For weeks since we've opened our new office, I've been riding my bike up and down Mission Street, running errands and meeting new people. One of the many things I enjoy about the Excelsior is the myriad of locally-owned businesses that provide invaluable every-day services to the neighborhood.
I love getting the best sandwiches in the City from Sorrento Deli (this is just my opinion, not trying to detract from Roxie or Chick n Coop), fresh bread from Royal, the coffee at both Martha's and Mama Art Cafe and slices of pizza from Joe's. How many neighborhoods can boast having such an abundance of fruit-sellers, offering fresher and less-expensive fruits and vegetables than you'll find at any grocery store in the City? All these establishments are treasures and add to our quality of life. They're also signs of a healthy community. They attract new residents and entice current residents to stay. Its a simple thing that is so easy to forget but we should all take the time to patronize and promote our local shopkeepers. Like John's earlier post about Cornelius Thorne, I'd like to profile another local business owner who makes his living by making us look good.
I've been needing a haircut for some time. Every day I ride past Executive Barber Shop on the corner of Mission and Leo. There's an old-school barber pole out front and always a crew of guys from the area inside getting their hairs snipped by Daniel, the owner since 1987. I figured I had nothing to lose and the steady stream of business was a good enough endorsement for me.
Daniel was kind enough to fit me in without an appointment. He knew exactly how I like my head shaved and trimmed, with very little inquiry. And he is a master with the straight razor, a first for me!
This isn't a review of the man's barbering skills, which are extensive, or the low cost of such a fine service. What struck me most was Daniel's encyclopedic knowledge of the community, his attachment to his home and the pride he takes in his craft. His shop has windows that give a sweeping view of the district and he truly sees it all. There are few places in today's society where a man like Daniel can have a business such as his, that hearkens to a bye-gone era, and still be successful. In modern San Francisco, only in the Excelsior.