Quantcast

After 18 years, Castro pet store Best in Show announces permanent closure [Updated]

Best in Show at 545 Castro St. | Photo: Steven Bracco/Hoodline
By Steven Bracco - Published on May 12, 2020.

After 18 years in the Castro, pet store Best in Show has announced it will close. 

In an email to customers, owners Richard Shiu and George Freeman announced that they will be retiring. 

"[G]iven the circumstances of the past few months, the climate of brick-and-mortar retail, and our desire to move on and do other things, we feel this is the right time," they write. "All good things must come to an end."

The statement did not include an exact closing date. Hoodline reached out to Shiu and Freeman for comment, but did not receive a response.

A current listing advertises the approximately 1,000-square-foot for a monthly rent of $9,833 business for sale at $118,000. Property owner Helen McClure tells Hoodline the monthly rent is $4,800.

Inside Best in Show. | Photo: Steven Bracco/Hoodline

Opened in 2002, Best in Show was one of the first boutique pet stores in San Francisco.

In addition to selling food and toys from high-end manufacturers, the store had its own line, Barkology, offering dog toys, T-shirts and hats.

In 2016, the shop received some local attention for its papier-mâché Donald Trump window display, featuring the then-candidate selling dog-waste bags. The hot-pink 'Dumps on Trump' bags featured little pictures of Trump's face.

'Dumps for Trump' window display (2016). | Photo: Steven Bracco/Hoodline

With Best in Show's closure, the 500 block of Castro Street will soon have five vacant storefronts — one of which was also formerly a dog-centric boutique. Dogo Love (538 Castro) shuttered in 2018.

Last year, clothing store Clobba (587 Castro) closed after 22 years, as did fledgling Mexican restaurant Papi Rico (544 Castro) closed its doors after less than two years in business.

Meanwhile, the former Under One Roof (541 Castro) has been vacant since 2013, with its space sporadically used for pop-ups.

Dallas, a French bulldog, inside Best in Show. | Photo: best in show/instagram

For those looking to stop in and say goodbye, Best in Show will be open this Thursday through Sunday from 1 - 6 p.m. The store is currently offering 20% off its entire stock, excluding food and treats.

"We’d like to thank you very much for supporting us and allowing us to be a part of the Castro community," Shiu and Freeman wrote in their statement. "Thanks again for the memories!"

Update, 6:00pm: After publishing, property owner Helen McClure contacted Hoodline to provide more details on the sale of the business and the current monthly rent.

"I was born and raised in the Castro, thus I am more than just a property owner,' said McClure. "I want to maintain a vibrant and diverse Castro and do so by offering reasonable rent to small business owners."

About 1 hour ago
San Francisco Castro Duboce Triangle

Castro cannabis retailer Flore Store announces 4/20 opening & mural competition

The Castro's newest cannabis retailer Flore Store (258 Noe St.) has announced its grand opening on 4/20 — across the street from Flore a.k.a. Cafe Flore. Read More

About 8 hours ago
San Francisco Outer Sunset

DamnFine debuts in the Outer Sunset with wood-fired pizzas, Italian wines

The pandemic has cemented our love affair with comfort foods — chief among them pizza and to-go cocktails. DamnFine (3410 Judah Street), one of the newest restaurants to grace the Outer Sunset, is intent on being a one-stop destination for all that and more. Read More

Jan 26, 2021
San Francisco

Girls Scout Cookie season is here, but don’t expect in-person sales

The Girls Scouts of Northern California will not do-si-do with their normal cookie sale booths during the pandemic, but tag along as we show you how to buy Girls Scout Cookies online in the Bay Area. Read More

Jan 25, 2021
San Francisco Castro

Castro Theatre's massive new hybrid organ may get installed in time for cinemas to reopen

The new hybrid digital/pipe organ that has been in the works for the grand Castro Theatre for about six years is finally about to become a reality, and depending on how long it takes to ship from Pennsylvania and how long it takes for movie theaters to safely reopen in San Francisco, it may arrive just time for the Castro's next public screenings. Read More