Ghirardelli Chocolate Company announced it will reopen its flagship store, the Original Ghirardelli Chocolate & Ice Cream Shop, at Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco. After a six-month renovation of the historic building, the store celebrates Ghirardelli’s history and craftsmanship as a U.S. chocolate pioneer and the company’s legacy in San Francisco dating back to the 1850s. The new design features North America’s largest flowing chocolate wall, the original, 19-foot “G” from the historic marque Ghirardelli sign, a replica San Francisco cable car that doubles as a seating area, antique chocolate-making equipment on display, and much more for guests to discover.
“We can’t wait for the public to experience our redesigned iconic flagship store at Ghirardelli Square. This shop is located where in the 1960s we first served what is now our World Famous Hot Fudge Sundae,” said Joel Burrows, Ghirardelli’s President and CEO. “After being 171 years in business in San Francisco, we are proud of our deep roots in the city. We remain committed to helping Bay Area visitors and locals alike create sweet memories with their families and friends for many more chocolate-loving generations to come.”
Ghirardelli will celebrate the Original Ghirardelli Chocolate & Ice Cream Shop’s grand reopening on Thursday 13th July starting at 10:00 am with live music from Sueños, outdoor games and experiences throughout Ghirardelli Square. The newly renovated flagship store will officially reopen at 11:00 a.m. after Multiple Grammy Award© winning artist, singer, actor, producer and best-selling writer Kelly Rowland leads the ceremonial ribbon cutting with the Ghirardelli management team and community partners. The public is invited to join the festivities, and in honour of Ghirardelli’s 171-year history, the first 171 people in line to enter the store will receive a free Ghirardelli World Famous Hot Fudge Sundae.
“As a true chocolate lover, I can’t wait to help ring in Ghirardelli’s next chapter,” said Rowland. “No visit to San Francisco is complete without a delicious sundae at Ghirardelli Square. And now there’s an even more gorgeous setting for having that unique Ghirardelli chocolate experience.”
Introduced in 1966, the Original Chocolate and Ice Cream Shop was Ghirardelli’s first location that focused on sundaes. When it reopens, the menu will feature 15 different sundaes, including Ghirardelli’s World-Famous Hot Fudge Sundae. Additionally, the renovated store format will showcase other fountain and bakery favourites like milkshakes, hot chocolate, brownies, cookies and chocolate-covered strawberries.
Among other elements of the elevated retail experience, visitors will get to enjoy a re-designed Pick n’ Mix space where they can customise souvenirs featuring their favourite Ghirardelli chocolate squares. The new space also embraces Ghirardelli’s rich San Francisco history with a tiled mural of the San Francisco skyline on the second floor, as well as vintage Ghirardelli advertisements in the warmly vibrant Sun Room.
Guests will be able to see the original, 19-foot Ghirardelli “G” up close. The Ghirardelli marquee sign, an icon that many travellers and locals identify with San Francisco, turns 100 this year. Aside from being rewired and outfitted with efficient, low-wattage bulbs, the sign components look just as they did in 1923, when illuminated displays were much more novel. Today’s sign is equipped with a Colour Kinetics LED system that enables each letter to independently display a variety of colours.
The Original Ghirardelli Chocolate & Ice Cream Shop redesign is the second part of a multi-phased renovation project for the brand at Ghirardelli Square. Last year, the company unveiled a completely reimagined Chocolate Experience Store, Ghirardelli’s other flagship retail space at Ghirardelli Square. The store concepts and design of the multi-phase renovation project have been led by Bay Area firm Eight Inc.