Ugly-Ass Roll-Up Door Removed from Former Park Bench Cafe Space


Sometimes, when you put on your sparkly red shoes and click your heels together three times, your wishes are granted. For a lost girl named Dorothy, that meant returning home to Kansas. For many residents of Precitaville, one such wish would be to remove the heavy steel roll-up door that covers the former Park Bench Cafe on Folsom; the one that makes the streetscape seem so dismal.

Neighbor Nina lives just up the street from the former Park Bench space, and she has spent a lot of time wearing her sparkly red shoes and clicking her heels together. Yesterday she finally got her wish: The heavy steel door was removed from the storefront. Hurrah!

But wait … Does the removal of the steel door mean that something exciting and new is coming to the former Park Bench Cafe space, which has been dormant and empty for several fallow years?!?

Why, yes it does. It means exactly that.

But then the question becomes: What’s gonna happen there?!?

Bernalwood doesn’t have many details right now, but lets just say that if you were to put on your sparkly red shoes and click your heels together three times and wish for a delicious gourmet pizza place founded by another longtime Precitaville neighbor… well, we have reason to believe your wish might soon come true.

PHOTO: Neighbor Nina

27 thoughts on “Ugly-Ass Roll-Up Door Removed from Former Park Bench Cafe Space

  1. The Joys of Gentrification™ that we no longer need bulky and unsightly poor people repellant! Hurrah!

    • Dude it is just a metal gate. Like most things that are outdoors for decades they just get old and weather beaten(ugly), if metal rusty, and sometimes need to be removed or replace. Not everything is freaking gentrification, take a breath.

    • i wonder how you really feel? snark + snark + broad socioeconomic swipe + snark has me wondering. did you really like that big ugly tag magnet of a roll down door, or the neglect. the pigeon poop? i am all for timely snark here and there but you aint sayin nothin, other than you’re a hater without a cause

      • never mind. you clarify your position below. As far as openly rooting for crime rates or earthquakes, I doubt many openly root for those things. In fact, I am here to say that you completely made that up.

  2. I can’t tell what you intend as irony and what is meant as neighborhood commentary. Can you please elaborate? Only way this comment makes sense is if you equate “poor” with “criminal,” which may not be what you intended.

      • Well I’m unclear whether you really are naive to how political this article is, in the general narrative of this blog which is uneasily divided between “Bernal is getting spiffier! Yay!” and “Lower-income residents are being driven out and that is permanently changing the character of our beloved neighborhood. ”

        Why was that gate put up there, and how “dismal” was the neighborhood when it was installed? Rather dismal. And that dismalness was what kept rents affordable and allowed for economic diversity. Now both are being eliminated and you’re openly celebrating (I’m also happy about nifty new shops, but I’m not being gentrified out). I take you as aware enough to realize the irony and tradeoff but maybe you don’t. In which case I’m the one confused as to your position.

      • So, your position assumes high rates of crime function as a positive indicator for socio-economic diversity? If that’s the case, then you’re probably not doing the cause of socio-economic diversity any favors.

      • There are plenty of lower-income earners in SF that quite openly root for the crime rate (as long as it doesn’t affect them too much) as a rent control measure, just like there are ones rooting for destructive earthquakes. Both unconscionable, immorally selfish positions, yet surprisingly common.

        Seeing that anti-crime gate may have depressed property values around it, and a spiffy new visibly fearless cafe in its place will raise them. Can we really pretend there are no such correlations and consequences? It strains credulity.

        And I agree. The correlation between crime and poverty is very destructive to sympathy for the non-criminal poor. That’s a tragedy. Lower-income earners should be the most vociferously against crime as it not only disparages them it also affects them directly more often.

        Anyway we’ll see if the coffee or whatever’s worth having.

  3. Looking forward to learning more.
    Oh, Todd. Could you find out what is happening to the tea shop on Cortland? I’d love an interview with the woman (owner) who sits at her computer all day.

    • LOL good question there Maureen. They clearly aren’t selling much tea. Flawed business plan combined with really nice interior design. They should switch business plans /aka diversify their wares asap.

  4. I remember how excited we were on Manchester street when Park Bench opened. I’m equally excited for what’s coming to our hood next. My memory doesn’t stretch back far enough to remember what pre-dated Park Bench. Was it a Hungarian place of some kind, or am I confusing that with the sausage factory on Cortland?

  5. I remember that the Harvest Hills Market had really wanted to expand into that space years ago and Charlies somehow stopped that from happening saying they had plans for the space. Whatever happened with that?

  6. The Park Bench cafe was a great place when it first opened, if perhaps a sign of gentrification back in the ’90’s. It’s reopening it not a sign of a gentrification process now– that ship has long sailed, and I don’t think a pizza place replacing a cafe has any greater meaning than that the landlord is finally allowing someone to run a business there.

  7. All I care about is the fact that there will be more food options for Flynn teachers and families. 🙂

  8. North Bernalandia is delighted for this change. A closed-up storefront does no one any good, with or without a roll-up door. But pizza is good for the soul.

  9. There is almost no chance its better than Pizza Hacker. Pizza Hacker is probably the best in the city right now.

    • I have to admit that that’s my gut feeling too. Not to mention that Precita Cafe does a respectable job with its pizza. But I’d happily be proven wrong.

      (That said, a family friendly pub would kill there)

      • kinda, sure. but I am talking about a place with the Giants game always on, and whatnot. something like Liberties on Guerrero and 22nd, but a bit more kid friendly. IMO, that concept would kill it.

  10. Update? Pizza would be amazing. A grub pub would see me become a fixture. Just not Pizza Hacker please.

  11. Pingback: Charlie’s Cafe on Precita Park Is For Sale | Bernalwood

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