In early October, when La Victoria Bakery was forced to close its doors after 67 years, loyal customers were in shock. A family dispute led to the Mexican bakery’s eviction, and led some customers to respond in the only way they knew: with street art.
One woman made a yellow, red, and blue sign that read, “Rest in Peace La Victoria. You Will Be Missed.” Another person scrawled graffiti on the storefront door that read, “Fuck evictions.” La Victoria Bakery co-manager Danny Gabriner didn’t see the graffiti, but he did see the sign, which a customer brought by a few weeks after the closing — at which point Gabriner and the store’s other co-manager, Laura Hernandez, were selling bakery items on the sidewalk during Día de Los Muertos.
“We don’t know who it was, and she didn’t say much,” Gabriner tells SF Weekly about the art-maker, adding that he “absolutely” likes the sign and took photos of it.
When SF Weekly visited the shuttered store on a recent day, a third piece of art lived on: a mural that could pass for a semi-abstracted Aztec sun god. Gabriner approved of the work in July — just a few months before the bakery’s eviction.
The eviction street art is in the tradition of funeral art around the world, including cemeteries, where people try to leave reminders, however temporary, of lives that once were. But Gabriner and Hernandez aren’t dead. And neither, really, is La Victoria. Gabriner and Hernandez are still baking La Victoria items at a shared kitchen in the Dogpatch area — and still taking orders.
“We’re two neighborhoods over,” Gabriner says. “La Victoria has a bunch of wholesale accounts.”