Cinderella Bakery, which has been making Russian baked goods in San Francisco since the early ’50s, is in negotiations to purchase the building on 24th Street that was recently vacated by the famed panaderia La Victoria.
“The building is very attractive, and there aren’t very many mixed-use buildings” on the market, said Mike Fishman, the owner of Cinderella Bakery.
The structure at 2937 24th Street, which has three commercial spaces and three housing units, comes with a $3.4 million price tag.
If he were to purchase the building, Fishman said, his bakery would likely open its second location in the former La Victoria space. Right now, he runs a large retail and wholesale business out of Cinderella’s 1,600-square-foot location on Balboa in the Inner Richmond.
But, “There are a lot of ifs,” he admitted, noting that the building needs plenty of maintenance work. “It’s a long bridge that we have to cross.”
Fishman knows a thing or two about long bridges: He emigrated to San Francisco from the Soviet Union in 1988 and soon after took over Cinderella Bakery. In 2008, he and his wife, Marika, became the sole owners.
He said he will know within a month whether he’ll reach a deal.
The building was listed in March amid an internecine dispute within the family that originally opened the bakery on 24th Street in 1951. In July, the family evicted La Victoria’s operators and the bakery ultimately vacated in early October.
At a community meeting on Monday, Erick Arguello of the merchants association Calle 24, said he will work with community members to help La Victoria’s operators — Laura Hernandez and Danny Gabriner — to return to the space. At present, Hernandez and Gabriner have moved their operations to a production space on 3rd Street, which they will have for only the next three months.
“After three months, they will have nowhere to go,” Arguello said. “Then it’s gone.”
Arguello this week told the 40-odd people gathered in the former Casa Sanchez restaurant that he believed Cinderella was a little “high end” and more like a “Tartine-type of bakery,” the mention of which drew subtle jeers from the crowd.
Arguello said he would be pleased if the building’s potential new owners were to let La Victoria’s operators back into the space following a purchase. “I don’t think that’s what they’re going to do,” he said, soliciting support from community members.
He said his calls and emails to Fishman have gone unreturned, and Fishman did not mention a deal with Hernandez and Gabriner.
Arguello said applying some “pressure” on the new owner would be a possibility.
“If they want to be a part of this community,” he said, “they’ll really have to deal with this community.”