Over the span of more than a decade, Jules Mercer made a lasting impact on hundreds of children ages 2 through 5 years old via summer camp programs, craft parties, movie nights, and art themed birthday parties, among many more.

She did so at Destination Art, the go-to place for creativity, fun and learning she created in North Beach featuring small class sizes and personal attention. “I feel like I raised half the kids in North Beach,” she says with a laugh about the flexible, affordable services that perfectly complemented the local elementary schools in the neighborhood.

Born and raised in the south of England, Mercer moved to the U.S. in her teens with a backpack and worked as a camp counselor in Ohio. She then moved further west and took a job as a nanny in Oakland and then ended up staying in the Bay Area, eventually in Tam Valley.

“I never tried very hard to leave,” says Mercer, who raised her two now-grown sons here.

Mercer later spotted a for-lease sign at the intersection of Shoreline Hwy. and Almonte Blvd., a space so large at 6,000 square feet that she could manifest the community hub she’d sought for ages: part retail, part creative outlet and part community gathering space in which to host events – or allow others to rent some or all of the massive space to do so.

“A wing and a prayer and then somehow I got it,” Mercer says. “I have a bunch of artists and other vendors that are all going to be involved and come on board. We’ll also host events, live music, self-help groups, movie screenings, open mic nights, trivia nights and much more. The upstairs area will be home to classes and workshops where artists come and teach.”

“All ideas are welcome, and it seems like people are really, really excited.”

She has since hosted just about every event under the sun, all while selling vintage clothing and welcoming all in.

On April 11th, Mercer hosts a “Sip & Sew,” a fun evening of sewing – see image above. 256 Shoreline Hwy., 6:30-8pm. Tix $65.


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