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18 Reasons is part of the Bi-Rite Family of Businesses, and was created as a way to give back to the neighborhood that has contributed to and supported Bi-Rite over the years. It’s a space to come together, engage with the people who feed us, view work by local artists, and learn about what we eat and why. As a non-profit community space, we are supported by individual memberships, Bi-Rite Market, and other neighborhood businesses.
It all started with Cliff Leonardi and Dan DiPasquo, active members of the 18th-and-Guerrero community, who set out to create a workplace, a meeting and event venue, and gallery in the neighborhood. They dubbed the little storefront at 593 Guerrero Street “Blue Space” and happily carried out their mission until 2007, when Cliff and his family left for the arguably greener pastures of Portland. At that point, Cliff and Dan offered the reins to the folks at Bi-Rite Market, who for years had been dreaming of having a space to further connect neighbors with producers of food and wine. They leapt at the chance, and renamed the space “18 Reasons.”
Why 18 Reasons?
If you’ve been in the Mission for a while, you may remember the large sign atop a building at the corner of 17th Street and Mission. It simply, and mysteriously stated: 17 Reasons. It was tragically taken down in 2002 and replaced by an ordinary billboard. To mark the change in the gallery’s management and pay tribute to this much-missed icon, we decided to rechristen the space as 18 Reasons. 18 because of 18th Street, and because…well, it never hurts to have one more reason.