Jack Spade to the Mission: "We're Done" [UPDATED]

I know we're only two days into my temporary blogging hiatus, but…

After last night's Board of Appeals hearing regarding Jack Spade's formula retail status, which ruled new evidence suggested Jack Spade a chain store and the Board would rehear the case, Jack Spade decided to jack off and find another gentrifying neighborhood to fall in love with.  SFBG reports:

As representatives of the corporation left the hearing, they told a few activists and business owners that they “were done.” And when the Guardian reached 5th and Pacific CEO Bill McComb by email today, he confirmed that the company is giving up on this controversial location, where activists were concerned its deep-pocketed presence would accelerate gentrification of the neighborhood.

“[We're] not going to war with the neighbors. We like those people and their neighborhood and we are not fighting the issue. There are many a fine location for Jack Spade. Peace to the city!” McComb wrote to us.


UPDATE: Jack Spade's PR team just sent us their official statement:

We at JACK SPADE are disappointed with Wednesday's Board of Appeals ruling. In our minds and in accordance with the district's code, JACK SPADE is not ‘formula retail’ and we have been completely transparent regarding our relationship to our parent company. While we disagree with the decision, we respect the Board and the community's passion and will not pursue plans to open in the Mission District. We have nothing but admiration for the Mission District and remain fans of the neighborhood and its unique character.

Comments (48)

Gentrification is officially OVER! Fuck yes!

Who’s ready to grab a $18 cocktail somewhere around Valencia? I’m hopping on my $700 fixie now – see ya there!

love how in inclusion of a $700 bike = gentrification.

yo, 7 bills is not much for a bike. its good scratch but its not hitting high marks.

also, please stop saying FIXIE. say FIXED GEAR or TRACK BIKE. you wouldnt call your country a count would you?(ancient fraternity acorn)

i wish motherfuckers would stop being lazy and leaning on old ass mission stereotypes about a small group of people that made an impact years and years ago.

the macbook is the new fixie.
stability is the new fixie.
luxury baby strollers are the new fixie.
being white is the new fixie.

gross public bikes are the new fixie.

Pff. Quit the fixie affectation and get a real bike instead.

Woohoo, we won! Everyone who thought that they might get a decent-paying job at Jack Spade, come down to the People’s Glorious Vacant Storefront and enjoy the sense of victory! You can eat victory, right?

“…decent-paying job”? Could you be a little more specific?

Minimum wage is over $10 an hour now, yo!

Retail employees would have been drowning in Hamiltons.

The best outcome here is that this has a chilling effect on commercial rents in the Mission. Who wants to open a store that may generate this type of bad word-of-mouth and opposition? Not having deep-pocketed chain stores fighting over Valencia storefronts may slow the rise in commercial rents, making forcing out existing tenants a less appetizing option for landlords. We can only hope…

Or landlords learn that they can’t just force out long-established businesses with the expectation they can make a shitload of cash whoring their space out to some bullshit chainstore.

^ This. Let’s keep in mind that the store Liz Claiborne kicked out wasn’t some bullshit $14 cocktail joint.

I bet that the this storefront will be home to a store much like Betabrand, which can pay about the same rent as Jack Spade, but that’s OK because they’re not a chain. Right?

Are you asking if it is better for a small, local business to be in that space than a branch of a national chain? Then the answer is: Yes. It is is.

No chance. The new model for Valencia Street is the deep pocketed investors and their “unique” hobby businesses which appeal to the new generation of affluence. Chain stores are part of the suburban lifestyle which they are rejecting.

Expect commercial and residential prices to increase.

Yay! Victory in one minor skirmish against chainstore homogenization is still a victory. Very, very glad we were able to keep Jack Spade out of the neighborhood.

This does nothing to stop gentrification or increasing rents on Valencia. There are plenty of deep-pocketed business owners, or wannabe business owners, that can open up non-chainstores (and non-Jack Spade “chainstores”). Blu Dot anyone? How about West of Pecos? Or Betabrand?

Why some local merchants and everyone else against Jack Spade spent so much time on this is beyond me. Jack Spade’s particular situation in relation to the formula retail ordinance seemed rather unique and not likely to be duplicated.

None of those three examples kicked out an existing business (all three were empty storefronts.) And two of them are local companies. The only questionable one is Blu Dot, but afaik they don’t have enough stores to be considered a chain.

How did Betabrand NOT kick out 780 cafe? -Was there not enough coverage of that here on UA.?

You mean aside from the fact that 780 Cafe went out of business before Betabrand moved in?

C’mon, man, you know the landlord exploded the rent of 780, a venue that hosted a lot of local events like comedy and fashion shows, just to get someone like Betabrand in there who could afford the huge increase. You actually gonna argue that because there was a short period in between, while they were doing the interior redesign, that 780 getting closed and Betabrand moving in happened completely independent of each other? Sounds like a flimsy technicality.



Nope, you have the timeline all mixed up. The rent was $30,000/month before 780 Cafe moved in. How they thought they could make that kind of money on lattes is beyond me.

So unless you have some kind of proof that the landlord (I/O Ventures) conspired to get a then-unheard of clothing company into the building, your argument does not hold water.


Well, I spoke to the manager of 780 and he told me you are mistaken, that the landlord raised the rent to get him out. Aside from hearing that directly from the manager, I guess I don’t have any proof. I guess I should just believe anything you write.

So when you said this, what were you referring to?

How did Betabrand NOT kick out 780 cafe? -Was there not enough coverage of that here on UA.?

Referring to your “None of those three examples kicked out an existing business (all three were empty storefronts.)” comment. Wait, do I feel yet another technicality coming on? Like, Betabrand didn’t kick out 780, the landlord’s new rent did? -They ran themselves out of business?

btw, it’s IMPOSSIBLE to believe a coffee shop owner signed a however-long lease for $33,000 a month. -They wouldn’t have lasted a month if that was the case and as we all know they were there for a while. Lucky for me, I know that’s not what they were paying.

You were caught lying red handed. That’s hardly a “technicality.”

I hope you wrote that while looking in the mirror because Betabrand moving in and 780 moving out were most definitely connected, which you knew all along. But, yes, there was a short period in between.

Captain Literal strikes again! Impervious to spirit and subtext, winning arguments inside his head for specifically as long as he can remember! Your purpose is served.

Why does the timeline matter? Isn’t the problem that landlords are asking for exorbitant rent prices that only certain businesses or business owners can afford? Or can you ask for an exorbitant rent so long as your intent is not to kick out a well-loved, unique neighborhood bookstore or cafe?


We showed those motherfuckers!!! Now we need to ban the googleapple buses!


I’m preparing my semen right now for the 8pm freakout!!

I think the opposition was really doing JS a favor by preventing them from getting into the neighborhood in that area.

Uh-huh. Sure thing. Up is down and war is peace, baby.

I’m just saying imho JS would have struggled to make it there.

If it’s not Jack Spade, it will be some shop selling $10 “home food”, aka tater tot Mac and cheez for dbag transplants. All while they play on their $2000 MacBooks and stare at you thru their Google Glass. Success!

That’s what you get for electing a 6’7-8” corporate drone to represent the Castro and Mission Districts . Still, if he shaved off his beard, there is some significant size to be satisfied… L.O.L.

I like Jack Spade.

No accounting for taste, I guess.

Coming from the guy who spends what seems to be his whole like on this blog.

uptown almanac is on hiatus

Only until Monday!

It’s Thursday and no new updates yet :( Come on Kevmo, I’ve got work to procrastinate doing!

Sorry, was laid up with swine flu all week. My brain isn’t boiling anymore, so I’ll be resuming posting shortly.