LARKIN STREET CORRIDOR
True to the uniqueness of San Francisco, so is the Larkin Street corridor and its adjoining blocks. The area makes up a unique ‘hyper-local’ pocket in the neighborhood that serves as a home and/or a place of business for many South East Asian families and individuals and is now known as ‘Little Saigon’. The City officially dubbed the neighborhood with this name in 2004 with a vote from the Supervisors.
The neighborhood consists of a dense and historic urban development of residential buildings, apartments, nonprofit organizations, a few parks and many small businesses. Larkin Street itself is populated with dozens of small businesses (many owned and operated by the South East Asian community) including many restaurants and bars, retail and a variety of services.
Larkin Street Merchants and Property Owners Association
What helped you decide to choose to open in the Larkin Street neighborhood?
The hotel is a family-owned business since 1992. I took over the operation of the hotel in 2006. Before my hotel operation, I owned and managed a home-décor wholesale business. Beginning in the hotel industry in 2006, I felt this was an exciting opportunity to revamp and revitalize the business and add my style and flare gained from my previous business.
What is your most memorable experience since opening?
Most memorable for me was the first two years of owning the Cova Hotel. 2006-8 was when the building underwent renovation physically and operationally. During this time I was focused on turning the flailing business around to the successful and internationally known destination it is today.
An experience I regularly enjoy is getting to become acquainted with individuals and organizations in the travel industry and the local community.
What is your favorite restaurant, business or shop in the neighborhood?
The Saratoga at Larkin and Post and The White Chapel on Polk are my two favorite spots in the neighborhood. Both places are individually unique destinations that change your experience once you walk in the door. Not your typical bars, the proprietors made a great effort to design and theme the interiors with a sense of adventure, modernism, and comforting ambiance, not to mention they both have sizable beverage menus!
What do you hope for the future for Larkin Street?
My desire and hope for the Larkin Street business corridor and area align with the mission of the Association, to have improved quality of life conditions, cleaner and safer, which will support the success of all small businesses. I also hope that all storefronts in the area are soon occupied, and all businesses thrive and attract a diverse population.