The 80's were a time of rapid growth for Cliff's. The property value in the neighborhood experienced a steady climb as gay people the world over flocked to live in the new gay Mecca. As the energy in the neighborhood increased so to did the business at Cliff's. It became a neighborhood hub where old friends would meet and new friends were made.
As the business flourished so did the need for more space. Even though a decade earlier an entire basement had been excavated beneath the floor of the store Cliff's was still quickly running out of room. The counters grew taller and more creative ways were devised to display and store the ever-growing number of items needed to satisfy the growing demands of the neighborhood.
It was in the late 80's that relief would come to an overloaded Cliff's Variety. The store adjacent to Cliff's, a Hallmark Card shop (formerly Work Wonders, a furniture store, and before that Square Deal Paints), became available to lease. Ernie and Martha quickly jumped at the opportunity and it was decided the space would become the new home of Cliff's fabric and linens as well as bedding and bath accessories.
The store would go through many changes during the early 90's and it would be the dot com boom of the late 90's that would shape the product selection that is Cliff's Annex today. The rapid influx of money into the city and a mantra of "money is no object" allowed Cliff's to break away from it's 5 & 10 reputation and move into the world of upscale marketing.
It was in the height of this boom that another opportunity for expansion would arise. After many years trying to convince the building owner to sell she finally conceded by moving toward the light and Cliff's quickly bought the property.
This created many possibilities for the future growth of a booming business. Plans were soon devised to remodel the existing structure creating more floor space as well as desperately needed storage. Cliff's today is a larger structure comprised of the two stores combined creating a larger overall retail space while maintaining the better-best offering our customers have grown to expect.
The late 90's also saw the return from college of Terry, Martha and Ernie's eldest daughter. It was during this period of growth that Terry chose to carry on the family tradition and began her rite of passage to becoming the latest generation to take over operations of Cliff's Variety. In 2003 Terry herself had a daughter who is growing up in her grandfathers footsteps and may one day be the next generation to carry on the history of one of the oldest family owned stores in San Francisco.