Rasputin Music, the iconic Bay Area record store chain, will be closing its Haight Ashbury location, its last storefront in San Francisco.
Employees were informed Friday. The Haight Ashbury Rasputin location opened in 2013.
Rasputin closing its doors is the latest in a series of storefronts shutting down on Haight Street.
Christin Evans runs The Booksmith on Haight Street, located just a few doors down. She is also the president of the Haight Ashbury Merchants Association and has been active in the economic welfare of the street since 2007.
“There’s about 150 storefronts on Haight Street and there have been more vacant ones on Haight recently than any other time in my memory of being on the street,” she tells SF Weekly. “Even when we had the economic downturn we did not see as many storefronts closed as we do now.”
She says she believes the stores closing on the street is the result of several factors all at once. Some storefronts have been closed because of soft-story retrofits that have been ongoing. In addition to rents increasing (you may have heard, San Francisco is an expensive place to live), payroll costs have increased and construction on Haight Street has impacted street traffic.
“Business [sales] have been down as much as 30 percent,” for businesses on Haight Street, Evans says. “Even on blocks not under active construction we’ve seen shops reporting 12 to 15 percent reduction in sales.”
SF Weekly reached out to Rasputin for comment about why the Haight location is closing but hasn’t heard back yet.
With the closure of the Haight Ashbury location, Rasputin will have six locations still open. Rasputin Music was founded in Berkeley in 1971 by Ken Sarachan. Since then, it’s faced a series of closures: Stockton and Fairfield earlier this year in March, and Powell Street in 2016.
The news, first tweeted out by David DeBolt, was confirmed by SF Weekly on background speaking with employees at the Haight Street location.
Richard Procter contributed to this article.
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