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The Paolo Shoes in Hayes Valley took center stage last Thursday when protestors stormed the store. To be clear, they weren't taking a stand against the Italian-made boots, shoes, and handbags (although they may have experienced sticker shock while there); their beef was with ongoing evictions at a residential building owned by store owner Paolo Iantorno's family. CBS reports that Paolo arrived at the store within minutes of the protestors' entrance and asked that they leave.
"I'm a shoe store owner," Paolo says in this video from the anti-eviction protest. "I have no part in any of this [...] It has nothing to do with me or my business." But a report in the New Fillmore earlier this year suggests that Paolo is increasingly involved with the family's real estate business.
Regardless of how or where he spends his days, Paolo's no stranger to landlord disputes: He had one of his own when he renegotiated the rent on the Paolo Shoes location on Fillmore. But as a self-proclaimed shoe store owner, he's surprisingly difficult to contact at his shops. Employees at both locations declined to take a message for him when I called, and advised me to try again another day.
· Protesters Storm SF Hayes Valley Shoe Store; Claim Property Owner Is Ellis Act Evicting Several Tenants [CBS]
· Anti-Eviction Protest Hits Paolo Shoes on Hayes [Hoodline]
· Paolo Shoes Settles Landlord Dispute to Stay on Fillmore [Racked SF]