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After 20 years in business, Braindrops says goodbye to the Upper Haight

Six months after moving to a new location at 1560 Haight St., Braindrops, the 20-year-old tattoo and piercing parlor that's called the Upper Haight home for 14 of those years, has closed for good.

The closure came as a surprise for some who had followed the shop's move into new digs. But Trevor Thomas, who's owned Braindrops for the past five years, said that financial pressures have been increasing on small businesses in the Haight.

"I love and adore the Haight," Thomas said. "I think it's an amazing neighborhood. It's culturally rich. It's probably one of the last neighborhoods [in San Francisco] that's true to what it was years ago — it's one of those places that has continued to be itself despite whatever else is happening."

But "it's harder and harder to function as a small business here," he added. "It's becoming a place where rents are exorbitant. It's a slipperier and slipperier slope."

Asked if he plans to reincarnate Braindrops elsewhere in the future, Thomas said, "as much as I would love to say that there is a return in mind, if there is, I just don't know that it would involve this neighborhood."

He expressed sadness at leaving the Haight, noting that "it's been fantastic in a lot of ways."

"Closing the store is a hard decision," he said. "It affects a lot of people, and there are a lot of things that, even after you've made the decision, still weigh heavily."


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1560 Haight Street

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