This place is a bit over-hyped. Many of the cool aspects and the bad aspects of this Gorilla can be attributed to the fact that it is a converted movie theatre. The movie screen is pretty awesome. I really enjoyed that while I was a member. While you work out, the staff plays DVDs on the big screen, which you can listen to on any FM radio. The locker rooms are too small, however. The weight section is also too small and crowded. And, it's somewhat wack that the weight section looks down over the "classroom" section (a big open studio) and the cardio section looks down over the weight and classroom sections. It gives the place a feel of a meat market. Overall, this place is a bit of a show. If you're not part of the scene and you're just a regular person trying to get in your work outs, you're probably better off at 24 Hour Fitness on Van Ness (great parking).
PROS: Movie Screen, Nice Cardio, Cool Building
CONS: Meat Market, Small Weight Section, Open Classroom Section, Tiny Locker Room
Simply, the Greatest Convenience Store on the PLANET. This place is AWESOME. I don't even know where to begin. First, the little place is nice. Second, it has a great selection of snacks and wines. It's the kind of place you can run to 15 minutes before company shows up and come back with a great spread of grapes, hummus, cheese, and wine. You look like a pro when in reality you just have Avenues backing you up. I have not tried the deli, but the sandwiches always look good. They also have any convenience product I've ever wanted, whether it was Tide or Scotch Tape. Third, the guys who run this place are the coolest, nicest guys. You almost want to stick around and shoot the breeze. The main guys are a dark-haired man with a moustache, who must be the owner, and a younger guy who's built like a freight train. My favorite is the younger guy. He's always friendly and, when he's not welcoming or helping patrons, he's usually watching sports or Jeopardy. I'm convinced he's a genius. I became suspicious the day I called out "What is nylon?" and he corrected me, "Actually, I think it's polyurethane." Trebec agreed.
PROS: Beautiful little store, great stuff, increbily nice staff
I end up stopping here everytime I'm walking alone on Chestnut. The staff never bothers you as you flip through magazines or books. They have great staff recommedations underneath many of the books. And, they have a great selection of magazines and books for a little store. The friendly staff at the register is the icing on the cake. Drop by anytime you're walking around Chestnut or looking to kill some time.
PROS: Nice staff, nice place, good selection for a small book store
CONS: Not a huge store, but good for many purposes
We were looking for some ties for a wedding party. We needed five of these ties to cover the entire wedding party, but we could only find four. The two young guys that helped us scoured the store and the back until we found that last tie. Their service was exceptional! I wish I knew their names so I could commend them on Insider Pages. They work in the section next to the ties, right by the escalators. Macy's should hire more sales people like these young guys.
PROS: Big store, nice clothes, nice selection, excellent service
Pets unlimited is AWESOME. This is where we come for all our cats' medical needs. The staff here is incredibly gifted and caring and their bedside manner inspires confidence. Your pets are in capable hands at Pets Unlimited on Fillmore. We've taken our cats here for regular check-ups, dental work, medical scares, and grooming - all with the same excellent results and service. It's also great that the profits go to running the shelter upstairs. Support this institution; it is fantastic!
PROS: Great and caring staff, beautiful facility, great results
This is a very fun pet store and groomer. The people are always very nice (although occassionally wacky). There are usually cute dogs and cats to see. And, the store has a nice selection of fun toys, treats, cards, bowls, beds, food, litterboxes, and cat-trees. Granted, I haven't found any toys that interest my cats for more than a few minutes, but that probably has more to do with the nature of cats than the toys. ...Ping-pong balls seem to work pretty well. Bow Wow Meow also does a nice job grooming animals. For kicks, if you have a domestic longhair cat, try the "lion's cut" for summer. Sure, my man-cat looked like his dignity had been sheered away, but it sure was funny! (...and cooler for summer) Also, be sure to catch the SPCA kittens they have outside on some Saturdays. Great shop! Great place for pet-lovers to kill some time on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.
PROS: Nice Staff, Cool Stuff, Cute Animals, Nice job on Grooming
Yep, these guys left a footprint on my shirt. I had them do some wash-and-fold for me and ended up with footprints on one or two of my shirts. Pretty unacceptable to open your neatly-folded, freshly-laundered shirt and find a big footprint on it. It looked like gray dust, but never washed out. I ended my patronage after that.
Overall, I wouldn't say these guys were the best or worst cleaners around. Prices are okay - a bit expensive. Their wash-and-fold service was good, with the exception of the footprint incident, and the clothes were always nicely folded. If you live on between Laguna and Van Ness and Bay and Green, they're probably one of the more conveniently located cleaners. And, there are driveways that you can pull into for a minute and briefly double-park. Real parking is fairly lousy, however. If you're more towards Pacific Heights, Pacific French Cleaners has much more convenient parking.
PROS: Convenient location, nice job folding and packaging wash-and-fold
CONS: Footprints on shirt
If you live in the neighborhood, this place is a convenient option. They are pricey, but do a nice job on clothes. And, they have a convenient parking lot with spots that are always open; for you, the easy parking may out weigh the cost. The hours are fairly easy to make too. I think they open at 8am and close at 7pm most days. What defines a French laundry, however, is beyond me? ...Although, they do have free Jelly Bellies!
PROS: Convenient Location, Great Parking, Decent Job
CONS: Pricey for what it is
This gym is just as nice as Gorilla and Crunch. And, it's cheaper, has way better hours (24), and has more equipment than both Gorilla and Crunch. Plus, you don't get the feeling that you're in a meat market with a bunch of cheeseballs. The patrons here are just regular people trying to get in their workouts. People of any fitness level will feel comfortable. The place also has an attached parking garage that costs $3 per workout and always has spots.
As far as the staff, they all seem pretty nice, but my interaction is mostly with my trainer Nicole. I never thought I would opt for a personal trainer, but, after one session with Nicole, I was sold. She is worth every dollar. Nicole is schooled as a nutrionist, so she can give excellent feedback on diet. She is also the best and most positive motivator I have ever experienced. And, frankly, a few pointers from her as to form or speed of an action make all the difference in the world as far as results. I've never felt dissatisfied with a workout. I trust her completely with my workouts and feel one hundred percent comfortable with her. Anyone thinking about trying a personal trainer should go and see Nicole. Or you can go see her at her new Pilates class on Thursdays. (Weight Trainers - Don't get scared off by the fact that she's a Pilates instructor. With the exception of pull-ups, dips, and push-ups, Nicole and I almost exclusive work out on weights. Trust me, she knows what she's doing - I've never gotten more out of a workout.)
PROS: Nicole (trainer), Huge, Nice as Gorilla/Crunch, Great Hours, Nice Equipment
CONS: Bathrooms are a bit enh. Can be gross. Overall lockerrooms are fine, though
Teavana is an exceptional tea shop. The service is friendly (though occassionally slow) and the tea selection is incredible. Try both the Pina Colada tea and the Caribbean Breeze (I always get the latter when I'm feeling sick - supposedly a great source of Vitamin C). The decor is very cool and they always have groovie Putumayo world music playing. They also have an amazing collection of tea gadgets and eastern teapots. Teavana is a great alternative on the days when you don't feel like having another Starbucks coffee.
PROS: Great tea, huge selection, warm atmosphere, friendly service, great teapots
CONS: No coffee, occassionally slow service