Friday, June 04, 2010

Charles Chocolates Flagship Store in Union Square--CLOSED (3/5/11)

UPDATE (3/7/11): Charles Chocolates suddenly closed all operations over the weekend and is no longer making chocolates, for now.

At a distance from the outside, the store looks like any fancy store selling shoes or jewelry. But the inside holds something just as coveted — premium chocolates.

Charles Chocolates is a local artisan chocolate maker who has always had San Francisco as part of its moniker but never really had a presence (its main factory is in Emeryville) in recent years until owner Charles “Chuck” Siegel opened a retail store earlier this year at the Westfield San Francisco Centre.

The store is located on the older side of the urban mall in the section that’s anchored by Nordstrom. Now Siegel has a premium spot to showcase his unique chocolate creations. UPDATE: This apparently was a temporary store because the Westfield store has moved to the new side on the same section as Bloomingdale's.

Walking in the store almost feels like a gallery because everything looks so perfectly placed. Another reason why it doesn’t have the feel of a chocolate store is because there wasn’t an open counter display of their individual chocolates. The store is waiting for a city permit to display food, so for now they can only sell their packaged chocolate products. (This may have changed since I visited a couple of weeks ago since the clerk says the permit was coming soon.)

Still, you get an eyeful of Charles’ beautiful boxed chocolates, including their trademark hand-painted chocolate boxes. Once the chocolate counter is in place, I’m sure there’ll be more people coming in for free taste tests.

Charles Chocolates, 845 Market St., third floor inside the Westfield San Francisco Centre. PH: 415.348.8889. Open Mon.–Sat., 10 a.m.–8:30 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.–7 p.m.

Other chocolate stores:
Chocolatier Blue (Berkeley)
A Conversation with Christopher Elbow (San Francisco)


Fazal Majid said...

Actually, they recently moved to the other side of the mall, under the cupola.

Single Guy Ben said...

Thanks Fazal for the update. I noticed it said "Bloomingdale" side on their website but I thought that had to be a mistake because I was pretty sure I was on the Nordstrom side when I walked in a couple of weeks ago. Weird that they changed location so soon. I guess I have to check out that new spot now!

consumableJoy said...

Apparently they only had a short-term lease in the original location and someone else wanted to rent that space. The new space is even bigger.

But I still miss their old space in Oakland / Emeryville. :-(

Ascil said...

I'm drooling in office now