Hoodline tried to contact BevMo!'s corporate headquarters in Concord to learn more about its plans, but calls were not returned. However, DB Shoes assistant manager John Viray confirmed that the shoe store has lost its lease, and an employee said it will close at the end of January.
BevMo! had previously placed a sign on the shoe store announcing its plans, but it was recently taken down, said Viray, who believes a petition is circulating among neighborhood bars in an attempt to stop BevMo! from moving in.
We inquired at Murphy's Pub, located just down Kearny Street, to see if it was involved in an effort to block BevMo! from opening. However, the staffer we spoke to, who requested anonymity, said he was fine with BevMo! coming into the area, as visitors staying in nearby hotels needed a place to purchase alcohol.
While the proposed BevMo! doesn't lie within the bounds of Union Square's Business Improvement District, executive director Karin Flood said she was concerned about the store's impact on the area's safety and security.
"Our only issue over the years with some liquor stores is the sale of small-size liquor bottles," she said. The mini bottles of liquor are often discarded on city streets by those battling addiction.
We contacted San Francisco's three other BevMo! locations, on Van Ness, Bayshore and Geary, and confirmed that all three sell 50-milliliter bottles of liquor, priced between $0.99 and $10.
If the permitting process goes according to plan, a new BevMo! could open in a matter of months. But BevMo! publicist Kelly Durcan said that he had no current indication of a store opening at this location, and could only say that if it were to open, it would "not be in the next two months."
In the meantime, DB Shoes will continue to reduce prices on its shoe and boot inventory, eventually combining stock with other locations throughout the Bay Area, Viray said.
Employees we spoke to appeared to be taking the closure in stride, hoping the company would move them to other stores—in some cases, closer to their East Bay homes.
Nayeli, who declined to give her last name, has worked shelving and selling shoes at DB for the past two months. She said she hoped to join the company's Emeryville store, which is closer to her home in West Oakland.
As for BevMo!, we'll keep you posted on its next move, and whether it will face opposition from neighbors.