Killing Time at a Local Laundromat
“I like coming to this Laundromat,” a Texas Street resident said, of Potrero Coin Laundry (PCL), located at 1310 18th Street. “I usually grab a bite at Farley’s while my clothes are tumbling.” The resident, who works South of Market, spends roughly two hours each time she visits the laundry, and is grateful for PCL’s wash-and-fold service. “Sometimes I drop off several loads of laundry. The staff does my laundry pretty quickly. I like how neat my washed clothes are folded,” she said.
“This place sits in an excellent location,” said an 18th Street resident. “Especially, it’s next to a wonderful bar, which is one of my favorite places. I kick it in there every time I come to this neighborhood Laundromat. Once a month, for two hours.”
A Mariposa Street resident, who works at home, visits PCL three times a year. “Potrero Coin Laundry is clean and safe,” he said. “That’s what I like about this place. After I stuff my dirty clothes into one of the washers, I go home for an hour. My clothes are still in the same machine when I come back.”
Other Hill residents patronize another neighborhood Laundromat, Billy’s Dry Cleaners, at 1503 20th Street. “I’m glad that Billy’s is just one block from my apartment,” said a 20th Street resident, who became a Billy’s regular two years ago. “Closeness is everything to me. It takes about one and half hours to do my laundry…I enjoy grocery shopping at Good Life Grocery while doing my laundry.” The resident was especially appreciative of Billy’s “tailor,” who did a great job altering her jeans.
According to a Castro resident, who had been staying at his friend’s apartment, two blocks from Billy’s, doing laundry is fun. “I am never bored here,” he said. “I go to the library to kill my two-hour laundry time.” He pointed toward the Potrero Hill Branch of San Francisco Public Library, down the street.
A Los Angeles visitor, however, preferred PCL over Billy’s because of its easy access to public transportation. “The 22 bus drops me right off at the corner of Plow,” he said with a smile, as he stood outside PCL smoking a cigarette. “It saves me lots of time…It’s so laid back here. Get a chance to hang out at Farley’s and eat at Plow. This neighborhood Laundromat is awesome. It has everything I need to do my laundry. It even has free Wi-Fi. Washers and dryers always available. No need to wait in line. The owner is very nice. Nice location, nice people with good vibes.”
Despite PCL’s popularity with its customers, potential rent increasesthreaten its longevity. As Potrero Hill’s property values continue to rise, so too do its rents, including on the 18th Street commercial strip. With a possible monthly rent hike of $1,000 or more, there’s a chance that one of the neighborhood’s Laundromats could go down the drain.
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