UPDATE (10/03/09): This store has closed. I guess that answers that.
On Sunday I was strolling the Castro district in San Francisco. It had been awhile since I've been in the neighborhood, so I checked out some of the new things such as this chocolate candy store named, appropriately, Chocolate on Castro.
Squeezed between The Body Shop and Harvey's Hamburgers, this is like a haven for chocolate lovers. It sells a variety of chocolates, some homemade, some brand names like Charles Chocolate and Scharffen Berger. What caught me was the store's shabby chic decor. Here's a mini tour of this four-month-old store:
Here's part of the window display that caught my eye. It had all these quaint French country home furnishing with all these funny things about chocolate such as this sign that says: "Forget love ... I'd rather fall in chocolate." (Huh, I'm not a big chocolate lover, so I'd rather go for love. But that's just me.)
It's funny that during the time I was there in this new Castro store, I was the only guy there. All the workers were female and all the browsers were women as well. So do gay men really eat chocolate? Probably, but I always had the theory that women go ga-ga over chocolate more do men, even gay men. Am I right ladies? So we'll see how long this store lasts. Granted, the Castro is changing and it's no longer just a gay neighborhood as more and more straight couples move in. But it's still predominantly men. Above you see the counter that has all the variety of chocolates like truffles, coated candies and fudge.
They sold a lot a chocolate novelty items such as chocolate pasta, chocolate sauces and chocolate-themed T-shirts such as the one shown above.
Here's their home-made fudge. They had all sorts of flavors. I decided to try the mojito fudge, which sold for $2.50. I have to say, I've never eaten a lot of fudge in my life so didn't know what to expect. I thought it might be more like brownies, but it was actually softer and thick, sort of like a chocolate mousse. It definitely had a minty flavor. I liked it although it was a bit too sweet for me. But something tells me that most chocolate lovers probably love the sweet.
Throughout the shop were these huge chandeliers. I kind of liked them in that shabby chic kind of way.
My take on this store is that it's a novelty chocolate candy store, but not all the chocolate have the appearance of premium chocolates like Rechiutti at the Ferry Building, for example. (Of course, you're also not paying the crazy Rechiutti prices either.) The chocolates (with the exception of known brands like Charles Chocolates) had this real homemade look. Also, the service was pleasant but a bit curt. They didn't seem to want to strike up a conversation as much as getting your order and moving on. Not something that will bode well in a neighborhood location.
Anywho, not sure how successful this will be in this neighborhood. The whole look and feel of the store seemed to scream La Jolla mall than the Castro. Why do I have a feeling that most people in this neighborhood would rather pour chocolate on a lover instead of eating it? ;-)
Chocolate on Castro, 504 Castro St. at 18th Street, San Francisco.
BTW, found this great blog about the comings and goings of businesses in the Castro. It's a shame that there is such a high turnover in this neighborhood. It's odd because gay men have a lot of descretionary income but they apparently spend it everywhere BUT the Castro. Go figure. Anywho, this blog is a fun read.