How The Rain Has Hurt—And Helped—Divisadero's Small Businesses

It's wet out there. 

And although the precipitation is very much a welcome change from the aridity of recent years, it does bring along some consequences, particularly for businesses that rely on foot traffic to bring in potential customers.

How has the seemingly endless rain affected our local Divisadero shops, cafes and eateries? We made the rounds to find out.

Bean Bag Cafe

Bean Bag barista April Deutschly cites Muni woes for slower business.

 "I think the rain has affected our business in that people will want to stay inside more and not necessarily go out leisurely," said April Deutschly, who's been working at Bean Bag for about two-and-a-half years. "Also, Muni doesn't work as well during our storms because our city's not super equipped for that sort of thing."

"We're doing okay though, since lots of people work from home, so I think we're definitely a place where people who have been cooped up for a couple days go to hang out and do their work," she elaborated. "But it's slow during the evenings. We have a lot of outdoor seating and that's really popular for us, and that's not been really happening."

4505 Burgers & BBQ

A dreary scene at the 4505 patio.

With the plight of the outdoor restaurant in mind, we stopped by 4505 just up the block.

 "Well, we've been doing a lot of to-go orders mostly, since a lot of people don't  want to sit on our patio," said Jackie Casten, a manager at 4505, who said that, at this time, they still don't plan to put up tarps or any other sort of covering. "It's like 80 percent covered, but the wind and the rain come in, so a lot of people stay away." 

We asked whether or not her employees have been suffering from a dearth of tips. "We've had to cut hours, like one or two shifts a day," she said. "Some people are cool when they get the day off, but when you get your paycheck you're like 'Where'd my money go?'"

She ended on a hopeful note. "This weekend is supposed to be nice though, so I imagine a lot of people are going to want to be out and about."

Topo Designs

We caught up with general manager Joey Janssen, who actually had some positive news.

Though the rain has hurt some businesses, he said that the weather has helped the retailer, as it's brought in more people seeking to invest in some outerwear. 

Mojo Bicycle Cafe

Estefania Parada is grateful for loyal locals who brave the weather.

"During the weekdays, most businesses on Divisadero are reliant on their locals, so it's been business as usual as far as that goes," said Mojo barista Estefania Parada.

"But in terms of outsiders, we've definitely been affected by the rain. We do make less money," she said. "The cafe has adjusted for winter hours, where we're opening an hour later on Thursdays, and we've reduced the hours that we're open to adjust to the weather and the lack of outside visitors."

Repose Coffee

It's a ghost town over at the Repose parklet.

"Business in the rain sucks," chuckled barista and Bernie Quackers guardian Miranda Coleman. "Far less people go for larger purchases. They'll buy a drip coffee, then leave, whereas otherwise people buy bar drinks and I get tipped more."

We asked her how she's been holding up with the lack of tips and she replied, "It's been really hard. It's been a huge dent to our income. It's so big that I've been having to do commission paintings, sell clothes online, and find a second job just to make up for that money."

Powder

Finally, we stopped by Powder, the Taiwanese "shaved snow" spot that opened last September (in the middle of a heat wave), to check in with co-owner Mimi Hanley. 

"We were a little nervous about opening ahead of the winter, but it's actually been great," she said. "The neighborhood's been super welcoming and we have folks that have been trekking out in the rain and the cold. Some folks have actually been intentionally coming because they know it won't be busy."

"We've been very lucky that people have still come and found us, whether they live in the neighborhood or live across the city. We're excited about the spring and the summer, but the winter's been fine," she added.

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How rain affects divisaderos small businesses