Weinstein's Department Store?

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I recently found an old (cira 1955) postcard of Market Street at night, and appartently, one of the most prominent neon signs on the Great White Way was that of Weinstein's department store. I'm curious to learn more about Weinstein's. What was it like inside? What kind of clientele did it serve? When did the store close? Any information is greatly appreciated... I have a good friend here in SF who is named Weinstein, and he is very curious!

-- Todd Lappin (telstar@well.com), November 04, 2002


Weinstein's was next door to the Emporium on Market St. It was kind of a forerunner to Long's or Target in that it had a lot of modestly priced merchandise. Cut-rate was the buzzword used back then. I remember their weekly sale ads in the Examiner back in the 1950's. It was definitely not in the same classy category as the Emporium, City of Paris, White House, or O'Conner Moffet, but back then there were a lot of working people in SF back then in those pre-gentrified days. Cops, firemen, teamsters, stevedores, warehousemen, streetcar motormen, longshoremen, clerks, and so on all lived in the City back then. Tempus fugit!

D.M. (who misses the aroma of coffee and spices on the Rincon Hill bridge approach.)

-- D.A.'Dutch' Martinich (dutchm@dcn.org), November 05, 2002.

Click here for some photos of the store.

-- bugmo (bugmo@myrealbox.com), November 05, 2002.

that's LINCOLN HILL!!! your ethnic slurs are very unfunny!!!

-- king of the thing (king@king.org), November 05, 2002.

In the 1950s Weinstein had stores in the 800 block of Clement, the 1600 block of Polk, the 100 block of West Portal as well as sites on Market Street.

Good luck in your research.

-- Kurt Iversen (iversenk@aol.com), November 05, 2002.

I loved Weinstein's -- they sold everything you could imagine, and nice stuff, too, at very low prices. I was able to fill up half my Christmas list from there. When I found a mini-Christmas tree that hadn't been tagged, it was also the first place I ever heard anyone use the idiom, "How much for the Christmas bush?"

If you're looking for the geneology aspect, the Weinsteins were a very old San Francisco family and were connected by marriage to many other prominent families. One of the daughters, I believe, married Ivan Anixter. I think they were also connected to Samuel Hamburger who, at one time, owned most of the land under Maiden Lane. But that's a guess as to S.H.

-- Rosa (rosadebon@yahoo.com), November 06, 2002.

I recall Weinstein's being a block from Emporium (heading away from bay) My favourite thing about the store were there wooden floors. The floor plan was interesting very multi-leveled, and there were many ramps which connected the little levels. I use to sneak in and rollerskate in there

-- rl (rlstudios@aol.com), November 08, 2002.

My Mother worked at Weinstein's back in the twenties. She and my Father met there when she worked in the Notions Department. She sold him a piece of gros-grain ribbon for his watch fob and he asked her for a date! The clientele was probably not too different from the Emporium's. It was a very nice st

-- Terri (tmainsl@aol.com), May 22, 2003.

My grandfather started Weinstein Co after the earthquale and fire in 1906. He started with a small store on Fillmore St then moved to Market Street. The main store was at 1041 Market. It could be considered a discount store by today's standards. There was merchandise of all kinds, even liquor and cigarettes and a bulk candy department. My father opened several other stores in the 1950's and in 1966 he closed the business. For the next years, my husband and cousin ran two samll stores, one at 615 Market, now I think a fast food place. Theynopened 3 more stores all in SF and they went out of business in 1982.

-- Carole (ccohen88@aol.com), October 27, 2003.

how odd it was to come across this particular message thread... as a teenager (in the 60's) i always went from my home in san bruno to downtown san francisco and bought my clothes at these stores.. i can still remember the smell :) even more odd - i just met a lady named kari weinstock that says she is related to the weinstock's..from that store ?? for the life of me i can't remember the difference between weinstock's and weinsteins...

-- misty burman (camisty@comcast.net), February 14, 2004.

"Dutch" has the history right. As always. He knows the local history. As a person who lived it. We always hit Weinstein's as part of our Christmas shopping orgy; and, at other times. It was an SF institution. As Dutch would say, I grew up "South of the Slot" (Market Street), in the Mission District (then, almost entirely German/Irish "working class"). Going "downtown" (uptown to us) was a big event. The serious shoppers among us (myself included)loved to browse The City of Paris, Macy's and other spots; but, they were way out of our league financially.

It was at Weinstein's that we discorded affordable class; and, where I learned that salisbury steak was considered a diet food, and that gals who ordered yogurt were in love. Ah, the memories.

-- John Michael Anthony King (ecobotanist@earthlink.net), March 08, 2004.

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