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BrainWash, 28-Year-Old Laundromat, Cafe, and Comedy Hub, Has Closed

The SoMa institution has been struggling for at least the last year

Victor B./Yelp

San Franciscans have done their last load of laundry, ordered their last latte, and caught their final open-mic act at SoMa multi-purpose institution BrainWash. According to a sign on the door that was posted online by an observer to Reddit (it’s also visible online in a live stream from inside BrainWash), the business has closed for good.

That web cam inside BrainWash is just one of many very 1990s touches at 1122 Folsom Street, where patrons enjoyed beers and burgers while they waited for their clothes to dry. Building owner and BrainWash founder Susan Schindler opened the cafe/laundromat in 1989, later selling the business to current owner Jeff Zalles. Last year, Zalles revealed the business was in danger of closing due to declining revnue, pointing a finger at nearby housing construction which had put a damper on his business, he claimed.

Gulbronson via Imgur/Reddit

BrainWash will be particularly missed in the San Francisco comedy scene, where its open-mic nights served as a local proving ground for new talent. Incidentally, a new laundromat/cafe hybrid opened this fall, Laundré in the Mission District. That name, as fate should have it, was Schindler’s original title for the business that became BrainWash.

Eater SF has contacted BrainWash for more details of the closure and will update accordingly.