Nash Hot Chicken & Ramen shutters, Custom Sofa

Here’s a brief roundup of recent changes to Castro area businesses. In this edition: a hot chicken and ramen restaurant changes concepts to a sushi restaurant and a custom sofa store and medical spa open in the Castro.

Nash Hot Chicken (3970 17th St.)

After just five months, Castro’s Nash Hot Chicken & Ramen (3970 17th St.) has shuttered, and the owners are pivoting to turn it into a sushi restaurant.

Owner Arron Lai tells Hoodline the space will reopen as a sushi restaurant on September 1.

After operating Nash Hot Chicken & Ramen for five months, Lai tells Hoodline that he determined customers wanted a healthier food option.


Nash Hot Chicken & Ramen is now closed, a new sushi restaurant is on the way. | Photo: Nash Hot Chicken & Ramen/Instagram

Lai tells Hoodline that they are still deciding on the name of the new restaurant, and adds that the menu will include omakase sushi rolls.

Nash Hot Chicken and Ramen opened in February of this year in the space formerly occupied by Thai restaurant Me & Tasty.

Since the restaurant was added in 2009 when the upstairs nightclub The Cafe expanded, the space has seen a fair amount of turnover. Original occupant Pica Pica Maize Kitchen opened in 2013 and lasted just nine months. Replacement Manos Nouveau closed in 2016 after less than two years; it was succeeded by Thai restaurant Me & Tasty, which opened in 2017 and closed less than five years later.

Custom Sofa Co. (2195-2199 Market St.)

Oakland-based Custom Sofa Co. will be opening in the retail spaces formerly occupied by barbershop Male Image (2195 Market) and Verizon Authorized Retailer (2199 Market), at the corner of Market and Sanchez.

On a recent visit by a Hoodline reporter, the two retail spaces had been combined into one, and remodeling work was underway.


Custom Sofa Co. is opening at 2195-2199 Market St. | Photo: Steven Bracco/Hoodline

Hoodline readers will recall that Male Image shuttered in 2020 after 40 years in business. The shop briefly reopened under new management as Castro Barbers, but quickly closed.

Verizon shuttered its storefront in 2020 after seven years in the Castro.

Custom Sofa Co. currently has a showroom near Lake Merritt. The family-owned business was founded by twin brothers Diego and Damian.

Hoodline reached out to Custom Sofa Co. for comment but did not receive a response. An opening date has not been announced.


Remodel work is currently underway at Custom Sofa Co. | Photo: Steven Bracco/Hoodline

Elena Med Spa (4035 18th St.)

Elena Med Spa is set to take over the space formerly occupied by Unionmade Women’s store at 4035 18th St. (between Noah and Hartford streets).

Unionmade closed both its women’s and men’s stores in 2019.


Elena Med Spa will be opening in the former Unionmade Women’s store. | Photo: Steven Bracco/Hoodline

On a recent visit by a Hoodline reporter, construction workers were inside the storefront framing out the new business.

Public records indicate two permits were issued for the remodeling of the space. Work includes removing a non-load bearing wall to comply with the Americans with Disability Act and relocating the fire sprinklers. Construction costs are estimated at $170,000.


Construction work is currently underway at Elena Med Spa. | Photo: Steven Bracco/Hoodline

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