Will Gray walks out of Siegel's on Friday with five suits he bought for $136 (including tax). Photo by Abraham Rodriguez

“The other day,” says Michael Gardner, the proprietor of Siegel’s Clothing Superstore for the last 42 years, “a woman stopped in and bought 137 suits.” He pauses for a moment. “I believe she runs a store.”

Come Saturday, he won’t.

Siegel’s, a fixture on Mission between 19th and 20th for the past 91 years, will hawk its last zoot suit, pair of wino shoes, or Carhartt jacket. And the prices hark to something out of the store’s earlier years. Those suits run $25 apiece (zoots will cost you $100). Pants go for $5 or $10. Shoes are $15 a pair or two for $20. Everything, as they say, must go.

For Gardner, 71, it’s a moment he characterizes as bittersweet. After buying the struggling shop in April 1976 and turning its fortunes around, he found himself planted by the entryway for the next four decades and change, six days a week, 50 weeks a year. Meanwhile, his oldest child just turned 38, and it’ll be nice to take some time off (and his Oakland outlet will remain in business for the foreseeable future).

The last several days have been frenetic at Siegel’s, as dozens of men are in the store, poring over the heavily discounted merchandise. Saturday figures to be a similar scene. And while any man with a 48-inch waist and a 30-inch inseam and a fondness for Ben Davis or Dickies pants would be foolhardy not to come here and buy heaps of clothing, regular-sized people may find plenty, too.

Whatever doesn’t sell will be carted off, with much going to charities. Gardner listed the building for $6.5 million in September; it was purchased by a William Chin in November. Gardner says he’s never met the man.

But, if he drops by Saturday, he can find a suit. For cheap. —Joe Eskenazi

Michael Garder (pictured here as the one NOT wearing loud plaid pants) in 1976, shortly after he acquired Siegel’s. Photo courtesy of Gardner.


Man arrested for stealing old lady’s purse

A 43-year-old Oakland man was arrested for robbing an 84-year-old woman’s purse at a fast food restaurant (possibly McDonald’s) at 24th and Mission, police say.

On Jan. 13 around 5 p.m., Anthony Terrell Sims allegedly approached the woman outside of the restaurant and, after a brief struggle, snatched her purse, “dragging her from the restaurant to the sidewalk.”

“The suspect continued to pull on the purse, lifting her off the ground,” according to an SFPD statement. “The victim lost her grip and fell to the cement sidewalk.”

Sims fled onto a Muni bus but was detained by several passengers until the police arrived and arrested him. He was charged with robbery, elder abuse, violation of the terms of probation (for a prior burglary conviction) and for threatening an officer. Julian Mark

‘Monster’ meeting regarding 1975 Mission St. project

Come out to Mission High School on 3 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, to voice your opinion about the Maximus Real Estate Development’s new “best and final” community benefits offer for the 330-unit development it is proposing for the 16th Street BART Plaza.

Per the Chronicle’s J.K. Dineen, Maximus would acquire two sites in the Mission and grant them to the city, presumably for affordable housing development. One of those sites would be 2675 Folsom, where Axis Development abruptly pulled out of developing its 117-unit project. The other is the “historic” laundromat at 2918 Mission, over which the controversial “newbie” developer Bob Tillman has clashed with the city to build 75 units there.

If the city turns down the offer, Maximus said it would put the matter on the ballot and have voters decide.

“It’s pretty simple. They can’t offer what they don’t have. They don’t own the sites,” said Chirag Bhakta of the Plaza 16 Coalition, which for six years has advocated fiercely against the 1975 Mission project.

Even if Maximus did own the sites, he said, its current offer wouldn’t likely be acceptable. “If you don’t the build the units you can’t include them in the affordable percentage,” he said. “The land is great, but you should build affordable housing on the site or give us money to build affordable housing.” —Julian Mark

Señor Sisig

Señor Sisig, perhaps San Francisco’s favorite (and only?) Filipino fusion food truck, is staking a permanent claim in the Mission.

It will move into the former location of Blue Fig at 990 Valencia St., not far from its usual outpost, a parking lot at 18th and Valencia streets.

This is a win for the eatery, which last March was temporarily barred from operating on the corner and later won its right sell food there.

Now, thankfully — hopefully — the cult favorite can operate in peace long into the future.

Hoodline has more.  —Julian Mark

The Women’s Building’s new resource clinic  

The Women’s Building (2543 18th St.) now has a Resource Clinic that will provide an opportunity for clients to speak one-on-one with the center’s bilingual program specialist. This will make it easier for clients to get connected to the Women’s Building’s many resources, including domestic and sexual violence resources, housing and employment assistance, healthcare enrollment, mental health assistance, school enrollment applications, CalFresh screenings, legal resources, homeless services, and translation services. To make an appointment call 415-431-1180 ext.11.Julian Mark

Mission Pie

Just a reminder that, starting Monday, Mission Pie will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Read the full story here.

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Joe was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left.

“Your humble narrator” was a writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015, and a senior editor at San Francisco Magazine from 2015 to 2017. You may also have read his work in the Guardian (U.S. and U.K.); San Francisco Public Press; San Francisco Chronicle; San Francisco Examiner; Dallas Morning News; and elsewhere.

He resides in the Excelsior with his wife and three (!) kids, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.

The Northern California branch of the Society of Professional Journalists named Eskenazi the 2019 Journalist of the Year.

Julian grew up in the East Bay and moved to San Francisco in 2014. Before joining Mission Local, he wrote for the East Bay Express, the SF Bay Guardian, and the San Francisco Business Times.

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