Ambassador Toys to shutter West Portal, Embarcadero Center locations

Ambassador Toys to shutter West Portal, Embarcadero Center locations
Photos: Teresa Hammerl/Hoodline
By Teresa Hammerl - Published on January 22, 2020.

Hoodline tipster Paul T. alerted us that Ambassador Toys (186 West Portal Ave.), known for its selection of toys, art supplies, and educational products, is shuttering after 23 years.

When a Hoodline reporter visited the West Portal store, its owner declined to comment on the closure, or when the store's last day will be.

However, a sign in the window says "retiring," indicating that the closure may be for personal, not financial, reasons. 

Ambassador Toys is also set to close its location at Two Embarcadero Center, according to an employee we spoke with. That location's last day will be January 31. 

The toy store has a third location in Palo Alto. An employee there declined to comment on whether it will close. 

At the West Portal store, the entire stock is being offered at a discount, with signs noting that all sales are final. 

The West Portal space has also been listed for lease on Loopnet; the price is advertised as negotiable. 

The national decline in brick-and-mortar retail has taken its toll on toy stores, most notably national chain Toys "R" Us, which was driven into bankruptcy by a private equity firm in 2018.

Down in San Mateo, the famed Talbot's Toyland is closing this month after 66 years in business, with its owner citing the "retail apocalypse" of high rents, online competition and rising minimum wages. 

Closer to home, Jeffrey's Toys was forced out of its 45-year Financial District location by a massive 2015 rent hike. However, it was able to find a new location a block away, and returned to the city in 2017.

Thanks to tipster Paul T.! See something interesting while you’re out and about? Text Hoodline and we’ll try to find out what's going on: (415) 200-3233.