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Second Act Marketplace Closes After Second Year

A vendor exodus, and slow foot traffic are partially to blame

Second Act Marketplace Patricia Chang

After 2.5 years in business, Second Act Marketplace will close its door on Haight Street. Since opening in the space that was formerly Red Vic Movie House, the food stall and events space has operated as a kind of incubator, housing various food vendors in five stalls. A high rate of vendor turnover, however, has caused owners Jack and Betsy Rix to throw in the towel.

The business model was intended to make it easy for businesses to operate under the umbrella of the marketplace, which offered utilities and amenities like dishwashing and janitorial services. However, that did not include use of a commercial kitchen, which is what ultimately caused the last remaining tenant, Anda Piroshki, to vacate following a rent hike at their separate prep space. A lack of foot traffic was also one of the issues plaguing the space; by comparison, food halls like the Ferry Building, The Market on Market, and The Hall have achieved success based on location.

Past vendors include Burma Bear (which recently opened a place in Oakland), Crepe la Vie, Raw, and Spice Hound, all of which departed for various reasons. The Rixes decided to shutter the marketplace, rather than go through the considerable effort of luring five new tenants into the space. In the end, the owners hope someone else can pick up where they left off, telling The Chronicle “Ideally we’d love someone that could run the marketplace different but better. We feel like there’s huge potential.”

Stay tuned for more details on what might replace Second Act.

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