Oh, Valencia Street. Must you break our hearts again and again? It wasn’t enough when kitsch Room 4 became an upscale chocolatier or Bombay Bazar [sic?] became West of Pecos. Now Clothes Contact – part of the Retro City empire along with Mission Thrift, Held Over in the Haight, and Berkeley’s Mars, and where just about everything is $10/lb. – is going under. Much to the chagrin of drag performers, or anyone in search of rhinestone jeans (anything the least bit diaphanous), Valencia is about to lose another gem. As Mission Mission put it, “you gotta sell thrift by the ounce, not the pound.”
A little investigation yielded different answers on exactly when it’s all coming to an end. The initial Craigslist ad said 60 days, but a sign in Mission Thrift’s window claims they’re sticking around through the end of the calendar year – while the employees implied that it might be a full year or more. Multiple messages to the owner as well as to West Coast Property Management went unreturned.
Everyone should refrain from going into High Elegiac Mode until we know when Clothes Contact is closing for sure and, more importantly, what’s going to replace the racks of floral maxi dresses behind in that flagstone facade. I’m betting it’s probably not going to be a used bookstore or a housing non-profit. If it’s a fro-yo place, I will be sure to narrow my eyes every time I walk by, and if it’s a start-up that makes an app that only says “Fro-Yo,” I may extend my lower jaw, too.