Scenes from Le Marais Bakery in the Castro and Ghirardelli Square areas of San Francisco, and at CorePower Yoga studios. Courtesy images.
The former East Blithedale Avenue home of Mill Valley Services, Tony Tutto Pizza and SummerHouse is in the midst of a massive makeover this summer, and two of the businesses hoping to open on the revamped 29,565-square-foot lot are seeking approval to do so from the Planning Commission at a July 11th hearing.

San Francisco-based WorldCo., which bought the 250 East Blithedale Avenue property in 2014, received Commission approval in May 2016 to redevelop the 71-year-old buildings on the lot to include three retail spaces and one restaurant. They’re doing just that, razing the former Tony Tutto building near the streetfront and renovating the two larger buildings that contained Mill Valley Services and SummerHouse.

Le Marais Bakery, French native Patrick Ascaso’s bakery and bistro that first opened in 2013 on Chestnut Street in San Francisco with another location in Ghiradelli Square, a just-opened one on Castro Street and a commissary kitchen on the way in the Tenderloin, looks to open in a 1,365-square-foot space in the main building.

Le Marais, named after the popular historic district in Paris, boasts a menu that ranges from coffee and pastries, baguettes and desserts to an array of breakfast, lunch and dinner items, including French favorites like traditional the croque monsieur and madame (menu).

Although the commission already approved a restaurant in the space in May 2016, Le Marais is looking to expand the approved hours from 11am-9pm to 6am to 10pm, with outdoor dining allowed from 8am to 9pm.

Ascasco’s eatery would be something of anomaly in Mill Valley, as most cafes don’t serve dinner and most restaurants don’t open for coffee and pastries at 6am. To accommodate the long hours in proximity to residential areas, City staff is recommending the use of a “good neighbor policy” that includes signage and training for staff to encourage early morning customers to park close to the building to reduce parking area noise to nearby residents.

The second business looking to open at 250 East Blithedale  is Denver, Colo.-based CorePower Yoga, the largest privately held chain of yoga studios in the United States. CorePower, which boasts more than 170 yoga studios nationwide, was founded by the late Trevor Tice in 2002.

The proposed business model for the yoga studio limits operation to one class of between 10-20 students at a time. The studio would be open from 5am to 10pm, though City staff have recommended that classes be held no earlier than 5:30am on weekdays and 6am on weekends. The studio would have a lobby area with a small retail section at the front for the sale of yoga-related equipment. 

The Planning Commission’s hearing on the two businesses is set for Tuesday, July 11 at 7pm. Go here for the staff report on Le Marais and here for the report on CorePower Yoga. Stream the meeting live or archived by going here.

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