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Store Hours:
Contact:1920A Ocean Ave. San Francisco, CA 94127
Mon-Sat: 10am - 7pm
Tel: (415) 584-3919
Sunday: 12 noon - 6pm
Fax: (415) 584-9112
Hours Effective: 1/02/2014Email: FranciscanHobbies@Comcast.net

My friends, sadly the era of Franciscan Hobbies has come to an end.

I have been given the responsibility as bearer of bad news, but I speak for Bill, John, and the entire crew.

The tight profit margins and reduced sales volume caused by the pricing policies of the distributors, suppliers, and the internet have left us with little to no room for the needed profit margin to remain in business in the city of San Francisco.

The blame game is useless because the fact is no one specific thing caused this. It was the preverbal death by a thousand paper cuts. In all honesty, our suppliers became our own worst enemy. While they sold to us, they sold the very same products on their own websites at below our cost. Of course the youth of today, as a whole, has little interest in a model airplane or a steam train, when they can play on a Ipad or a Xbox. This, coupled with the vast amount of cheap phony merchandise available to the masses on the internet, has spelled the demise of an “old school” establishment such as ourselves.

I share these details with you not to blame, but to explain how a 68 year old business can be slowly, but steadily, squeezed out of business. Its sad to say, but is a small consolation that five hobby shops in the bay area closed this year alone. This indicates it wasn’t something we were specifically doing wrong - its the hobby industry as a whole that’s doomed in the traditional sense of a brick and mortar store.

For me, and four generations now, Franciscan wasn’t just a store, it was a clubhouse, a ‘bar without the boos‘, a man cave, an after school hangout, whatever you want to call it. It was a place to share not only your hobby, but where discussions on world events, the city, and life in general could be heard. Not only are you customers, but many of you are our personal friends. We’ve talked to you though personal goods and bads, marriages and divorces, births and deaths. As the only old school hobby shop left in the bay area we were able to hang on and outlast the rest because of our very loyal following.

For me, this is deeply personal. At the age of 6 years old I first came into FHS. Seeing the airplanes on the ceiling ignited my passion for anything that flies. When my parents first let me take the bus by myself, where’s the first place I went on my very first solo bus ride? Franciscan of course! Over the years I bought R/C planes, John showed me how to wire my Lindberg PT-109, and I built countless 1/48 plastic kits. I share this story because it’s the norm, not the exception. Almost every one of our loyal customers have the same fond memories and stories to tell.

The decision to close was the hardest thing we have ever done, but we will remember all of the people and families who kept Franciscan Hobbies alive for nearly 68 years. We hope each and every one you continue to do whichever hobby you are into, not only for the love of your hobby, but out of sheer desire not to let the timeless skills of patience and craftsmanship be lost by today’s youth.

Noah and the entire Franciscan Hobbies crew.

Franciscan Hobbies 1946 - January 31st 2014

Franciscan Hobbies offers many departments with specialised employees with knowledgeable skills to help their customers.

When you first walk in the store and get greeted by the front desk clerk, you will first see the supplies you need for any of your projects. On your left, you will see airplane parts and to your right, you will see paint and brushes. This is what we call the General Models Department.

Up the ramp and to your right, you will see more of the General Models Department; with all sorts of models stored on shelves. You will find cars, trucks, ships, sci-fi, and even movie characters like Frankenstein.

The R/C Department carries R/C cars, R/C Boats, and R/C aircrafts. When entering the ramp, walk up through the doorway, up the ramp and to your left, and you will see the R/C department where you will find all your R/C needs!

We also have a train department with a train specialist behind the counter. Being capable to answer all your train needs and supplying you with all your train necessities.When entering the store, walk up the ramp and continue on walking down the aisle. You will see the train department.

Last Edited 1/05/14 00:42:32