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On and Off Chestnut

Summertime blues and shuffle

Certainly some of that June gloom will linger over the Marina for a while with the loss of The Grove — a small, independent, locally owned business that was truly a unique and beloved fixture in the neighborhood for more than 14 years. When owner Ken Zankel could not negotiate a new lease that didn’t hike his rent more than 50 percent to $20,500 per month for his 1,500 square foot-cafe, he decided to draw a line in the sand, pull up stakes, and make sure his employees had positions at one of his three other locations. The space is for lease, and it will be interesting to see how long it takes for the property owner to find a new tenant, and what that tenant will be.

Just down the street, Peet’s Coffee has also closed, but has plans to reopen later this year farther down the street where Rabat was located, another unique boutique that closed when they could not negotiate a lease that would allow them to continue business at that location. Fans of Rabat now travel across town to Noe Valley, where their sister store continues to thrive on 24th Street. A “for lease” sign remains, and we could not confirm that Peet’s is indeed moving into that space. So for now, be kind to what you may perceive as zombies wandering around the Marina; they are not escapees from the latest summer horror flick, they’re just the caffeine-deprived fans of Peet’s waiting for the second coming of the locally grown roaster.

In the former Peet’s location, Peek Kids is scheduled to open in August and has begun renovations to the space. Peek offers high-quality children’s apparel and a shopping experience that “allows all ages to connect with the joy of childhood.” Peek’s corporate office is in San Francisco, but this will be their first store locally — they currently have 10 stores spread across Arizona, California, Texas, Washington, and Utah. Their unique line of apparel for children and babies is also available at Nordstom. You can watch their progress on Chestnut Street and sign up for their e-mail newsletter online.

Peek Kids, 2156 Chestnut Street, www.peekkids.com

In other news, We Olive has just received approval to expand their store offerings to include wine. In addition to cooking classes and olive oil tastings, you will now be able to taste a seasonal selection of California wines and tapas that utilize ingredients available in the store. Owner Ferris Ferndon hopes to have his tasting bar ready by the end of the month, assuming the final permitting issues go smoothly.

We Olive, 2379 Chestnut Street, 415-673-3669, www.weolive.com

And just to end on a sweet note, if you are looking to have some more healthful desserts catered for an event this summer, check out Sweet Kneads. Owner and Pastry Chef Maribeth Goldstein has a home office right here in the Marina, and she is your self-described “go to gluten-free gal.” She makes wonderful organic and non-organic chocolate chunk-pecan cookies, sour cream blueberry crumb, or banana nut muffins, honey almond cake, and decadent fudgy-pecan brownies. E-mail Maribeth anytime, or call her between 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. to discuss your order.

Sweet Kneads, 415-971-9066, e-mail [email protected]

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