Olajuwon Mitchell, who's been shining shoes in the Financial District for 40 years, is considering taking the Warriors up on an offer to move to the new Chase Center complex, which will be the site of 200+ events per year.
Mitchell, himself a former semi-pro football player and huge football fan (he's a Louisiana native and, so, more loyal to the Saints than the 49ers), hasn't yet made a decision if he'll move away from his loyal downtown clientele to set up shop in Mission Bay, but he's entertaining the idea. As the SF Business Times reports, Mitchell pitched the idea himself to Warriors co-owner and CEO Joe Lacob at a banquet he was invited to, and Lacob loved the idea.
See why Olajuwon Mitchell may be the Warriors' next big (retail) star. https://t.co/OKD20A8VdX— San Francisco Business Times (@SFBusinessTimes) August 14, 2019
But now Mitchell has to make a decision, because it's not like the majority of concertgoers and Warriors fans passing by the corner of Third and Warriors Way are going to be wearing leather shoes in need of shining. The spot would have some regular daytime traffic from UCSF Medical Center visitors and staff, as well as from Uber's new headquarters, but will it be enough to make up for the client base he's built up in and around his current spot at California and Sansome. (He's already had to move around the neighborhood a few times, and he's only been at that spot a few months.)
Mitchell, 57, whose given name is Christopher (he was nicknamed Olajuwon because of his resemblance to Nigerian-American basketball player Hakeem Olajuwon), lives in San Francisco and has a collection of photos of himself with famous customers including Joe Montana and Jerry Rice. He got a great review for his work from the Chronicle back in 2009, but he seems to think that making a fresh move might be a good idea, given the opportunity.
As he tells the Business Times, "Windows open like that. It could be closed like that."