Precita Park Cafe Looks Almost Ready to Open

The Precita Park Cafe is getting ready to open its doors. Reader Lonnie sent this photo yesterday, along with a quick update:

Saw the finishing touches going on Precita Park’s logo today. Opening in a week or so!

That’s unofficial, of course, but hopefully the estimate is in the ballpark. But what’s the inside going to look like? Here’s a snap I took about a week ago:

Very exciting.

UPDATE 16 December: The Precita Park Cafe opened at 7 am this morning. I dropped by last night for the opening party, and it was grand. The interior is spacious, airy, and nicely decorated, and the food was very good. Very exciting.

PHOTOS: Top, Lonnie Lazar. Below, Telstar Logistics

33 thoughts on “Precita Park Cafe Looks Almost Ready to Open

  1. Very exciting! I was wondering when this would be opening. As usual, Bernalwood comes through with the scoop. One can only hope that a micro-interview will soon follow.

  2. Don’t forget about Charlie’s, Tony!

    There is a theory that Precita Park Cafe will attract people to the area, which will then create more business for all the surrounding businesses. I think it also means that Park Bench and Charlie’s will have to find a way to step up their game a bit.

    Jimmy was the best thing to happen to Park Bench in a while, both for his menu redesign and his company (as in, to hang out with), but now that he’s not there, it isn’t as fun to stop in. So I don’t really care what happens to it, assuming Precita Park Cafe is as good as I imagine it will be.

    Charlie’s has been there so long and has some loyal customers, but I don’t know if it’ll be enough to compete with the new kid on the block… Time will tell…

  3. I think Charlie’s has the lunch biz from the catholic school across the street so he might be ok still.

    Any word on outdoor seating? Not much sidewalk space to begin with so I wonder if they’ll try to add a “parklet” out front with seats at some point.

      • For a while now I’d been considering contacting the city to see what could be done with that small park island in the middle of Precita there. Its the right size to add a few picnic tables and a brick BBQ or equivalent, and is currently completely unused.

  4. Great news! Can’t wait. Charlie’s got new tables and benches over the weekend so they’re already on upgrade mode. (Though I’ll miss those comfy upholstered chairs). Park Bench has a nice family running it–right?–but their hours are a mystery to me. Between Cancilla’s (it’ll always be Cancilla’s to this old timer) makeover and Precita Park Cafe, we are one rockin’ Bernal ‘hood.

    • My take on Park Bench is that they’re all about the early morning commuters getting their coffee/breakfast fix. When I’ve been there around 2pm they’re practically in clean-up mode already. I’m hoping that Precita Park Cafe will be open later as all our other places close quite early.

  5. North Side, Represent! Have you noticed how the new sign is perfectly framed by the road/trees at the end of the road when you approach it from Folsom?

  6. I was just walking by and spoke to Rachel (owner?). She said they will be open in a few weeks. Similar menu to the other Park cafes but more seasonal. Open for dinner and beers on tap. Can’t wait!!

  7. Some might not know that this used to be the Rite-Way Market. It was run back in the 90’s by a wonderful Ethiopian family who had three beautiful daughters. After they left, the store store began to attract a criminal element and was eventually raided by a SWAT team. Shortly thereafter there was a devastating fire. I’d like to think that the Precita Park Cafe is a Phoenix rising from the ashes.

    • Rite-way had a fire just after Christmas, 2008. I was told that the owners got a decent payout from the insurance and sold the liquor license after deciding it wasn’t worth it to reopen.

      It’s nice to see something new there, sad we had to way 3 years!

    • I remember that family. I think they were Eritrean, not Ethiopian. The middle daughter was very beautiful and was featured on BofA ads on the Muni buses back then. The family that moved in after was Ethiopian. They seemed nice initially, but I heard they were selling alcohol to minors, hence the police raids. Can’t say I’m sorry to see them go if they were really doing that. I love the new cafe and have been twice so far. They passed the crucial test – good lattes! Meeting a South Slope friend there for breakfast tomorrow morning.

      • How do you know what they’ll be serving? And their prices? I don’t see them on their website. Is it posted in their window or something?

        I can’t get lunch for less than $8 at park bench (now that jimmy is gone), or charlie’s. That price sounds ok to me.

  8. We are happy to see the new cafe. I saw Budweiser being delivered last week. They have art and some plants in now. Should be open by years end. It may bring new people to the area but will probably give new options to the local residents. Can three cafe’s survive in a two block park area, we’ll see. Park Bench has the advantage of owning the building, I’m not sure how long is left on the other cafe’s lease. Anyway, welcome Rachel and team. That’s a big investment you’ve made to recondition the space. I like the red circle logo. Kind of looks like a big stop sign as you look down Precita.

    • The Budweiser delivery is the first bad thing I’ve heard about the place, but hopefully better beers will be available. Request: Big Daddy IPA from Speakeasy.

      • Budweiser is delivered by Matagrano in this area, they also carry Big Daddy and 40 other beers. I would assume they will carry the same beers they carry at their other two cafes. I talked to the Morris rep and she said that she didn’t think they were ordering from Morris, they bring us many of the craft beers that our neighbors love. Those may be a better fit. Racer 5 and such.

      • Thanks, Michael! Matagrano and Morris weren’t familiar names to me. I’m a Racer 5 fan, too, so if Matagrano’s got the Big Daddy covered, my new request is for Racer 5.

        And if they want something hyper-local, there’s a guy three blocks up the hill whose brother’s getting him a 5-gallon kegging system for Christmas. The Thomas Brothers make a damn fine IPA.

  9. This will be a wonderful addition to the neighborhood and more options for everyone. While there are those who will not like the upmarket beat, I’m sure the old standbys will survive with their lower priced fare. But there are a lot of folks who live on the hill who skip the old north slop standbys and travel to Noe or other hoods where better fare is served. Now folks can walk or don’t have to drive out of the neighborhood to get decent coffee, a sandwitch, soup, a beer or light fare in a clean well lit place. Bernal is a cross roads of hippies, cool cats, hipsters, old folks and then a lot of newer folks who have professional jobs, work hard, pay heavy property taxes and would like a nice place to eat in their neighborhood. It’s great we’ll have more options for everyone and hopefully, keep some of crime element out of the area. My hunch is Percitia Park Cafe will do well with it’s location, at the base of the hill, awesome park and cross section of so many important traffic arteries. Best of luck!

  10. From yesterday’s Tablehopper…

    Getting close: ~PRECITA PARK CAFE~ is due to soft open this Friday December 16th in Bernal Heights (the project was mentioned a while ago in tablehopper). It will be open seven days a week, from 7am-8pm. The hours of operation will be longer than at their other cafes Dolores Park Cafe and Duboce Park Cafe because Precita Park Cafe will eventually have dinner service (look for hours to extend until 10pm in the New Year). There will be a good variety of wines as well, plus eight beers on tap, and a few bottles too. 500 Precita St. at Alabama, 415-647-7702.

  11. Pingback: Precita Park Cafe Set to Soft Open on Friday | Bernalwood

  12. wonderful! can’t beat it’s proximity to the playground for us parents looking for something to eat or drink that doesn’t come in a plastic bag or can.

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