to preview plans to bring a Shake Shack burger joint to the former corner home of Real Food Co. at Fillmore and Filbert. But most said they prefer another grocery store in that location.

None of the neighbors seemed to have a good word for Shake Shack, the hot burger chain headed by New York restaurateur Danny Meyer that is drawing long lines of fans to many of its 160-plus locations. Shake Shack is expanding into Palo Alto and Marin, and is looking for a San Francisco location.

Rumble Fitness, a boxing gym, would share the space.

Despite the demand, no one suggested there is much hope for a grocery store in the former corner garage, built in 1915, which is small and has limited parking. Neighbors got excited when Bi-Rite Market was rumored to be mulling a store there — incorrectly, as it turned out. The property owners say they have been able to find no other grocers who are interested, either.

“This is not what the Cow Hollow-Marina neighborhood needs,” resident Emily Scott said of the Shake Shack-Rumble combo, circulating a list of a dozen nearby places serving burgers and nearly three dozen fitness options. “What we do need is a grocery store,” Scott said.

Fillmore 1996: a moment in time

TEXT & PHOTOGRAPHS BY LUCY GRAY

Two decades ago, in the summer of 1996, I photographed shopkeepers and workers on Fillmore Street. I thought there were wonderful looking people in my neighborhood, people who looked like characters. They understood the performance aspect of small shops, the need to create a style.

I could see that the street was changing, as independent stores and thrift shops diminished and branding put a shellac over individual expression. I wanted to hold on to a moment when individuality was celebrated. The people in this series of photographs all owned or dreamed of owning their own shop, or they were living the dream of expressing themselves through their choices. There was an ideal of earning a modest living through self-expression that may have been sentimental, but it was an era when to be inimitable was prized.

I regret not taking a picture of Cheryl, who was given the dress shop Jim-Elle by its previous owner, which was true for several shops on the street. She was very funny and I can still hear her joking. She married the handsome Irish UPS driver we’d all known for years and she was gone in a snap. Lucky guy.

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From Fillmore to Union

Photograph of Moe Salimi, owner of Juicy News, by Lucy Gray

Photograph of Moe Salimi, owner of Juicy News, by Lucy Gray

RETAIL REPORT | LESLEY LEONHARDT

When Moe Salimi moved Juicy News from its longtime home at Fillmore and Jackson down the hill to Union and Fillmore in 2015, he was expecting a completely different neighborhood, even though he’d moved only a few blocks. But he didn’t find it.

“There are more similarities than I would have thought,” Salimi says from his perch in the bright front window of his newsstand at 2181 Union. “Only generational differences are apparent, with a younger demographic found on Union and more established families shopping in the old location.”

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New gallery has the baraka

Photograph of Shiffen, owner of Baraka Gallery at 1230 Fillmore, by Suzie Biehler.

Photograph of Shiffen, owner of Baraka Gallery at 1230 Fillmore, by Suzie Biehler

By FRANCINE BREVETTI

If you are a tribal man of Niger intent on wooing a lady, you will likely wear a Wodaabe tunic at the Geerewol festival. “That’s where the handsome men of the tribe compete in a contest of endurance and beauty,” explains Shiffen Melaku.

Your sister would have embroidered this ritual robe for you to wear at the weeklong festival where young people meet to find mates among the other cattle-herding nomads.

Here in the neighborhood, you can buy such a garment at Shiffen’s Baraka Gallery, formerly of Oakland, and newly installed at 1230 Fillmore.

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Thieves put a target on Fillmore

Fillmoresign

By CHRIS BARNETT

A surge in daring grab-and-run thefts is plaguing Fillmore Street merchants.

Salespeople at upscale fashion boutiques on upper Fillmore say shoplifting has now morphed into blatant thievery and that some fear for their personal safety. Merchants report numerous instances — more than half a dozen in August alone — in which people case a store, wait until staffers are distracted, then scoop up merchandise and dash out.

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A shop becomes a gallery

Mariko Suzuki and Tomoaki Takashima and their treasures at Sanko.

Mariko Suzuki and Tomoaki Takashima and their treasures at Sanko.

Story & Photograph by FRANK WING

Sanko Kitchen Essentials, the anchor shop at the northeast end of Japantown’s Buchanan Street Mall, is sporting a new look these days.

For more than 35 years, it has been the go-to purveyor of hard to find Japanese cookware, unique bento boxes, exotic children’s lunch pails and enough teacups for every day of the year. But recently it has been transformed into an elegant gallery of fine ceramics imported from Japan.

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VICTORIA’S SECRET

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By BARBARA KATE REPA

Victoria Dunham is bucking the trend.

At a time when many small businesses with unique offerings have been priced out and forced off Fillmore Street, the proprietor of the HiHo Silver jewelry store at 1904 Fillmore has just opened a second shop next door, doubling her retail space.

“I live in this neighborhood, too,” she says. “I know what it means to have mom-and-pop stores here, and this is a mom-and-pop — or at least a mom.”

In mid-July, Dunham opened a new boutique one door north, naming it simply for its address: 1906. The spot allows her to showcase the many gems and curiosities she finds too weird or wonderful to resist while traveling the world scouting for silver: scarves and shawls, framed insects, stainless steel vases, sting ray wallets and coin purses and polished wooden boxes.

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