Going Out of Business?

EVERY TOWN HAS that store, the place everyone talks about, the one swirling in rumors. For Mill Valley, it’s the Marin Oriental Rug House. Situated at the center of Tam Junction in Mill Valley, the building with its distinctive domeshaped, mosaic tile facade is unmistakable and deceiving — it belies the massive interior, which houses thousands of rugs and tapestries, 7,000 square feet of product. Original owner Taghi Rezaian opened the oldest rug store in Marin nearly half a century ago. Rezaian’s name has been in the news, as his son Jason, a journalist, was captured and held while reporting in Iran in July 2014, then released in January of this year. But that’s not the reason people talk about the store. It’s the signs. Is the place closing, as suggested by a current iteration of the signs that have been up for many years, or is it going out of business? There’s a distinction — and current owner Max Safavi knows what it is. His is one of the last Oriental rug stores in Marin. The Abraham store in Mill Valley is out of business. So are the two San Rafael stores and the one in Tiburon as well. Safavi has run the business at Tam Junction since 1994, but his partner, Masoud Mossabeh, owns the land. Mossabeh retired and is looking to sell the building, meaning the business at this location may close. But casual longtime observers can be forgiven for being confused. So what’s the deal? “It is not going out of business,” Safavi says. “The rug store will continue whether it is here or in a different location in Mill Valley or Strawberry.” So there you have it.