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Beyond the Sea

Robert Patterson knows there is weight in thinking small. The man behind Revolver, a cozy Lower Haight boutique, mixes the ease of a surf shop vibe with a small store concept and brings it to the bottom tip of Fillmore Street.
Patterson, a soft-spoken man with sandy, tousled hair, grew up in Japan and has a manufacturing background, which greatly informed the store’s aesthetic as well as his appreciation for smaller brands. Because there is less floor space to work with, nothing within the shop—the stacks of raw denim, the placement of handmade shoes and leather backpacks—is incidental.
“We made a shop for ourselves, and hope that other people like it,” he says. One feels a sense of comfort when entering Revolver; stepping across the wooden floorboards and immediately taking in the nautical undercurrent, Revolver is a place Jacques Cousteau would have visited had the Calypso ever made a stop in San Francisco. The space is pint-sized but far from claustrophobic, and designed to gently encourage guests to spend 45 minutes, or even an hour inside, perusing denim from Railcar, sweaters by Saint James, and canvas backpacks and dop kits made of sailcloth from Susan Hoff.

Revolver stocks clothing, accessories, and other special items from Tokyo, Indonesia, France and San Francisco. Their focus is quality, products with a story behind them, and for the most part they are not interested in big brands. Recently approached by Levi’s, Patterson turned down the chance to stock the grandfather of denim, explaining simply that they were just “not interested.”
Not to be content with only stocking beautiful high-quality wares, Revolver takes its non-traditional retail approach one step further and morphs into a gallery space at the back of the store, with whitewashed walls showcasing hand-selected artists that fit with the store’s aesthetic. Plans are on the horizon for a future exhibition of surf photography, and even a pop-up shop within the gallery itself.
There are a few ways the name “Revolver” came to be. It’s a nod to the Beatles album and a rough Spanish translation of change and moving forward. “We’re not into guns,” Patterson explains, “but the revolver has such an American, crafty appeal that we like.” This blending of cultures with an impeccable attention to detail is enough to inspire anyone to find their sea legs. 

136 Fillmore Street
San Francisco, CA