'Vacant to Vibrant Program' in SF announces 17 new pop-up shops to open late September

BySuzanne Phan KGO logo
Friday, August 25, 2023
17 pop-up shops to open in SF next month as part of new program
San Francisco announced 17 new pop-up shops that will move into empty storefronts in the Financial District as part of its Vacant to Vibrant program.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco just announced the names of 17 new pop-up shops that will move into empty store fronts in the Financial District downtown.

The "Vacant to Vibrant Program" received 850 applications from small businesses, vendors, and artists. The pop-ups will be open in late September.

Devil's Teeth Baking Company in the Outer Sunset SF is a big with locals.

"The breakfast sandwich is our biggest seller," said owner Hilary Passman.

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Passman's business is the recipient of three months free rent, a grant of about $8,000 from the City of San Francisco, and a chance to temporarily expand her popular bakery with a pop-up space in the Financial District.

"It's very exciting. So we are going to be bringing our full menu," Passman said.

Her pop-up will go up at 1 Embarcadero Center.

It's part of Mayor London Breed's Vacant to Vibrant Initiative and part of the road map to recovery program she announced in February.

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"This program matches vacant ground floor spaces and their owners with small businesses that are either starting or are looking to open a San Francisco or second location," said Sara Dennis Phillips, executive director of Office of Economic and Workforce Development.

"It's terrific that the city is helping us, not just me. There are all sorts of diverse, creative activators that are coming down there now, and I think it's really going to make a difference," Passman said.

San Francisco's Office of Economic Workforce Development and nonprofit business advocacy group SF New Deal announced the 17 awardees for phase one.

They include artists, designers and a radio station.

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At an empty store front at 201 Jackson Street, The Gateway, two pop-ups are slated. They include a multimedia agency and Brujas, a skate collective/streetwear apparel brand in Oakland.

One of the property owners participating in the program is BXP. They issued this statement:

"BXP is committed to supporting a strong downtown and our vibrant San Francisco community... by hosting 4 pop-up activation at Embarcadero Center that will further our collective efforts to revitalize downtown by supporting local artists, entrepreneurs and small businesses."

Back to the bakery pop-up coming to 1 Embarcadero Center--neighboring business can't wait. Javid Bakashi is the Owner of The Humidor.

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"That would be great if we can get some business here or other places in the financial district," said Bakahsi.

Mayor London Breed released this statement about Vacant to Vibrant.

"San Francisco is open for business and it is great to see the progress being made to revitalize and rethink how our Downtown serves residents, business, and visitors," said Mayor Breed. "When I announced the Roadmap to San Francisco's Future, finding creative ways to fill our empty storefronts was one of my key priorities, and through a number of policy reforms that will remove unnecessary zoning and permitting barriers, we are making good progress. This is an exciting next step for along-awaited program that I know will be good for small businesses, residents, and visitors to enjoy."

The Vacant to Vibrant Program is accepting applications for future phases. If you're a local business, an artist, a non-profit or a property owner and, you're interested, they're hoping to hear from you.

Visit VibrantSF or call (415) 480-1185 for more information.

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