The five-story Empress of China restaurant on Grant Avenue has been the Chinatown community’s wedding capital for decades. Its building is being sold, and the restaurant will close at the end of the year. Photo: Scott Strazzante
On Russian Hill, Lombardi Sports, a hub for generations of cyclists and rock climbers, is liquidating its inventory to make way for 62 units of housing.
In Chinatown, the Empress of China, the swanky five-story emporium that has hosted thousands of weddings, will shut down at the end of the year in anticipation of the building’s sale.
At Market and Valencia streets, Flax art and design store will move to an undetermined location to make way for 160 housing units.
Some of San Francisco’s historic family-owned businesses are disappearing as fast as an artisanal ice cube in a $14 craft cocktail.
Supervisor David Campos, working with the nonprofit San Francisco Heritage, is finalizing legislation that would create a registry of legacy businesses, defined as restaurants, retailers and manufacturers that have been around at least 30 years and have contributed to their neighborhoods in a meaningful way. The program, which he says is the first in the United States, would create financial incentives that would encourage property owners to retain those kinds of businesses.
“So many of our most valuable businesses that have enlivened these neighborhoods for decades are struggling to survive,” Campos said. “These are businesses that have become cultural institutions, that have helped create the character of the neighborhood.”
read more: sfgate, 01.10.14.