Jack Spade tries to sneak into a beloved Mission spot, triggering a community backlash

Jack Spade's Chicago store, a sharp contrast to the raggedy, lovable old Adobe Bookstore.

The Stop Jack Spade Coalition is throwing an impromptu fundraiser tonight (Wed/7) at the Make-Out Room to help support local business and oppose chain store blight in the Mission.

Jack Spade, an upscale men’s clothing chain owned by Liz Claiborne, has plans to set up shop at 3166 16th Street, once home to Adobe Bookstore. The community bookseller of 25 years moved south to 24th Street in June, having been ousted from the space by two consecutive rent hikes. The second time, Adobe General Manager Chris Rolls tells us, “the landlord rejected continuation of the lease, which was outrageously expensive and, for this neighborhood, a bit alarming.”

Opponents of the deal say the men’s clothing retailer signed a $12,000 per month agreement on the storefront shortly after Adobe failed to meet its landlord’s exorbitant demands. (Note: A Jack Spade representative contacted the Guardian after this story was published to say this figure was "exaggerated," but would not disclose any other financial details.)

Jack Spade has gotten this far by failing to apply for a conditional use permit, a pesky little measure imposed by voters in 2006 to thwart corporations chomping at the bit to turn San Francisco neighborhoods into sanitized strip malls.

Turns out Jack Spade is a subsidiary of one such corporation, Liz Claiborne, a fact downplayed in the chain’s original application to the Planning Commission. Even a modest 10 storefronts nationwide, sadly, doesn’t confer small business cred on a menswear line owned by a company with a $2.88 billion market capitalization.

Conveniently, the Jack Spade label has just one too few stores to be formally defined as “formula retail” by Proposition G.  But the Valencia Corridor Merchants Association has been hot on the case, circulating a petition that Jack Spade play by the rules of other big businesses and submit to a public hearing anyway.

A similar effort was successful in preventing an American Apparel store from opening just up the street in 2009 and in slowing the insatiable gentrification that has steamrolled local culture in many other once-unique and affordable cities.

Tonight’s event will feature live music and stand up comedy.  Chicken John Rinaldi promises to host an auction and “talks about what we can do to stop this bullshit.” Doors open at 7pm and $5-$15 will be collected at the door, with proceeds to benefit the campaign for a public hearing next week.


business plan that has them covering that rent with a mens store there.

Anything involving Chicken John is a event to avoid.

Posted by Matlock on Aug. 07, 2013 @ 5:18 pm

like to mix it with the riffraff there to boost their social cred. I'm sure the store will do great business.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 07, 2013 @ 11:07 pm

Champing at the bit

Posted by Guest on Aug. 07, 2013 @ 8:55 pm

where? It's unfair on the owner of that property if the tenant that is willing to pay the highest rent is somehow barred from being there.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 08, 2013 @ 5:20 am

Since when was life guarantee to be fair?

Posted by anon on Aug. 08, 2013 @ 9:10 am

And why you support hedge fund managers making millions a year?

Because nobody ever said life was fair?

Posted by Guest on Aug. 08, 2013 @ 9:19 am

"This door's wide open now. It's going to happen, whether you like it or not."

Hee hee hee. Choke on it, hipsters.

Posted by JoetheSFRepublican on Aug. 08, 2013 @ 10:41 am


Posted by Guest on Aug. 08, 2013 @ 11:02 am

you don't like like you belong there, you won;t get in. You're probably familiar with that from going to nightclubs.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 10, 2013 @ 1:28 am

Adobe Books are the first wave gentrifiers. They now pay over $5000/month for their new location. The small scale immigrant entrepreneurs on 24th street cannot compete with a business that can raise $60,000 in an online fundraising campaign.

They must be stopped!

Posted by Guest on Aug. 08, 2013 @ 11:27 am

number on everyone there. Old hippies sometimes can turn a trick or two.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 10, 2013 @ 1:30 am

The Mission needs no more Douchetiques.

Posted by marcos on Aug. 08, 2013 @ 11:56 am

You must hate the Mission

Posted by Guest on Aug. 08, 2013 @ 12:13 pm

and as much as I hate to say it, people in an area should have a bit of a say in these things, the actual business owners along Valencia have signs out about this. It isn't the catch-all bitchy a-holes who complain about every little thing that bugs them.

I doubt the place would last a year anyways though.

Posted by Matlock on Aug. 08, 2013 @ 4:23 pm

But I see no reason to deny it the opportunity to try and succeed. The market is perfectly capable of deciding which stores flourish and which will fail. We don't need others second guessing that.

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