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Tobener Law Center

Guardian Small Business Award winner has helped lead the current housing rights movement

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San Francisco attorney Joseph Tobener has been doing tenants rights work in San Francisco for more than a decade, starting his own practice in 2002, where he currently employs three other attorneys and two paralegals. Another pair of attorneys who used to work there recently spun off their own practice.Read more »

Thee Parkside

Guardian Small Business Award winner is a neighborhood mainstay that also attract music lovers

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Once upon a time, the Bay Guardian was headquartered in a giant converted warehouse at the bottom of Potrero Hill. Since Thee Parkside was just a short walk away, at 17th and Wisconsin streets across from Jackson Park, it was only natural for the music venue and pub to become a regular destination for Guardian staff.Read more »

Panchita's Pupuseria

Guardian Small Business Award winner is turning a new generation of Mission dwellers onto pupusas.

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In the gentrifying heart of the Inner Mission District — near the corner of 16th and Valencia streets, where longtime bookstores, markets, bars, and restaurants have all been forced out by rising rents in the last year or so — a simple Salvadorean restaurant has continued to thrive by serving one dish, pupusas, to customers old and new.Read more »

SF LGBT Center Economic Development Department

Guardian Small Business Award winner helps its community members become entrepreneurs

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The first initiative in the nation to "comprehensively address the economic barriers faced by low- and moderate-income LGBT individuals and families," the 10-year-old San Francisco LGBT Center's Economic Development Department (EDD) takes on a huge task.Read more »

Le Video

Guardian Small Business Award winner has been a labor of love that recently got a big dose of community support

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cheryl@sfbg.com

In March, Bay Area cinephiles were seized with alarm when Inner Sunset stalwart Le Video interrupted its usually upbeat Facebook feed with sad news: Due to financial hardship, the store — famed for its massive, meticulously curated film collection — would be forced to close in April after 34 years in business.Read more »

HeartZilla

Guardian Small Business Award winner took her Pirate Salon clientele to a groovy new spot on Valencia

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Hidden in a strange, inward-facing compound at 18th and Folsom streets that is filled with small art galleries, hair salons, and oddly themed storefronts, Pirate Salon has always been groovy spot to get a killer hairdo with a rogue flair, particularly by the Barcelona-born-and-trained queen of color and style Ana Rivero Rossi for the last four years.Read more »

GameShop Classic

Guardian Small Business Award winner offers old-school home video games

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One of the original Internet viral videos, the "Nintendo 64 kid," features a familiar Christmas scene cranked to 11. A pajama-clad brother and sister jointly tear open a wrapped box sitting under the tree, and the present spurs a sudden, joyous, but frighteningly excited squeal. "IT'S A NINTENDO SIXTY-FOOOOOOOUR!" the brother screams, at a pitch that's not-quite human. "OH MY GODDDDD!" His eyes nearly pop out of his head.

Walking into GameShop Classic is just like that.Read more »

Asmbly Hall

Stylish clothier was the Readers' Choice in the Guardian Small Business Awards

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Over the last few weeks, we've solicited input from visitors to SFBG.com about their favorite small businesses in San Francisco, and by far the leading vote-getter was Asmbly Man, a clothing boutique in the Fillmore District that was opened in 2011 by the husband and wife team of Ron and Tricia Benitez, who are veterans in the apparel industry.Read more »

Guardian Small Business Awards 2014

The Guardian Small Business Awards for this year recognize the scrappy shopkeepers and entrepreneurs swimming against the rising tide of corporate cash

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San Francisco's small businesses are being threatened by the forces of gentrification and displacement like never before — at the same moment that they are more important than ever. This is the troubling paradox at the center of this year's San Francisco Small Business Week.Read more »

Getting the Kink out

Statewide crackdown on the porn industry could drive its biggest BDSM filmmaker from San Francisco's iconic Armory

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joe@sfbg.com

The spotlights shone down, the athletes tussled, and the crowd screamed.

The toned and tattooed female wrestler tackled the topless, tanned, blond wrestler from behind, pulling her down like a tumbling tower. The mat thumped. Cheers erupted. In a sudden reversal, the tanned wrestler gained leverage with her right arm and slammed the tattooed fighter's shoulders onto the mat, giving the blond the win.

What happened next was definitely not standard wrestling fare.Read more »