Tenderloin vintage haven Vacation preps for momentous move across the street

Vacation's current storefront at 651 Larkin | Photo: Vacation
By Carrie Sisto - Published on November 25, 2019.

Tenderloin vintage store Vacation is offering name-your-price deals for its already-affordable wares over this holiday week in preparation for its move to a bigger space.

The buy-sell-trade vintage store, with its punk rock basement that sometimes served as a recording studio for CastleFace Records, opened in the Tenderloin seven years ago. The new location is just across the street from its current space at 651 Larkin St. (between Ellis and Eddy).

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Yo!!!! WE DID IT! After 7 years at 651 Larkin we are MOVIN UP and OUT!! Our new shop will be open by the end of 2019, at the bottom of the Hotel Essex— 150 feet away from our current spot! Same block!! It’s a ✨#tenderloinmiracle!!! ✨We are so excited for Vacation SF 2.0- it’s gonna be bigger, badder and radder than before. I LOVE YOU GUYS so much for cruising on this #VacationSf trip with me, and I am fuckin stoked to announce there’s a new Boss on the block, @bloghands Ned Meiners is all aboard this crazy train 🚂 now! WE ARE STILL OPEN, Just keep your eyeballs peeled here for 🎉 PARTYS 🌈SHOWS🔮MEGA SALES and More for our remaining time at 651 Larkin. THANK YOU 🙏 for all these years in this special spot❤️❤️ STAY TUNED!!!

A post shared by V a c a t i o n SF (@vacationsf) on

The band-manager-turned-store-owner sought a new location for a couple of years, partly due to some issues with property management, but largely because the store is so packed with goods that people don’t have the space to see everything.

Vacation's current space is packed, with clothes and accessories on every available surface| Photo: Carrie Sisto/Hoodline

She said was only ever looking to move within the Tenderloin, however. 

“I love this neighborhood,” she told us. She’s the person behind the #tenderloinmiracle hashtag, which she uses to highlight people seen outside the shop that bring life to the neighborhood.

Klein likens the Tenderloin to a time capsule of San Francisco, staying very much the same while the rest of the city changes so rapidly. She wants her store to be a reason for people to come to the neighborhood and to give them a positive experience when they get there. 

Vacation hosts regular art shows, and aims to maintain an inventory of high-quality, pre-loved clothes that aren’t overpriced. Vintage means you’ll never find anything the same, or anything else quite like it anywhere else, Klein said.  

When we caught up with her, Klein was in the midst of sanding the floors ahead of spending an evening painting the new location, just across the street from the current one, at 702-704 Larkin St. The new shop takes over two store fronts that were formerly Strand barber shop (704 Larkin) and for a short time, its sister nail salon Gloss (702 Larkin).

The facade at 702 Larkin already has Vacation's familiar, brightly colored 'bricks' added | Photo: Carrie Sisto/Hoodline

The new location more than triples Vacation’s space, and adds a second dressing room for shoppers. Klein designed it all herself, and credits her “amazing carpenter DeeDee,” who also has a punk band called Dancer, for taking her drawings and sketches and turning them into reality.  

The building is owned by the non-profit Community Housing Partnership, which owns the Essex Hotel (at 684 Ellis). The new landlord relationship is encouraging, Klein said, because it's clear that CHP is dedicated to taking care of their property. 

The shop's new entrance will be at 704 Larkin, right next to hat shop Tilted Brim | Photo: Carrie SIsto/Hoodline

There will still be art shows and music, but the new location will serve as “more of a venue than a punk rock basement,” Klein said.

She and her staff and friends are doing all the work to get the new store ready to open on Dec. 1.

In the meantime, shoppers are still welcome at the original store between noon and 8 p.m. everyday this week and over small business Saturday. Everything will be on sale, and “no reasonable offer will be rejected,” Klein said. 

If anything holds up the re-opening plans, Klein said vintage hunters can still buy things via Vacation's Instagram page, where followers can also get details about the new store and plans for the grand opening celebration.

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