There’s a new shoemaker in the La Lengua Autonomous Zone: Beneduci Shoemakers just opened up an honest-to-goodness boot factory and store on the corner of San Jose and 30th Street.
To be sure, Beneduci’s is far more Milan than Brothers Grimm. The designs are gorgeous, owner Frank Beneduci’s workmanship is world-class, and the prices… well, the prices are probably a bit steep for forest elves. In 2013, the San Francisco Chronicle wrote:
The grandson of an Italian-born craftsman, Beneduci, 48, went to Milan to study with master cobblers to satisfy his desire to “create something tangible.”
“My aesthetic is informed by two things,” said Beneduci, “U.S.-made boot machinery and Italian pattern-making and manufacturing techniques. Both are completely different disciplines, but I have managed to merge them into something that works.”
Beneduci shoes have a foot in both lands. The hardy boots may have American workwear leanings but are far more refined, in both design and materials, than anything you’d wear to clean a flooded basement.
Former Neighbor Renee, who just moved to Pacifica after 10 years on Nevada Street, tells us she loves her Beneducis:
I do own a pair of Beneduci boots that Frank made for me before the store opened. I love them. I’ve never owned a pair of handcrafted shoes or boots; these feel amazing. It’s not hyperbole when I say I can walk miles in them all over the city. Frank is so passionate about bringing meticulous craftsmanship to San Francisco, and he delivers it in such a down-to-earth way. The store is beautiful and welcoming—you really can go in and see all the equipment and the shoes being made. It’s a great addition to Bernal.
I’m attaching a photo of me in my boots at the end of the day.
Beneduci Shoemakers is open Tuesday -Wednesday by appointment, Thursday – Saturday 11-7pm Closed Sunday and Monday. Here’s a video introduction:
PHOTO: Top, Beneduci Shoes via Facebook. Interior photo by Ted Weinstein. Boots by Renee.