Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
First impressions? Pretty fancy for a hardware and garden store in North Beach. The just-opened 36,000-square-foot Orchard Supply Hardware (2552 Taylor Street) has two separate bi-level buildings joined by a glass-enclosed skywalk. No question, this urban oasis was designed with city-dwelling SF peeps in mind: Along with a huge supply of all the usual hardware and DIY stuff, you'll find an indoor plant department and all the fixings to maintain small gardens and zhuzh up outdoor spaces on the more petite side.
Furthermore, many of the design elements found throughout the behemoth space are sure to wow even the most jaded of locals. A few of our favorites include the giant switch-plate mosaic in the electric department and a 6-foot installation of the Golden Gate Bridge made entirely of hardware parts. One other fact sure to win the hearts of SF-ers: The San Jose-based retailer made a concerted effort to hire local employees—almost 70 percent of store associates hail from surrounding neighborhoods.
Even though Orchard is open for biz, the official grand opening celebration will take place on August 1st and 2nd. And as part of the company's Neighbors Helping Neighbors philosophy, it will donate $10,000 to the San Francisco Botanical Gardens. (Sheesh, if only all new neighbors were this benevolent.)
Anywho, see ya on the skybridge.