Gil Stancourt says he'll put a light bulb in anything. Take one look around his studio and you'll believe him. The born tinkerer, who built his first lamp at the age of 12, has spent the last quarter century restoring antique lamps and designing original lighting fixtures, and in that time he's custom-made crystal fixtures, reproductions of cathedral chandeliers, and even art objects from repurposed items. Gil's specialty is bringing back to life antique lamps, which he can convert into more eco-friendly fixtures by retrofitting them to use energy-efficient GU-24 compact fluorescent bulbs and to not shine directly in the eyes of an endangered species that's trying to get some rest.
The lighting master shares his expertise in instructional classes, during which students learn basic wiring techniques and proper tool usage by constructing their own lamp from a wine bottle and other materials.
The name might sound a little dated, but the bar for quality high-tech repairs is arguably higher in San Francisco than almost anywhere in the world. Lasertorium Office Systems remains a go-to for Hewlett-Packard, Lexmark, Brother International and other high-end electronics that are malfunctioning or otherwise cutting into workplace productivity. From paper jams to wear-and-tear to the kind of baffling diagnostic mysteries that send mere mortals into a blinding rage, the Outer Sunset's Lasertorium has been servicing the Bay's gadgets for 20 years, with reasonable prices for timely turnaround. Don’t expect much in the way of amenities or frills from this low-slung repair shop – or its sister location in the Financial District. Instead, rest easy in the knowledge that the experience held inside will have your machine up and running again in no time.
Having begun at 331 Cortland, the small-business incubator space in Bernal Hill, Bernal Cutlery became one of its most successful graduates – and retained its name after relocating to the Mission. The wondrous, old-timey knife shop on Guerrero Street is not merely a place to get a dull edge sharpened on a proper Japanese whetstone, it’s where San Francisco’s home chefs learn to filet fish and chop vegetables according to the proper techniques. While heavy on Japanese blades, Bernal Cutlery stocks an amazing assortment of professional kitchen tools that are, quite literally, cutting-edge. Co-owner Josh Donald’s collection of pocketknives and other vintage cutting implements makes for an almost fantastic visual display as well, all from within the old-timey storefront, complete with hand-painted glass signage.
Delighting North American taste buds for a quarter century, Yogen Fruz's scoopers blend vanilla and chocolate frozen yogurt with a dozen fresh fruit flavors available in low-fat and no-fat varieties. The yogurt base combines with fruit mix-ins, such as blueberries, kiwis, and mangoes, to fashion sweet treats healthier than a high-fiber medical degree. Patrons can speckle their probiotic-infused scoops with 16 toppings, adding texture and flavor with options such as cereal, nuts, fresh fruit, and chocolate. Smoothies, fruit cups, and fruit-yogurt combos are also available.
Whether they're using light colors to make rooms feel larger or earth tones to make dungeons feel cozier, Stylers Floor Covering's technicians know that the right flooring can dramatically change a home's appearance. To help their customers feel 100% confident in their choices, they loan out flooring samples and provide free onsite estimates. They vamp up domiciles in wall-to-wall carpeting from brands such as Helios or stained hardwood floors from the likes of Mirage. Extending beyond aesthetic preference, they help homeowners select the right flooring material to suit their lifestyles. Certain carpeting types, for example, can repel pet odor, and laminate floors naturally resist grandfather clocks' drool.