Anda Piroshki Closing This Weekend After Kitchen Rent Increase


Big bummer: After learning about a big commercial kitchen rent increase, Anda Piroshki, the tasty purveyor of Russian food at 331 Cortland, will be closing permanently after this Sunday, August 28.

Anda Piroshki as has thrived since founder Anna Tveliva first opened in 331 Cortland during 2011, and over the years the business grew to include a second outpost on Haight Street. Along the way, Anna herself became a familiar fixture in the Bernal community, as well as a US citizen.

In a message for Bernalwood readers, Anna writes:

Dear Bernal friends,

I need to share with you a sad news. Anda Piroshki’s commercial kitchen lease is up, and the new offer we got is almost 3 times higher. Unfortunately it is killing the business.

Considering the short notice I was given (I have to leave the kitchen by 9/1) and some family issues I am currently dealing with, I made a hard decision to close the business at the end of this month.

I dearly love Bernal, our customers, our landlady Debra at 331, folks from Paulie’s Pickling and Anusha from Mae Krua. Going to miss all very much. I am so grateful to be able to serve Bernal with my motherland food all these years and get so many fans!

Our doors will be open till 8/28. Please stop by to get your last Anda Piroshki fix and say goodbye :-(

Sad. Heartbroken. Truly yours,

Anna Tveliva

She also made this video:

Sigh. Truth be told, it’s hard to imagine a bigger fan of Anda Piroshki than Bernalwood’s own Cub Reporter, who insists we stop by Anda Piroshki every time we visit Cortland Avenue together. Literally: Every time.

As a parent, I’ve been happy to indulge the Cub Reporter’s piroshki obsession, not just because Anda’s food is delicious, but because I like to think my kid’s love of Anda Piroshki was hardwired into her DNA by her great-grandfather, an immigrant from Russia who died two decades before she was born. Savoring one of Anna Tveliva’s piroshkis may be his way of speaking to Bernalwood’s Cub Reporter through the generations.

Anyway, Bernalwood’s Cub Reporter was really sad to hear Anda Piroshki is closing, so  we stopped by 331 Cortland last weekend to load up while we still can.  This morning, the Cub Reporter asked me to put an Anda Piroshki in her lunchbox. So while all the other kids eat peanut butter and jelly or grilled cheese in the cafeteria today, Bernalwood’s Cub Reporter will be excited to dive into this:


Thank you for all the delicious memories, Anna, and best of luck.

PHOTO: Top, Anna Tveliva at 331 Cortland for Halloween, 2011. Courtesy of Anda Piroshki.


Tonight: Celebrate the Gorgeous New Mural on Mission Street


As you may have noticed, there’s a fantastic new mural on Mission Street in La Lengua. It was painted on a wall facing the fashionable Bank of America parking lot between Valencia and 29th Streets, and it was created by artist Amanda Lynn.

Neighbor Eden from Secession Art & Design is also president of the Mission-Bernal Merchants Association, and she invites one and all to an event happening tonight to celebrate the new mural:

Please join us this Tuesday, August 23rd, 6-8pm, in the Bank of America parking lot between Valencia and 29th St to meet mural artist Amanda Lynn, who created our beautiful new mural inspired by her childhood. The theme was “Pursue Growth and Happiness.”

3300 Club will be selling their t-shirts to help them reopen, and Bliss Pops will be giving away popsicles to the first 100 supporters. Thank you to Zappos and Beautify Earth for choosing our neighborhood as one of eight US cities to donate a mural.

You may have noticed the billboard on this wall is hyper-local. Mission Bernal Merchants Association has taken it over for the next year. Our first billboard by artist Jonathan Koshi was a fundraiser for the merchants impacted in the 3300 Block fire in June. The MBMA, with a lot of community support, raised $16,000 for these merchants. We’re so pleased to have our neighborhood come together and celebrate each other.

Stop by and say hello!

PHOTO: Telstar Logistics

Tuesday: Community Meeting About 9-Story, 96-Unit Housing Development on Shotwell

Rendering of 1296 Shotwell, as seen from Cesar Chavez. Source: MEDA, April 2016

On Tuesday,  August 23 at 6 pm, the Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) will hold a community meeting at the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center to reveal their latest designs for 96 units of subsidized-affordable senior citizen housing at 1296 Shotwell, just north of Cesar Chavez. There’s also a focus group scheduled for Monday, August 29.  Here are the two upcoming events:

  • Community Meeting: Tuesday, August 23, 6pm to 7:30 at BHNC, 515 Cortland
  • Focus Group: Monday, August 29, 6pm to 7:30pm, Precita Eyes Mural Center, 348 Precita Avenue

Right now, 1296 Shotwell is a one story warehouse-style space used for automotive repair. As proposed, the site would become a 9-story building to provide 100% subsidized-affordable housing for senior citizens.


1296 Shotwell, typical floorplans. Source: MEDA, April 2016

The proposed building would not include any parking, and it would rise 85′ from street level, or 20 feet higher than permitted under current zoning.

