Artís Coffee Eyes Former Body Shop Location On Castro

The Body Shop at 506 Castro St. closed up just over a year ago, and the location has sat vacant ever since. Now, we've got word that Berkeley-based coffee roastery Artís Coffee could be moving in.

A planning application filed late last year has the location undergoing a change of use from retail to limited restaurant use, and Elvis Leiban of Artís has confirmed to Hoodline that the company is waiting on change of use authorization to move forward with plans for a Castro outpost. 

The location would be the second San Francisco expansion for the company, which is putting the finishing touches on its Hayes Valley location, set to open later this spring. As we noted back in October, Artís' mission is to let customers learn their coffee preferences and choose their own raw beans and roasting levels,  as well as to provide retail and guidance around home coffee preparation.

"We have something unique to offer to the neighborhood," said Lieban, when asked about the apparent concentration of coffee shops in the neighborhood. The company has had its eye on the Castro since before it first opened up shop in Berkeley. "It's something that we've wanted to do for a long time, and it's a community we've wanted to be a part of," he said.

Some may remember that the former Body Shop location was intermittently home to famed local bar the Midnight Sun back in the 1970s, according to SF Gay History. From 1970 to '72, it was located at 506 Castro St. before the location briefly became the "City Dump" in 1973. The Midnight Sun returned to the space for a stint from '74 to '81 before moving to the old plumbing warehouse at 4067 18th St. that is its current home.

As for Artís' plans, Lieban is cautiously optimistic, but says the city planning process is still in its preliminary stages. We'll keep you updated as plans progress.

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