The Good Liver
In Downtown, well-curated shops with highly ‘grammable goods are a dime a dozen. In fact, after a day of shopping in the Arts District, you may start to wonder, “Have we reached peak Kinfolk?” Now, for a business to stand out amidst the sea of storefronts peddling Marvis toothpaste, it’s required to stock items that are truly one-of-a-kind. Like rock bath mats made by a castle restoration company. Or delicate Celadon ceramics from the Chosun dynasty. Or, perhaps, the handiwork of some 17th-century Norman peasants.
Enter The Good Liver, a high-art, low-key home goods store, located just around the block from Pizzanista! on 7th and Mateo St. It’s the pet project of Bert Youn, a creative director and animator with an avid appreciation for timeless design, rich history, and effective storytelling. It also houses some of the coolest things from all around the world.
“I’ve always been a huge nerd about collecting nice objects for the home,” says Youn, who discovers the brands his shop carries through world travels and online research. Youn was looking to share his passion for interesting objects to the world, but he wanted to do so in a physical space, one where customers could come in and take in the tactile experience of the products and their presentation.
The wares, most of which are from Europe and Asia, are shown with quiet reverence inside oak display cases, designed by Youn himself, then hand-crafted by a woodworker friend. Every single item is accompanied by its own placard, description, and price tile, like an exhibit at a museum, to ensure that as much focus as possible is placed onto the object’s special properties and place in time.
“The storytelling part is crucial,” says Youn. “I believe these stories make an object even more special.” Take, for example, The Good Liver’s selection of Japanese beer and wine glasses from Usuhari, a glass manufacturer that once specialized in hand-blowing electric light bulbs in the 1920s. Youn vividly recollects his first encounter with the glass set — the clinking sound of the ice, the way it felt in his hands — during his time in Japan. The craftsmanship of the glass, almost by magic, made his drink “taste 300% better.”
Considering the meticulous attention to design and narrative, it’s a given that every item in stock imbues such rich origin stories. But when it comes to branding and marketing, The Good Liver remains curiously quiet. The store has flourished in the past year-and-a-half off of word-of-mouth alone, relying on the discerning tastes of the creative community, as well as the local neighborhood, to promote the store organically. Perhaps, however, this falls in line with the key tenet that defines the good life itself: let the goods speak for themselves.
Written by Sophie He
Photographed by Caleb Thal