We received a few tips from our readers that West Coast Leather (400 Castro Street) has been setting up store closing sale signs in their windows and outside their doors the past couple of days. I stopped in earlier today to find out what was up. Having not been in the store yet, I did browse around a bit. I noticed that West Coast Leather sells more than leather and carries a full line of Rough brand clothing including linen shirts, denim jackets, shoes, denim and corduroy jeans, and accessories. The feeling of the place was like an expanded version of Outfit on 18th Street. I spoke with West Coast Leather Owner and Fashion Director, Skip Pas who told us that their 6-month lease with the building owner was up and even though they extended it on a month-to-month basis for January and February, sales for the past couple of months have been lower than expected and not enough to cover the lease. He mentioned leather sales is seasonal and fickle and that foot traffic in the Castro has been low and expected it to be even worse with the Castro Streetscape Improvement Project set to break ground soon. Pas also mentioned leather is not something you just shop for like you would with other types of clothing like socks, pants, and shirts. He told me he sold 16 leather jackets to an artist in LA this morning and that many sales are like that; people ordering specific leather items. Pas mentioned the building owner was in talks with another lessee, but could not mention who it was. "The space is great," Pas said, noting the exposed brick walls and the stereo system. "A lot of people come in just to see what it would be like to run it as a club or a restaurant," he said. Pas thinks the next tenant should be one of the two and noted that the building owner really just wants to sell the entire building. The iconic building which is located at the seat of the Castro at Market Street was formerly a Diesel store and was rumored to be taken over by many interesting tenants since including Apple and as a burlesque nightclub called Randy Rooster. Pas said we could expect the store to be closed by end of March, barring a new agreement with the building owner or increased sales. We'll keep you in the loop if we hear anymore details on a new tenant. For now, consider stopping by the store as many items are being heavily discounted.
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