Decades ago, when cattle were driven north on Third Street to the area west of what is now Bayview Plaza, that neighborhood was called Butchertown. It was a testament to the slaughterhouses and packing plants which once supplied meat to the region.
Like bygone Butchertown, the Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood leads the city in ethnic and economic diversity. With last year’s reopening of a newly renovated Opera House, what’s old is new again. With Bayview’s small businesses, industries and its dedication to feeding the city, the spirit of Butchertown lives on.
Today, a community group of local businesses calls itself the Merchants of Butchertown (MOB). The group is chaired by April Spears of Auntie April’s Chicken and Waffles and Barbara Gratta of Gratta Wines and includes EDoT (Economic Development on Third) as their fiscal sponsor.
MOB is a collaboration of business owners and other community partners of the Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood. By working together, the group’s intention is to grow, support, strengthen and maintain the integrity of the small business model.
MOB is made up of a diverse range of local owner-run establishments, and each month they meet to trade advice, co-market, plan events and keep up with local housing and business developments, particularly those along the Third Street corridor. Currently there are no dues required to be a member of MOB. All that is required is a current business license within 94124.
MOB and EDoT’s mission is to preserve and support existing businesses along the Third Street corridor as well as to pursue new African American entrepreneurship, resurrect the jazz music scene, and advocate and acknowledge Legacy Businesses that qualify for this status.
To date, these include Sam Jordan’s Bar and The Jazz Room as well as the next recipient, The San Francisco Bay View newspaper. Additionally, on Aug. 18, 2018, the community honored the Mayor of Butchertown by renaming Galvez Street to Sam Jordan Way. Several of our MOB merchants led the petition drive to start that process.
Since the conception of MOB in 2015, the group has sponsored the Butchertown Jazz Festival on Lane Street. This year’s festival is scheduled for Oct. 14 and features Lavay Smith and her Red Hot Skillet Lickers as the headliner.
Other events supported by MOB have been and continue to be Public Glass Fire Pit Project, Urban Farmgirls Community Happy Hour and Café Envy’s Block Party. You can find several MOB members selling their products at the Bayview Community Farmers Market Saturdays from 9-1. MOB and EDoT are leading the way to make sure Third Street businesses are represented in the new Chase Center.
For more information about the Merchants of Butchertown, email firstname.lastname@example.org.