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San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau announces recipients of first Neighborhood Membership Grants

In an effort to extend the economic impact of San Francisco’s tourism industry into the city’s diverse neighborhoods, the San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau has created a new Neighborhood Membership Grants program.

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May 10, 2010 — In an effort to extend the economic impact of San Francisco’s tourism industry into the city’s diverse neighborhoods, the San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau (SFCVB) has created a new Neighborhood Membership Grants program.

The first eight recipients have been selected, based on the unique “Only in San Francisco” nature of their businesses, the potential to attract visitors to their neighborhoods and their commitment to participate fully in the program.

Recipients each receive a complimentary one-year SFCVB membership, including all of the benefits of Bureau membership such as listing online and in publications and access to the Convention Calendar. The grants also include admission to Bureau events such as the Annual Luncheon, Market Briefings, Outlook Forums and Member Business Exchanges, often with exclusive one-on-one meetings with the presenters. The Neighborhood Membership Grants also include mentoring by members of the SFCVB professional staff and specially selected Bureau members.

The Neighborhood Membership Grant recipients are:

Mama Art Café — 4754 Mission St. (Excelsior District), 415-586-8453
Offering sustainable, organic, fair trade coffee and promoting creativity, through rotating exhibitions of local and international artists in a vibrant cultural venue.

Passion Café — 28 Sixth St. (South of Market), 415-437-9730
Unique specialty café offering warm, cozy, old-world ambiance in a lovingly restored 100-year-old building. Rooftop garden and alfresco dining. The commitment to the neighborhood and magnitude of the renovation is reflected in the quality of the cuisine.

Paul’s Hat Works — 6128 Geary Blvd. (Richmond District), 415-971-5717
The hat business started in 1918 by Napoleon Marquez lives on in the hands of four young women dedicated to continuing the tradition of quality and creativity under the mentorship of Michael Harris who ran the business for 28 years.

Paxton Gate — 824 Valencia St. (Mission District), 415-824-1872
Oddities inspired by the Garden and the Natural World, including taxidermy, fossils, jewelry and plants for adults and children. Described in Time Out Guides of London as “Martha Stewart meets David Lynch.” Landscape design and construction services.

Pralines by Yvonne — 5128 Third St. (Bayview District), 415-368-7900
Specializing in southern style desserts including pecan pralines and pies, red velvet cakes and cupcakes, sweet potato pies, peach cobblers and “old school” butter cookies. Catering and custom made gift baskets available.

Siegel’s Clothing Superstore & Tuxedos — 2366 Mission St. (Mission District), 415-824-7730
A huge men's and boy's department store featuring suits, shoes, work clothing and jeans to tuxedo sales and rentals, offering free alterations and tailoring with purchase. Originally opened in 1889 and in the same location since 1926, Siegel’s specializes in Zoot Suits and is trademarking the pattern for “Hollywood Waistband Pants.”

Taco Shop at Underdogs — 1824 Irving St. (Sunset District), 415-566-8700 Starting with the special flair that only Nick Fasanella can bring to the menu, a fusion experiment combining a modern taqueria with sports. Offering produce from local growers, line-caught fish, grass fed beef and locally brewed beers.

Treasure Island Wines — 995 9th St., Building 201 (Treasure Island), 415-394-9463
A boutique urban winery collective of serious artisan winemakers offering public and private tastings, events, retail wine sales and spectacular views. The 10,000 square foot winery was once a World War II food processing plant.

A panel representing the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development, the San Francisco Office of Small Business, the SFCVB Community Partnership Council and SFCVB staff, made the selections. A total of 23 businesses applied.

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