On a Monday evening in late June, Darren Lachtman surveyed the sun-dappled patio of Southern Pacific Brewing, a bar and restaurant in a cavernous warehouse in San Francisco’s Mission District. Beer in hand, he nodded toward Robby Ayala, a comedian and employee of Niche, the social media management agency Lachtman, 32, founded with a partner last July. Ayala was one of more than a dozen Niche members invited to the company-sponsored happy hour.
“He got like, 40,000 likes and shares on his last post,” Lachtman said. (That post featured Ayala, an affable 23-year old with a kind of frat-boy charm, pouring hot coffee on his bare hand.) “The dog is down there with his 50,000 followers,” Lachtman went on, gesturing at Biggie Griffon, a pouty Brussels Griffon who sat underneath a pizza-and-cheeseburger-strewn picnic table.
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