After 10 years, high-end clothing retailer Unionmade closes both Castro stores

Unionmade is now closed at 493 Sanchez St. | Photo: Steven Bracco/Hoodline
By Steven Bracco - Published on August 22, 2019.

After a decade in the Castro, high-end clothing retailer Unionmade has closed both its men's and women's stores (493 Sanchez St. and 4035 18th St.)

Men's style blog From Squaller to Baller was first to catch wind of the potential closure last week, after noticing signs for clearance sales.

"After 10 years of independent retail, I have decided to move on to new creative endeavors," owner Todd Barkett said in a statement. Barkett first opened Unionmade's men's store in 2009.

Last year, Unionmade's Noe Valley women's store, Mill Mercantile, made a move to the Castro, rebranding as Unionmade Women. 

Unionmade Women has also shuttered. | Photo: Steven Bracco/Hoodline

Barkett expressed sadness over the closure.

"It was exciting to create a unique fashion point of view to match the uniqueness of San Francisco," he said. "I especially loved meeting all of the customers who shared in my vision of unique, quality clothing and expression of their personal style."

"It's always sad to hear when one of our local businesses closes, but this one is especially tough," said drag queen Juanita More, whose image adorns a mural on the store's exterior. "The challenges in San Francisco to run and maintain an independent store are beyond challenging."

Juanita More mural outside Unionmade. | Photo: Steven Bracco/Hoodline

The loss of two more longtime Castro retailers is another hit to the neighborhood, especially on the heels of Tuesday's announcement that nearby restaurant Finn Town Tavern will close. 

Other notable neighborhood closures in July and August have included Izakaya Sushi RanEureka Lounge and Restaurant and two of the three shops in the Castro Safeway complex: See's Candies and GNC

Hoodline reached out to District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman to discuss the Castro's recent retail closures. He acknowledged the Castro retail situation is critical, with each business' closure reflecting a different tale to be told.

Mandelman is currently working on planning code changes to help new businesses open. He also plans to work with the San Francisco's Office of Economic and Workforce Development to find strategies to help existing Castro businesses.

"The situation is dire," said Mandelman. "The Castro needs a Marshall Plan."

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