The owners of San Rafael’s popular Sol Food restaurant will opening a new retail shop on Third Street this November.
The store, named Conchita, will specialize in gifts and home accessories and will open its doors on Nov. 23 at 799 Third Street. Restaurant owner Sol Hernandez plans to start small, see how the community responds and then go from there.
“It’s a small investment,” she said. “The goal is to see where we are in four to six months and then make more decisions.”
The 400-square-foot space used to be occupied by Rafael Video and is located across the street from the Lincoln Avenue Sol Food, where one can often see a line of customers that twists out of the building and around the corner. The retail store will sell small furniture, bathroom products like soaps and lotions, linens, kitchen items, jewelry and some clothing.
Hernandez hopes to target the same customers who frequent the restaurant by offering affordable prices to fit anyone’s budget. “Someone can purchase something like a few candles and a holder for around $25, or they can spend up to $300 and above for furniture,” she said.
The name Conchita comes from Hernandez's grandmother, whom she described as a "crazy Puerto Rican grandmother." The interior reflects the same vibe as Sol Food, with colorful walls, one of which is a patchwork of brightly-painted windows and doors. The exterior shows a black and white image of a woman, Conchita, with her head slightly tilted back.
Although Sol Food carries merchandise, like their hot sauce, salad dressing and T shirts, this will be Hernandez’s first venture as a retail business owner. “I had been wanting to do something different,” Hernandez said.
Before opening their first restaurant in 2004 on 723 Fourth St, they sold their Puerto Rican-style food at the Thursday Farmers’ Market in San Rafael. After gaining a huge following in just one year, they opened their second location, the “Big Place,” down the street. Now, they have three locations within a block of each other.
Conchita will be open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. See their Facebook fan page for more updates about the opening.
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