Quirky Boutique to close after 30 years of business – Citing rising rent as the main reason

December 18, 2023 by No Comments

Laku, a beloved Japanese handcraft boutique located at 1089 Valencia St. near 22nd Street, will be closing its doors in January, owner Yaeko Yamashita confirmed this week. The decision comes after the landlord raised the rent, making it difficult for Yamashita, 70, to continue operating the business.

The new rent of $3,800 was a significant increase from Yamashita’s current rent of $2,900. Moreover, the landlord planned to convert two rooms in the back of the store into a one-bedroom apartment, further reducing the space available for Laku and making it even less viable to operate.

Yamashita had already faced challenges in recent months, having been forced to close the store for several months last November due to a hit-and-run accident. Just as she was recovering, the property manager informed her of the rent increase and the eviction notice.

Despite the landlord’s offer to continue leasing her the storefront, Yamashita ultimately decided to close Laku. The increased rent and the loss of a dedicated bathroom made it difficult to maintain the boutique’s operations.

Laku will officially shutter its doors on January 13th. Yamashita expresses her gratitude to all her loyal customers for their support over the past three decades. She hopes that her legacy of bringing authentic Japanese craftsmanship to San Francisco will continue to inspire others.

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