The Next Chapel



The clock is now ticking to see what business will occupy the space that was Guinan's. There's some news on that front, but first I'd like to point out a story in the Los Angeles Times last week about the battles to save several local San Francisco pubs, including one called the John Barleycorn.

In a short blog post about this at The Wall Street Journal's Web site, I noted how sometimes new owners of well-loved establishments, in their quest to create a new vision, will underestimate the financial worth of "regulars." (I also briefly mentioned Guinan's in this piece.)

Regulars, after all, are the lifeblood of these small places. They keep coming and spending money in bad weather and bad economies. Lose them, and you loose a financial lifeline.

Right now, the group that owns the building that was "Guinan's" is about to start renovations and is looking for new tenants. One of Guinan's regulars and most loyal parishioners, Mary Ellen Yannitelli, has raised her hand to start a new store there. Mary Ellen is married to Tony Yannitelli, whose ancestors ran a grocery store in the building that was Guinan's in the early 1900s.

Her mission: court a new generation of customers while not abandoning the old charms and regulars who made Guinan's so special and helped it survive nearly 50 years.

Stay tuned ...

Photo by Clemson Smith Muñiz

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