Community, Commerce, & Culture

As the cornerstone of this new movement, Republika SF will function as an incubator for innovative retail concepts and food pop-ups that will preserve Filipino cultural identity and community.

Repurposing existing material from the space, the design will be resourceful like the Filipino people. Vibrant graphics in the storefront will draw visitors into the space and help activate the neighborhood. Framed layered panels will highlight the history of SOMA Philipinas while retail pop-ups border the perimeter of the space.

The juxtaposition of sari-sari meets minimalist will inform the bar and food stall, the central hub that will draw visitors to the back of the space, encouraging interaction and engagement.

Pop-ups are a proven and affordable way to test the market, tweak the concept, and grow businesses.

Pop Up Program

This model has a successful history of improving low-income areas and providing low- and moderate-income residents with a pathway to become successful business owners. 

Retailers begin with Short-Term Engagements (1-3 months). When there has been a track record of success and interest from the general public in the business, entrepreneurs can move onto a Medium-Term Engagement (3-6 months) which can eventually lead to a permanent brick-and-mortar establishment. 

Businesses featured in the pop-up program will benefit from Kultivate Labs partnership with Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center. In 2017 Kultivate Labs and Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center were awarded a grant from the SOMA Stabilization grant to provide intensive 1:1 consulting to businesses in the areas of branding, marketing, finance, operations, legal, and more.

History and Timeline

April 2016

The SOMA Pilipinas cultural district is created in San Francisco. One of the main strategizes to bring the district to life is to create a corridor of Filipino businesses.

November 2019

The Filipino community raises ~$60,000 to bring Republika life. A business incubator that will be the evolution of the popular UNDSCVRD Night Markets to help build SOMA Pilipinas commercial corridor.

December 2019

The City of San Francisco issues a 8 year lease for a 3,600 sq ft space for the Republika Project.

April 2020

Fast Company awards Republika a Social Innovation award.

December 2020

COVID delays forces the build-out of Republika to be pushed out till Summer 2022. To activate the space, a pop-up artist studio called Balay Kreative is created in the space.

January 2021

The SOMA CAC funding body votes to start a $500k procurement process to start the build-out of Republika.

July 2021

The SF Arts Commission and Community Vision award Republika $150,000 grant towards it’s build-out.

October 2021

Republika launches a “window shop” pop-up concept to build brand awareness and combat urban blight.