Many Burners' favorite Mission thrift spot Clothes Contact, which has been selling by-the-pound (sometimes musty) used clothing at Valencia and 16th since the wild days of 1986, is getting ready to close as they announced they would be last summer. As of August, longtime owner Werner Werwie said the place would stick it out through the end of the year, and the store's made it a couple months beyond that, but via an email sent out on Saturday Werwie says the time has come for a half-off going-out-of-business sale which will go on until the doors close for good. So that means you can do some Halloween/Burning Man shopping early for a mere $5 a pound.
As Mission Local reports, Werwie was quick to clarify, in the wake of the Borderlands brouhaha, that "rents are the reason we will not be renewing our lease (not higher minimum wages, Healthy SF or having to pay sick days)."
Via a Craigslist post that originally tipped people off to the store's impending demise, we learned that the landlord was looking for a new, obviously bougier tenant to pay $14,000/month for the space.
Clothes Contact was one of the OGs of Valencia's ultimate gentrification nearly 20 years ago, way before the dot-com boom of the late 90's. He writes, "Valencia and 16th was a wasteland. The only 'pioneers' there were Rainbow Groceries and the Picaro Cafe." Pauline's Pizza would come along the following year, in 1987, and Ti Couz would arrive in 1992, but not until the opening of Range in 2005, which would go on to earn a Michelin star, would the Valencia corridor mature into the hip and expensive food and retail destination it is now.
And even though the Mission is still home to plenty of good thrift shops, including Clothes Contact's sister business Retro City, it's not hard to imagine a time when all such low-price-point businesses will get priced out of the 'hood.
So get over there while you still can.