Last night on the Twitters, @albuhhh asked:
This is a reasonable question. Have the lines at our Bernal Safeway always been so terrible? The short answer is: Yes, pretty much.
The Bernal Safeway was built in the early 1960s, but back in February 2015, Bernalwood uncovered an important historical document that revealed the endemic nature of the miserable lines at our local supermarket. Since the passage of time has done little to improve the situation, we’ll now reprise that 2015 post for the benefit of our newer neighbors, if only to remind them that complaining about our local Safeway is a hallowed Bernal Heights bonding ritual:
The Citizens of Bernalwood recently took up cyber-pitchforks and -torches to complain about the ridiculously long lines at the Bernal Heights Safeway on Mission Street at 29th? Remember how we hoped — naively, perhaps — that perhaps maybe someone at Safeway corporate might hear our gnashing of teeth, and take pity upon our sad souls, and remedy the situation?
Well, don’t count on it.
Recently, while browsing through a back issue of the Bernal Journal from 1972, your Bernalwood editor was darkly entertained to find an impassioned article complaining about… the ridiculously long lines at the Bernal Heights Safeway!
I wish I was kidding about this, but I am not. Behold, a time capsule from  years ago, written by Bernal Journal reporter “Vera Disgruntla” (click to embiggen):
The similarities between this Bernal Journal article from 1972 and the comments section of Bernalwood’s post about the Bernal Safeway are comical in their utter sameness. Here’s a depressing excerpt pulled from the 1972 article shown above:
One man has vowed never to shop there — he gets his meat at the Pioneer Market dry good at 30th and Mission Market, and fresh fruits and vegetables at the Farmers Market at the foot of Bernal Hill. Another man goes once a week to the Marina Safeway. A woman told me she and her husband always drive the five minutes further to get to the Diamond Heights Safeway, where, because they never have to wait to check out there, they actually save time! These may be the only real alternatives.
But I am still mad – for me, and everyone around here who continually has this frustrating time waste wait at our store. The faces in the lines seem to say, “it’s always been like this; we’ve ALWAYS had to wait.”
So there you have it. Long lines have been a fixture at our local Safeway since even before 1972, and after 40+ years, it would seem that Safeway management still does not give a flying Fig Newton about the problem. But hey, at least they’re consistent.
In light of these facts, Bernalwood would now like to officially propose the following:
1) Let’s bulldoze this Safeway, since it so obviously suffers from intergenerational corporate indifference.
2) Let’s save that cool Taoist Safeway mosaic, for posterity, or for use in a replacement structure (see below).
3) Let’s build a few hundred units of much-needed housing on this long-neglected site, with the new ground-floor space dedicated to a more modern supermarket (something kind of like that new mixed-use building that was recently erected on Ocean).
4) While we’re at it, let’s get serious about asking BART to build that 30th Street infill station they’re thinking about again. Hurry up, please.
… because really, after banging our Bernalese heads against the walls at this Safeway for five decades, it may just be time to give up and try something else.