An ad for the space on Craigslist was the first tip off, indicating that there is also a basement that could be usable as well. This is Valencia Street at 16th, kids, and they're asking $14,000 a month for it. You'd best believe that Clothes Contact, which has been in that space since the early 90s, was paying a fraction of that, so prepare yourself for artisanal denim and Union Made-type prices to come.
And, along with the departure of Adobe Books around the corner and the arrival of those new multi-million condos on 16th, this is just another harbinger of major changes at this once scruffy intersection.
The last time I bought anything there, clothes were $7 a pound, and of course typically needed one or two washes to remove that thrifty stink. More recently it was $10 a pound. The store has been a mainstay for drag queens, mid-century and polyester-obsessed hipsters, and frugal Halloween shoppers for two decades.
Thankfully, we remain a town chock full of great vintage stores, and Clothes Contact is actually owned by the same cabal, Retro City, that operates Mission Thrift (2330 Mission), and three stores in the Haight: Held Over, La Rosa Vintage, and Haight Ashbury Vintage.
Local dancer, drag performer and performance artist Monique Jenkinson (a.k.a. Fauxnique), wistfully recalls on Facebook...
And local writer Larissa Archer has this to say.
A pox on the landlord of Valencia's Clothes Contact and a pox on the inevitable bougie horror that replace s it. http://t.co/pUZa0cSTVx— larissa archer (@larissaarcher) July 24, 2014