Artist & Craftsman Supply to close its doors in Jackson Square

Artist & Craftsman Supply to close its doors in Jackson Square
Photo: Geri Koeppel/Hoodline 
By Alisa Scerrato - Published on January 17, 2020.

Employee-owned art supply store Artist & Craftsman Supply will soon close its doors at 555 Pacific Ave. 

The closure was first announced in a Facebook post, and confirmed by employees who wished to remain anonymous. 

As for the reason for its closure, employees said it was essentially due to the high cost of living in San Francisco — profits just weren't high enough to run a business in the neighborhood.

Surrounding Jackson Square has become significantly tonier in recent years, with high-end clothing stores like Isabel Marant, A.P.C. and Shinola and upscale restaurants like Quince moving in. Upscale members-only club The Battery and a number of tech companies have also moved to the neighborhood. 

The closure also reflects ongoing tough times for the city's art supply stores, which cater to a dwindling population of artists. Flax, another independently owned art supply shop, closed its Market Street location in 2016 for a move to Oakland. The space is now a condo building.

Photo: Artist & Craftsman Supply/Facebook

In addition to selling an array of arts and crafts supplies, Artist & Craftsman Supply sells minerals and crystals, postcards, retro toys, buttons, hand puppets, and more. 

The Facebook post mentions that the store will be having a store-wide 50% off sale on all merchandise until it closes.

Photo: Artist & Craftsman Supply/Facebook

Artist & Craftsman Supply, which opened 14 years ago, is located in the Hippodrome building, a historic landmark that remained when the Barbary Coast was essentially closed down in 1917.

While most of the area was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake, the structure at 555 Pacific went through several iterations of clubs, brothels and speakeasies before the Hippodrome moved in in the 1930s.

Due to its colorful history, the building also attracts tourists, with a downstairs area that leads into a set of tunnels most likely used for shanghaiing, assistant manager Justine Kessler told us in 2015

Photo: Artist & Craftsman Supply/Facebook

Employees said that there is no hard date yet for the closure, but it will likely be sometime in February. After the closure, shoppers can go to Artist & Craftsman's website or its other Bay Area store, in Berkeley, to purchase items.

"We are honored to have spent the last 14 years in this incredible neighborhood," employees wrote on Facebook. "Thank you for all of your support."