Mayor London Breed on Wednesday recognized Dore Studio, El Rio, and Pancho Villa Taqueria — as well as six other San Francisco businesses — for their contributions to the local economy.
The awards were given out as part of the city’s small business week. Ninety-five percent of businesses in San Francisco are considered “small businesses,” and they collectively employ roughly 350,000 people, according to the Office of Economic and Workforce Development.
“Small businesses are critical to San Francisco’s economy, but their impact goes far beyond that,” Breed said in a statement. “Neighborhoods like the Mission reflect the diversity of our city, which is exemplified by our small businesses.”
El Rio, a watering hole established at 3158 Mission St. in 1978 as a “leather Brazilian gay bar, was recognized for its “contributions to the Mission-Bernal Neighborhood and ongoing advocacy, impact, and inspiration on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community.”
Dore Studio, at 2442 Mission St., received a “heritage and legacy business” award for its “longstanding presence in San Francisco since the early 1900s, capturing family portraits and milestone events for generations of San Franciscans.”
The photo studio moved to the Mission in 1906 following the earthquake. It was acquired in 1951 by the mother of Patricia Alvarez, who currently owns the business. Since then, it’s been operated by an all-woman staff, and has been the Mission’s go-to spot for Quinceañera, graduation, and wedding photos.
“For us, photography is not just work, it is our passion,” Alvarez said.
Taqueria Pancho Villa was recognized for its “community innovation.”
Founded in 1987 at 3071 16th St., Pancho Villa Taqueria was honored for its ability to craft unique combinations and traditional flavors — like contributing to the Mission-Style burritos with its chile relleno burrito. (They have one of the best.)
The other businesses that received awards are: Newbill Barbershop, Thrasher Magazine, Java Beach Cafe, Li Po Cocktail Lounge, Papenhausen Hardware, and Gold Mirror.
Joaquín Torres, director of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development, said, “Tireless persistence, innovation and a commitment to community define the San Francisco entrepreneur who exhibits the tenacity and drive to start a small business and grow it into an anchored neighborhood institution.”