Alley Cat storefront
Alley Cat Books on 24th Street.

Alley Cat Reopening

Alley Cat Bookstore & Gallery will reopen on Thursday, Oct. 29, according to owner Kate Razo. The bookstore, located on 24th Street between Treat and Harrison streets,  will be open from Thursday through Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The bookstore, which has been closed since the city’s shelter-in-place order in March, has managed to remain in business due in part to the donations of patrons in the city. Razo created a GoFundMe page for each of her three bookstores: Alley Cat, Dog Earned Books on Valencia Street, and Dog Eared Books on Castro Street, and the three campaigns collectively brought in over $65,000. 

“Our friends are having a baby in June and we want to make sure that he’ll get to run around Alley Cat Books to find his favorite new book too!” wrote Teresa Tuan, who donated $80. 

Razo expressed gratitude for the donations, noting that one person gifted $5,000 to the Castro Street location. 

“The community support has been overwhelmingly wonderful and has really made it possible for us to reopen,” Razo said. 

While Razo has no plans to celebrate, Alley Cat will be opening just in time for its ninth anniversary in business. 

However, the bookstore that greets patrons upon their return will not be the one they remember. Razo said the store will expand its Spanish language books and books with Latinx characters. 

“I’ve always wanted the store to reflect the neighborhood it’s in, I’ve never liked the idea of a cookie cutter bookstore,” the bookstore owner said. 

The store will also begin selling vinyl records. 

“We’re going to have a lot of Latino music, Mexican, Brazilian, samba, a bit of jazz, a bit of rock. We’ll see what works,” Razo said. 

Brava Theater

The Brava Theater will host its eighth annual “Baile en la Calle” event on Saturday, Oct. 24, from 2 to 4 p.m. directly in front of the theater, which is located on 24th Street, between York and Hampshire streets. 

The event, “takes over the streets and alleys of San Francisco’s Mission District to celebrate and preserve its living cultural heritage,” according to the theater’s website

Due to the pandemic, the event will be a “scaled down version of our annual dance festival,” said Annette Muller, Brava’s marketing director. 

The dance performances, which begins at 2 p.m., will be live-streamed on the theater’s Instagram account for those who wish to see it without going in person. For those who choose to go in person, masks and social distancing are required, according to the theater’s website. 

Performing groups include Dancing Earth Indigenous Contemporary, Cuicacalli Contemporary, Pierr Padilla and Carmen Roman, Cuicacalli Ballet Folklórico and Rising Rhythms Dance Collective. 

Following the performances, the space will host an outdoor dance party for all to participate, with music by DJ Agana, a San Francisco-based artist who recently began a residency at Brava. Agana is also responsible for the massive mural, titled “Brava Breaths Palabra” that now adorns the theater’s entrance. 

March for Democracy

A band of local activist groups have posted fliers around town announcing a “March for Democracy” scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 24, beginning at 12:30 p.m. in front of Mission High School. 

With the 2020 presidential election less than two weeks away, the event is meant as a way for people to “unite against those who seek to limit people’s right to vote, intimidate voters at the polls, or intend to ignore the electoral outcome,” according to a flier for the event. 

After meeting at Mission High School, the group intends to march to San Francisco City Hall. The flier emphasizes that the event is meant to be a non-violent demonstration that may continue in the coming weeks “as needed.” 

Patricia Sweetow Gallery

The Patricia Sweetow Gallery will host a virtual event on Saturday, Oct. 24, in anticipation of their newest exhibition featuring artists Tony Marsh and Sarah Amos. The virtual event, which begins at 3 p.m., will host Marsh, a ceramicist and arts educator, as well as Nancy Lim, an assistant curator at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. 

Those interested in attending the virtual event, titled “In Conversation: Tony Marsh & Nancy Lim” must email the gallery for the link. The exhibition officially opens on Nov. 7 and runs through Dec. 26 at the Patricia Sweetow Gallery on Potrero, between 16th and 17th Streets. 

Sidewalk Sale

The Aesthetic Union, a print shop located on Alabama Street between 18th and Mariposa streets, will host an outdoor sale on Saturday, Oct. 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The sale will include “shop trinkets, tools, lots of paper samples and leftover paper from other jobs,” and everything will be sold for $10, project manager Daniel Schrimshire said.

The shop holds similar sales only a few times a year, when accumulated unsold inventory and leftovers from past projects must be cleared to make room for new things. But the business only reopened for retail in September, and has not had a similar sale since prior to the pandemic, according to Schrimshire. 

For interested parties, the sale will not be hard to find. Outside of the business on 555 Alabama St., shoppers will be able to see a large tent and several tables full of merchandise.

Coffee Mission

Mission Local recently learned that Coffee Mission, a coffee shop next to the 24th Street BART station, has closed. We are trying to reach out to the owners of the shop to include them in our The Places We Have Lost project. If any readers have information on the shop or how to contact the owners, please reach out at

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Juan Carlos Lara covers business and development in the Mission. Juan Carlos, a San Francisco State alum, is as much a photographer as he is a writer and previously worked as the campus news editor at Golden Gate Xpress, SF State’s student paper.

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Tweets can be found at @jcl_scoop

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