If you've recently walked by Max Muscle Sports Nutrition at the corner of 16th and Market, you may have noticed 'for lease' signs in the window.
Hoodline spoke with franchise owner Jason Mayol, who told us that Max Muscle will be moving into the smaller space right next door, currently home to men's clothing boutique Entour. The move is tentatively set for August 1st.
"We don't need the big space," said Mayol, citing ever-increasing rents that won't go down "unless you move." The move to a smaller space will allow him to save money. "It's a business move."
Max Muscle has been at its current location, right underneath the Lookout, for the past 20 years. Mayol, a Peninsula resident, has owned the franchise for five years; he also owns another Max Muscle in San Mateo.
Leaving the prime corner of 16th and Market isn't going to be easy. "I'm going to miss my Star Trek command post," Mayol said, noting that he sees a lot, with people and cars passing by all day. Just last week, he witnessed a worker at the Castro farmers market being hit by a car, and was able to share his surveillance video footage with police.
The Max Muscle franchise was established in 1990; it has 26 stores across the Bay Area, Sacramento and the Central Valley. The store offers a wide variety of nutritional supplements, athletic apparel and fitness and health magazines.
Due to its number of franchise locations, Max Muscle qualifies as formula retail, which is typically barred from the Castro without a conditional use authorization from the Planning Department. Hoodline reached out to Planning to ask whether the store will need to receive the authorization for a move within the same building, but spokesperson Gina Simi was unable to give us a definite answer, noting that a zoning administrator will be looking into the matter.
Max Muscle's move means that Entour, the men's clothing store that's been in the Castro since 2006, will be closing permanently. Owner Darren Cadiz said he won't be seeking a new location.
"Things are changing with retail business in the neighborhood," said Cadiz. He was offered a five-year lease, but due to a decrease in sales, he's decided that "it's time to move on." Cadiz works full-time as a paralegal, and will now concentrate more on that job.
Cadiz is thankful for all the support he's had in the two and a half years that he's owned the shop. "It's been fun to be a part of the neighborhood," he said.
Entour is currently offering 25 percent off, and Cadiz said he'll continue having more sales as he begins to wind down. He expects to close the store at the end of July.
Hoodline also inquired about a possible new tenant for the soon-to-be-vacant Max Muscle space, but "no lease has been signed for a new tenant yet," property owner Larry Bennett told us.
We'll keep you updated on whether Max Muscle will need to seek a conditional use permit for its move. Until then, stop by Entour and say goodbye before month's end.
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