By Jane Northrop
The Planning Commission unanimously approved a downstairs tee shirt shop for a family who will live upstairs. Jacqueline Gratz and Aaron Gregory will operate Cotton Crustacean, a tee shirt shop that features designs by Gregory, who specializes in paleontology and biology.
Cotton Crustacean has had very successful weekend sales at the Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival and Pacifica’s Fog Fest. In fact, Gregory designed the poster for last year’s Fog Fest.
But the family longed for a brick and mortar store of their own.
When they bought their small home at 184 Paloma Avenue they hoped their historic home could accommodate a shop. The area has always been zoned commercial.
“When we bought our home on Paloma, it was run down. No one wanted it. The owner said it was a commercial location. Now we are settled in. How do we make the best of it? It’s such a beautiful home. It was built in 1940 and moved in 1960. We just put a new solar roof on it. We want to create a destination location. We will be creating local flora in our designs,” said Gratz.
That building once housed the first Pacifica City Hall, but in a different location.
“We are preserving the building,” said Gregory. “This is a cool historical detail. It used to be City Hall for Salada Beach. It would have been located near Oceana Market.”
The home will be raised nine feet and moved eight feet toward the rear property line to create a second story above the tee shirt shop. That leaves only two inches between those properties. Gregory will paint a mural of flying sharks on the left side of the yard. The shop will be 1,043 square feet and the home 783 square feet, said Senior Planner Christian Murdock. Bike parking will also be provided.
Gregory and Gratz hope to host special events at the shop that would include book signings of the authors whose books Gregory illustrates, illustration workshops and educational presentations. The shop will be open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Gratz and Gregory expect to hire no employees and use their own cars for deliveries. That improves the available parking on the street, said Brian Brinkman, the project architect, who designed the setback on the lot to afford more privacy. The lot will provide two parking spaces.
There are curb bump-outs on that block they have been taking care of by planting gardens in them. They know their surrounding neighbors. Several spoke to support the project.
Dawn Hope said, “We support it. It’s creative and architecturally great. It adds a lot of vibrancy. We love the mural. The store staying open until 9 p.m. will not a problem. We also have workshops and have received no complaints.”
(Jane Northrop can be reached at email@example.com.)