Noe Valley Voice June 1998

Last Spin for Suzie's Laundry

By Erin O'Briant

Yet another Noe Valley institution has folded. Suzie's Laundry, on 24th Street near Church, closed its doors on May 30. The small wash-and-fold laundry and dry cleaners had been operating for more than 26 years.

Suzie's owner Suzie Cheung says she was given an eviction notice on May 1. The building at 3812 24th St. has been bought by a new landlord, who according to Cheung intends to remodel the shop and turn it into a residential unit.

Cheung does not plan to relocate the laundry. "My husband has retired already," she says, "so we'll take a long vacation." Since her family lives in San Francisco, she hopes to get a fulltime job in the city after taking her break, but she's not sure what type of work that will be.

Cheung is especially disappointed by the eviction because she has put a lot of effort into keeping up her store.

"I've had to do a lot of work," she said, "but still the lease is $2,000 a month. The building is over 90 years old, and the kitchen upstairs was in really bad shape. It's been hard for me."

Though she's upset about having to close, Cheung remains upbeat. "I've been happy here because I've had so many nice customers -- they've been really, really friendly to me. All of them have come over to say goodbye. They say, 'Suzie, Suzie, don't go. We'll miss you so much.'"

Jason Grow of Chattanooga Street, a six-year patron of Suzie's Laundry, says Suzie Cheung is the main attraction.

"She's amazing," he says affectionately. "She's been really sweet to us -- my wife and I just had a baby a few months ago, and she was so excited. She gave us a little pink baby dress, and she would always give us Christmas presents.

"I suppose it's their right," Grow continued, referring to the landlord's eviction, "but it really is sad, because they're forcing out all the people who make Noe Valley what it is, including Suzie."

On May 23, Suzie's official last day, a stream of friends and customers came into the shop, many bringing flowers and fond farewells. If you missed the closing, you can phone 647-1597 or send a note to Suzie Cheung at 3830 24th St., Apt. #1, San Francisco, CA 94114.