First Look: Acrimony's Awesome New Sister Shop, ACRE/SF!

One of the hottest ‘hoods of the moment? Definitely S.F.’s historic North Beach nabe, which gets even cooler today with the grand-opening of Acrimony’s sister shop, ACRE/SF. The brainchild of Acrimony’s super-adorable owner, Jenny Chung (check out our tour of her personal space here!), the sprawling Italian deli-turned-boutique doesn’t only serve up clothing. In line with the city’s current obsession with all things multi-use, the store nestled on top of Telegraph Hill’s Union Street is a coffee shop-clothing shop hybrid, where guys and gals can sip on fresh Blue Bottle Coffee while combing through wares by Rachel Comey, Vena Cava, a Gitman Brothers' shop-in-shop, and much more. Not wearing your best slope-climbing shoes today? No worries. We’ve got an exclusive gallery of the shop that’ll save you a hike...and have you booking a North Beach shopping trip, asap.
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When did you decide to open up another store?
Jenny Chung: “I've been looking for another location since the beginning of the year. Our business has been growing and it was time to branch out from Hayes Valley. It had been really difficult to find a space that felt right. And I'm all about the feeling of a space. But the second I walked into this store, I knew it was perfect.”

Photo: Cody Rasmussen for ACRE/SF
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Why did you choose North Beach for the shop’s location?
“I knew I wanted to open more than just one boutique, and I wanted a concept shop that incorporated more than just fashion. After all, fashion is part of a lifestyle that includes so many other elements. People should feel something when they walk into a shop. It should be special in more ways than just ‘big brands.’ It should incorporate food, coffee, books, apothecary, music, accessories, and housewares, and it should be in a breathtaking location. North Beach isn't the most convenient of locations, but the hike up the hill is well worth the experience of ACRE/SF.”

The clean and modern cafe stands in contrast to the 1926-era image above it, showing the old Italian deli the shop used to be.

Photo: Cody Rasmussen for ACRE/SF
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Where does the name ACRE come from?
“The Greek origin of the word is 'Agros,' which is also the root of Acrimony. The two are connected. ACRE/SF has a nice ring to it, and it's a fitting name for our space that overlooks the entire city from all directions. It's no ACRE of land, but it feels huge when you're there. I also thought it needed to be grounded, which is why I added the 'S.F.' to the end. People should know where we're from, even when they're shopping online.”

Photo: Cody Rasmussen for ACRE/SF
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How is ACRE different from Acrimony?
“The brand selection at ACRE/SF is different, the price-points are aimed at being more accessible, and the most differentiating aspect is that we also have a cafe that serves Blue Bottle Coffee. We'll feature pastries, baked goods, ice cream, and other seasonal delectables from local San Francisco outposts.”

An old shopping cart, which was found in the space before renovations, is now used as a prop and holder.

Photo: Cody Rasmussen for ACRE/SF
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What was your inspiration for the decor?
“The space used to be an Italian deli for 94 years. There's an old black-and-white image of what it looked like in 1926, when it was called New Union Grocery. I still have it up on the wall. When we were ripping down the walls, I also found an old clipping of a menu stapled to the wall. It reads: 'Ground Beef $0.24/lb.' I love that it has so much history! There was an old shopping cart and magazine stand that had been left behind and we decided to incorporate them into our displays. The chalkboard wall is also inspired by the old deli. It's a modern approach to a visual display that's been used for years and years.”

Photo: Cody Rasmussen for ACRE/SF
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What brands can we expect to find at ACRE/SF?
“The short list for the ladies: Rachel Comey, Vena Cava, Henrik Vibskov, Laugh Cry Repeat, Funktional, Unif, Something Else by Natalie Wood, My Pet Square, Mini For Many, Cheap Monday, Jeffrey Campbell, and Kai-Aakmann. For the boys, we have a Gitman Brothers' shop-in-shop with a variety of more than 20 fabrics, including heavy stock in the basics, so we're never sold out. For spring, we'll also have Gitman bow ties, shorts, blazers, and bandanas. Other men’s brands include Opening Ceremony, Wings + Horns, Lifetime Collective, Nudie, Billy Kirk, Makr Leather Goods, and the list will only grow!”

"I thought bringing a little bit of Hayes Valley to North Beach was much needed," says Chung of the Blue Bottle Coffee on tap. Fresh baked goods from House of Bagels in the Richmond will also be served daily.

Photo: Cody Rasmussen for ACRE/SF
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What are your favorite decor elements?
“All the fixtures in the shop were custom made for ACRE/SF. The big wooden crates and the steel fixtures are all one of a kind and made by local-S.F. craftsmen. My favorite furniture in the store has got to be my Milo Baughman for Thayer Coggin vintage chairs. They were recently acquired from an Acrimony shopper who's moving to Luxembourg. I was going to reupholster them, but I kind of like how they are already. Original! And this store would not exist without the help of my staff and interns. We literally built this store from the ground up, from design to layout to even putting up our own window signs! I'm pretty sure when they applied for the job they weren't actually expecting to be building a store.”

Apothecary items from Bonny & Blithe.

Photo: Cody Rasmussen for ACRE/SF
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Edgy baubles by Joomi Lim sit in glass cases.

Photo: Cody Rasmussen for ACRE/SF
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Housewares are mixed with apparel all over the shop, including these jeans and tees sitting next to a set of sweet succulent candles. See more by visiting ACRE/SF in person at 301 Union Street (at Montgomery Street); 415-875-9590. All merchandise will also be sold online here.

Photo: Cody Rasmussen for ACRE/SF
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