Five Businesses Added to the Legacy Business Registry
BUTTER, CALIFORNIA CHOPPERS, NATURAL RESOURCES, OCEAN CYCLERY, SOKO HARDWARE APPROVED BY SF SMALL BUSINESS COMMISSION FOR LEGACY BUSINESS REGISTRY
San Francisco, CA — On Monday, May 13th five businesses – Butter Bar & Restaurant, California Choppers, Natural Resources, Ocean Cyclery and Soko Hardware – were unanimously approved by the San Francisco Small Business Commission for the Legacy Business Registry. The Registry recognizes longstanding, community-serving businesses as valuable cultural assets to the city. There are currently 186 businesses on the Legacy Business Registry.
Butter Bar & Restaurant: 354 11th Street
Nominated by Supervisor Matt Haney
Butter Bar & Restaurant (“Butter”) has been rocking “two turntables and a microwave” since 1999 when brothers Carlton and Chris Solle, San Francisco house music promoters, created a DJ-themed bar as a place for the city’s DJs, promoters and producers to call their own. Located in the Western SoMa entertainment district, Butter serves up original signature drinks, tasty microwaved treats in a trashy-chic, anti-establishment atmosphere proven enjoyable for locals and tourists alike. Butter is currently owned and operated by Vlad Cood, a pioneer of the San Francisco rave scene, and his wife Jennifer who believe in maintaining traditions and bringing strangers together through music and dancing. The bar’s prolific elements include a Winnebago crashing through the front of the bar, an Airstream trailer-turned kitchen and overhead projections on the walls. Butter has operated continuously in San Francisco for 20 years.
“There is no place as unique and original as Butter,” said Vlad Cood, owner of Butter. “It’s a one-of-a-kind establishment that emanates the remarkable essence of SF’s diverse character, creativity and culture by bringing people together through music and dancing. Representing San Francisco as a Legacy Business is a tremendous honor, and Butter’s family of staff embody this distinguishment with extreme pride and joy.”
California Choppers: 1490 Howard Street
Nominated by Supervisor Matt Haney
Steve Nelson and Gary Couch opened California Choppers in 1975 on Valencia Street in the Mission District as a locals-only motorcycle store under the name Frisco Choppers. The business changed locations, names and ownership several times but has grown to be known as the one-stop shop serving the weekend rider and the diehard enthusiast. Under the helm of the current owners Wayne Hodges and Ron Aiello, the business went from selling mostly Harley-Davidson used parts to carrying a wide inventory of almost anything a motorcycle enthusiast would need to get their bike working and upgraded – a unique draw in an industry that relies on online and mail order products. In addition to parts and service, California Choppers carries high-quality used bikes and a full line of California Choppers clothing.
“We at California Choppers would like to thank the Legacy Business Program for selecting us to be a part of this program,” said Ron Aiello, co-owner of California Choppers. “California Choppers has been serving Haley Davidson enthusiasts for over 40 years, and we are honored to continue serving this community for another 40 years.”
Natural Resources All Families Foundation, Inc.: 1367 Valencia Street
Nominated by Supervisor Hillary Ronen
Founded in 1988 by Deborah Jackson and Chris Pritchard, Natural Resources All Families Foundation, Inc. (“Natural Resources”) is a community pregnancy, childbirth and early parenting center. Natural Resources provides education, resources and support for women and families of all types, from pre-conception through early parenting and beyond. It is a hub where parents can take childbirth classes, rent or buy parenting products and make lifelong friendships through pregnancy and support groups. In 2015, Natural Resources became a nonprofit organization operating as the Natural Resources All Families Foundation, Inc., and in 2016, it became a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
“Our mission to nurture families from pregnancy to early childhood is every bit as important today as it was 31 years ago,” said Alice Light, Executive Director of Natural Resources. “While other, similar centers have left the city, it becomes all the more critical that we remain. Natural Resources, as the oldest pregnancy resource center in this vibrant city, is proud to join the ranks of other Legacy Businesses.”
Ocean Cyclery: 1935 Ocean Avenue
Nominated by Supervisor Norman Yee
Ocean Cyclery is a family-owned bicycle sales and repair shop in the Ingleside neighborhood offering a large selection of bikes and bicycle accessories for the novice rider to the more experienced road cyclist. The business was founded in 1996 by Jeffrey Taliaferro, an avid amateur road bike racer and San Francisco native who had been tuning up bikes since age 12. Co-owned with his wife Sabine, Ocean Cyclery takes pride in helping people find their perfect bikes. Jeffrey and Sabine support many local causes and efforts to help make the city more environmentally- and bike-friendly through advocacy, donations and involvement with local organizations. Ocean Cyclery has operated continuously in San Francisco for 23 years.
"My Family and I are honored to be recognized as a Legacy Business," said Jeffrey Taliaferro, owner of Ocean Cyclery. “There are many places to buy bicycles, yet we continue to have a strong customer base who appreciates our craftsmanship and service. The Legacy status gives us the tools to stay in the Ingleside neighborhood for many more years to come.
Soko Hardware: 1698 Post Street
Nominated by Supervisor Vallie Brown
Soko Hardware opened in 1925 as the first hardware store in Japantown. A multi-generational family-owned business, husband and wife team Masayasu Ashizawa and Naka founded Soko Hardware after emigrating from Japan in the early 1920s. "Soko" was the name used to reference San Francisco at the time.
The business carries a wide variety of general hardware merchandise, along with vital Japanese tools and housewares such as woodworking tools, appliances, knives, cookware and even Buddhist shrines for temples and homes. The business closed and relocated over the years, including a forced closure during World War II due to military ordered Japanese American internment, but the family re-opened the business and remained committed to preserving their place in Japantown.
“For 94 years, Soko Hardware has been serving the Japantown community,” said Philip Ashizawa, Soko Hardware’s owner and grandson of the store’s founder, Masayasu Ashizawa. “We’re very honored and proud to receive this recognition.”
About the Legacy Business Program
A Legacy Business is a for-profit or nonprofit business that has operated in San Francisco for 30 or more years. The business must contribute to the neighborhood's history and/or the identity of a particular neighborhood or community, and it must commit to maintaining the physical features or traditions that define the business, including craft, culinary or art forms.
The registration process for the Legacy Business Program includes nomination by Mayor London N. Breed or a member of the Board of Supervisors, a written application, an advisory recommendation from the Historic Preservation Commission and approval of the Small Business Commission. Inclusion on the Registry provides Legacy Businesses with recognition and support as an incentive for them to stay in the community. The program also provides educational and promotional assistance to encourage their continued viability and success in San Francisco.
For more information about the Legacy Business Program, including a list and map of businesses on the Legacy Business Registry, visit http://sfosb.org/legacy-business.