Currently on display, directly in front of the new walk-in cigar shop at 550 Montgomery (more on that soon!), is a collection of some of our favorite Wingtip brand products. Here’s a breakdown…

1. Button-Down Oxford Shirt

2. Denim Button-Down Shirt

3. Linen Sport Shirt

4. Golf-ball case (in collaboration with Daines & Hathaway)

5. Captive-Top Flask (available in additional sizes) (in collaboration with Daines & Hathaway)

6. Wingtip neck wear in repp stripes, micro-neats, and striped grenadine

7. Shoe Shine Kit Bag (in collaboration with Daines & Hathaway)

8. Dopp Kit (in collaboration with Daines & Hathaway)

9. Stud box (in collaboration with Daines & Hathaway)

11. Cashmere Navy V-neck sweater (in collaboration with Johnstons of Elgin)

12. Shaving Sets (available with silvertip and pure badger brushes, as well as Mach 3 and Fusion blades)

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We’ve been doing a little bit of research on our new neighborhood, specifically our intersection, and found a few tidbits:

— The intersection of Clay and Montgomery (then water) is where Captain James Montgomery landed the Portsmouth in 1846 to claim California for the US. “About eight o’clock on the morning of July 9th, Montgomery landed with seventy men at the foot of Clay street, marched to the music of fife and drum up Clay to Kearny, thence to the plaza, where he hoisted the American flag on the pole in front of the custom house.”(1)

— Across the street on Clay, from 1853 to 1959 was the Montgomery Block, also known as the Monkey Block. At four stories, it was the first office building in the American West. It hosted people like Mark Twain and Jack London, and it is claimed that the Pisco Punch was invented in its bar. Despite its legacy, it was demolished in the mid-20th century to make way for…

— The Transamerica Pyramid. Opened in 1972, the height and pyramidal shape of the building has made it an SF icon.

— About 50 years before Bank of Italy arrived on the block, the first baseball games in San Francisco were discussed at Dan’s Oyster Saloon (Montgomery, btw Clay and Commercial). A leaugue was organized there, though its reported that a game was never played.(2) However, the Bank of Italy was part of an intramural Bay Area Bankers league that played games at the Presidio of Oakland during the summer of 1911. (They finished the season a disappointing 3-10.)(3)

This 1846--47 map depicts the shore as Montgomery St., with the main thoroughfares Washington (right) and Clay (left).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John B. Montgomery, the street's namesake.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An 1857 advertisement for Dan's Oyster Saloon, the disputable birthplace of Bay Area baseball. (4)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bank of America building, prior to its 1921 expansion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Daily Call article written in appreciation of the Italian community's efforts to revitalize post-quake San Francisco, e.g. A.P. Gianinni's Bank of Italy building. (5)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eldredge, Zoeth Skinner. The Beginnings of San Francisco. 1912: San Francisco.
FoundSfF.org
San Francisco Call, Volume 109, Number 122, 1 April 1911 pg:21
4 California Farmer and Journal of Useful Sciences, Volume 7, Number 3, 30 January 1857
5 San Francisco Call, Volume 104, Number 42, 12 July 1908

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cufflink-libraryAs you exit the elevator on the 10th floor to enter the lobby of the new club, to your left will be a new, beautiful display for our Pocket Square Library. Look to your right, and you’ll see 50 floating shirt cuffs, each showcasing a single cufflink. Of course, its partner will just be in a cabinet down below so members with access to the Cufflink Library will be able to more easily visualize how any particular link will look on their wrist.

The photo at left is a work-in-progress shot of the Library in the lobby alcove.

To simplify things for members (although not the club in the short-term), future access to the Cufflink Library will be automatic after the purchase of any 2 pairs of cufflinks in a rolling 12 month period. No annual fee. No monthly fee. Those that regularly purchase cufflinks will expand their collections by an order of magnitude with access to our Library. While not automated yet (we’re working on it), if you believe you have purchased two pair in a year, let us know and we are happy to provide you access to the Library as it currently exists in the club’s bar.

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jackhammer_BWBastille Day Weekend. 1976. Albert Spaggiari breaks into the Société Générale Bank in Nice, France, languorously emptying out safety deposit boxes while treating his accomplices to a picnic lunch of wine and pâté.

This fall, Ami Arad takes Spaggiari’s vision to new heights. He’s not robbing the bank–he’s redecorating it! See the work of The Jackhammer September 4th at 550 Montgomery St.

 

 

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Demolition

Micro-manager? Maybe. Perfectionist? Definitely. Or maybe he’s just developing a passion for demolition.

Our Founder, Ami Arad, takes the sledgehammer to some old board-constructed bank tellers’ desks that needed to go in the new space. In less than 2 months, the space under his feet will be re-carpeted and become the new and expanded shoe department!

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Wingtip to move to 550 MontgomeryThe San Francisco Business Times spills the beans on our latest plan for world domination: consolidating and expanding (doubling, actually) our current stores and club to 550 Montgomery, aka the original Bank of Italy building.

At the corner of Clay & Montgomery in the heart of the Financial District, 550 Montgomery is a national historic landmark building constructed in 1908 just after the earthquake. To walk through the ground floor space –our future retail space– is to be transported to another time, and we have every intention of showcasing the history of the building. In fact, some of that has already begun with the acquisitions of turn-of-the-century pieces for our barber chair, fitting room mirror, barber pole, cash register, and more.

The full article requires a subscription, so here are some of the highlights:

  • The building was home to the original Bank of Italy, founded by A.P. Giannini, which later became Bank of America. The ground floor  probably has more Italian Carrara marble than the city of Carrara, which came from the same quarry that Michelangelo used. The ceiling, which is a work of art in itself, is 25′ above you, the original solid brass teller windows have details that you have to see up close, and the windows into the store are huge. Due to the historic nature of the space, we are not allowed to alter most of that, but when you see it, you’ll realize we’d be crazy to change a thing. For the most part, we’re just moving in.
  • The main store will live on the Ground Floor space with the custom (Bespoke) shop on the Lower Level in the bank’s original vault. The old safe deposit box room will become our new fitting room. Each customers’ measurements and swatches will be stored in their own safe deposit box!
  • Wingtip, our private club for our loyal customers, will relocate to the two penthouse floors (10 & 11), comprising 12,000 sq ft, and quadrupling its current footprint.
  • The space has some incredible views, especially of the Transamerica Pyramid and Coit Tower, and if all goes well, a roof deck will be in our future for Wingtip.
  • Save the Date for our Grand Opening Party on Thursday, September 20th for an all-day sales event. Wingtip will open a few months later as its build-out is much more involved.
This would not be possible without the continued support from customers like you. It’s easy for employees to tell other employees not to take business issues “personally,” but when it’s your business, everything is personal: the good and the bad. And I feel very blessed to have great customers and great employees.

Enjoy some photos of the new retail space. There will be photos of the future club space next week, and plenty of additional blog posts about progress on both spaces…

Ami Arad
Founder & President

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