The Haight-Ashbury’s retail landscape has been a shell of its former self for well over six months now. But a sliver of pre-pandemic normalcy is slated to come back into the zeitgeist next week when SF's Amoeba Music reopens (for limited hours), allowing vinyl purveyors to sift their stacks.

2020's been a rough year for local retail — to say the absolute least. Most of San Francisco's Gap stores have ceased operating; Rent the Runways SF flagship store shut down; and, altogether, more than half of the city's storefronts have closed since COVID-19 entered our collective lexicons. However, against all odds, Amoeba Music's SF location is coming out on the other side intact and, starting September 17, will open between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. from Thursday through Sunday.

As reported by the Chronicle, the famous vinyl hub in the Haight-Ashbury will open its 25,000-square-foot store next week, nearly three months after SF health officials permitted nonessential retailers to allow customers to shop at physical locations.

“[...] we feel like we have a big enough space where we can [allow shoppers] back in safely and carefully,” says co-owner Mark Weinstein to the Chronicle, adding that they decided to wait until store owners and operators were certain they could again conduct business indoors — safely. “The case numbers have continued to improve in San Francisco. We feel like we have all the protocols in place.”

And to ensure the well-being of patrons, the store will have only 150 people in the space at once; we imagine this number also includes on-site staff.

“We’re just excited to get back up on our feet, but we’re going to do it slowly,” Weinstein waxes, noting later that although Amoeba's LA store on Sunset Boulevard closed permanently in April, a "big new record" store is in the works just a few blocks away: “We’re opening a big new record store for possibly the last time ever."

To boot, the buy-counter at Amoeba will also kick-off again on Thursday, though Weinstein says that people keen on ridding themselves of the tangible niceties of yesteryear should expect long lines and wait times.

Alas, Weinstein states that no live performances or artist meet-and-greet events are happening anytime soon — but the opening of this local bastion for all things media is a welcomed bit of respite from... well, everything happening right now.

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Image: Courtesy of Natalie Cardona