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San Francisco

Thai massage parlor overcomes regulatory hurdles to open in the Upper Haight

A year after beginning its journey through the city's re-zoning and re-permitting process, Iyara Traditional Thai Massage will open its doors tomorrow at 1711 Haight Street.

Iyara will be Haight Street's only massage parlor — they're expressly prohibited by the terms of a city code that's a throwback to a different kind of Haight Street.

To receive a special dispensation from SF Planning, Iyara jumped through all the necessary hoops, including adding pedestrian lighting, ensuring its windows were clear and visible, and hosting a community meeting to assure neighbors that it offered only the wholesome variety of massage.

The parlor will be Iyara's second; a Richmond District location (4328 Geary Blvd.) opened seven years ago. Both locations specialize in "Nuat Phaen Boran," a form of Thai massage that involves stretching and deep body massage.

The new shop will offer Iyara's full lineup, including traditional Thai massage, herbal heat compress massage, aroma massage, and foot reflexology (all $80-90 per hour). As an enticement for neighbors, it's currently running a 20% discount special on massages and gift certificates.

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