San Francisco couple transform liquor store into a community art studio

A couple in San Francisco said they're doing something to help improve their neighborhood. They've turned a former liquor store into a working studio, art gallery and community gathering spot.

The couple said it's more than a business. They're already offering services and hosted a neighborhood meeting. 
Now, they're preparing to fully open to the public this weekend.

"We really want to highlight artists in the southeast part of San Francisco," co-owner Lisa Magruder of FrameArt Studio said it is breaking new ground in the Portola District, a working class neighborhood.

It is located at the corner of Bacon and Girard streets.  

"There are a lot of artists here.  We don't get a lot of attention sometimes," said Magruder.

The art studio is housed in a building that was once a family-owned grocery store decades ago.
Eventually, it became a liquor store until it was transformed into what is being described as a community  art studio.   

"This is the walk-n cooler to keep the beer cold. They stored all the liquor back in the garage," said co-owner Arthur Koch who's also Magruder's fiance. 
He displayed his work which includes paintings and photos.

"That is a medieval city in Italy," said Koch as he pulled out a photo he took.

Magruder offers framing services and teaches art classes to neighborhood children.

"What better thing to do than to put an art center in the middle of this neighborhood where there is nothing else like this," said Magruder.

The couple re-purposed the garage gates of the building to become a display wall.
This center is yet another example of their partnership.

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"We're creating a community space where people can gather. A safe space where  people can be creative," said Koch.

A mural just a few blocks away is also  a collaboration between the two with other artists.  It's a portrait illustrating the diversity of the Portola neighborhood.  

"Not only is art fun and play time, but it's also a way to teach people the truth about something," said Magruder.

FrameArt Studio will hold its official grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony this weekend. 
The couple tells said they're excited to welcome the community.

Amber Lee is a reporter with KTVU. Email Amber at or text/leave message at 510-599-3922. Follow her on Facebook @AmberKTVU,  Instagram @AmberKTVU  or Twitter @AmberKTVU