Source: San Francisco Planning Department

Source: San Francisco Planning Department

1296 Shotwell sits right next door to 1515 South Van Ness, the proposed six-story development approved in a unanimous 6-0 vote by the San Francisco Planning Commission earlier this month. As approved, 1515 South Van Ness will provide 157 units of mixed-income housing, with 25% set aside as subsidized-affordable.

During a contentious community meeting about 1296 Shotwell held last April, some Bernal neighbors objected to the proposed height of the building, which would rise five or six stories above most other nearby buildings. Others objected to the proposed design, which included an 85′ perforated concrete slab on the building’s south side, facing Bernal Hill.

Rendering of 1296 Shotwell, as seen from Coso/Stoneman in North Bernal. Source: MEDA

Rendering of 1296 Shotwell, seen from Coso/Stoneman in North Bernal. Source: MEDA, April 2016

MEDA has suggested the Bernal-facing slab could be covered by a mural, but in the bilingual workshop sessions held during March’s community meeting, neighbors were unenthusiastic about the mural concept, pointing out that south-facing murals tend to disintegrate  quickly because of the harsh sun. One neighbor said the mural proposal was “basically the definition of putting lipstick on a pig.”

MEDA tells Bernalwood a revised design for the project will be on display at the meeting on Tuesday. However, despite repeated requests, MEDA declined to provide renderings of the updated proposal in advance of Tuesday’s meeting.

Personally, I would like to see 1296 Shotwell built at the proposed height, with the proposed number of housing units. I live a block from 1296 Shotwell, about 400 feet away, and the building will be in the direct line of sight from my house.  The new building will definitely obscure part of my glamorous skyline view, but I don’t care that much about losing some of my glamorous skyline view, because San Francisco desperately needs more, higher-density housing of all kinds to make housing more affordable to more San Franciscans. But that’s just me, and I’m on record as a YIMFY — Yes In My Front Yard.

That said, 1296 Shotwell would likely benefit from an improved design for the south facade, so that the 9000+ neighbors who live on Bernal’s north slope will feel better about gazing upon it for decades to come. We’ll find out what MEDA has in mind at the Big Reveal, 6 pm on Tuesday night at BHNC.

Front Porch Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary With Street Party


Yesterday, the Front Porch restaurant on 29th Street in the La Lengua Autonomous Zone celebrated its 10th Anniversary. Blessedly, even after a decade, neither the primal forces of time nor fire have been able to stop the southern-fried deliciousness that is the Front Porch.

Rebel propagandist Burrito Justice was on the scene for the festivities, and he reported:

The back yards of La Lengua [are] echoing with the sounds of horns and drums and cheering from the Front Porch… Whatever you want to call it, this neighborhood does not suck.

So true. Check out this little video to get a taste of the scene:

Big congrats to Team Front Porch on the anniversary, and thanks for all the good food and warm community you’ve brought to 29th Street.

PHOTOS AND VIDEO: Courtesy of @BurritoJustice

Lovely Timelapse Video Captures Karl the Fog from Bernal Hill


Fogust is here, which means Karl the Fog is gleefully having his way with us. So while the rest of America is complaining about the heat, we have the great luxury of complaining about the cold.

Jamie Kruse recently got a new GoPro, and he decided to experiment with it by shooting a sexy little timelapse video on Bernal Hill:

It’s frigid up on that hill. Next time I’m bringing something warm to drink and a little more patience😉

Jamie suffered so you can watch from the warmth and comfort of wherever you happen to be.  Enjoy:

Gunpoint Robbery Rattles Neighbors in Northeast Bernal


Neighbor A. was robbed at gunpoint on Samoset Street in northeast Bernal on Wednesday, Aug. 12 at about 9:20 pm. Residents of the area say this is the third such incident there in recent months.

Neighbor A. tells Bernalwood:

It happened front of 27 Samoset. Two men out of a car, with two other men in the car. White four door. The one carrying the gun wore a black hat and jacket with jeans.

The one who grabbed me pointed the gun at my chest and said he was going to shoot me if I did not comply. After the robbery they headed north on Franconia.

This is the third robbery I’m aware of where a lone woman is walking/biking either up Alabama to our block or around Esmeralda to our block. Car sees the woman, drives around, people unload to jump her, then heads away usually North on Franconia.

I’ve been emailing with Sgt Chou about the getaway car. I’ve asked what the police strategy/plan is, but have not heard back yet.

Here’s a video of the perps captured from a neighbor’s security camera, with the white getaway car visible across the street. If you recognize the men, or have any further information, please contact the Sgt. Chou at SFPD Ingleside via (415) 404-4000.

Crowdfunding for Esmeralda Slide Park Artwork Now Tantalizingly Close to Goal

Rendering of proposed mosaic

Rendering of proposed mosaic

As you may recall, there’s a crowdfunding effort now underway to raise $14,000 to install a very cool mosaic at the spiffy new Esmeralda Slide Park plaza. As we write this now, the effort has already raised $13,158, so if you haven’t contributed yet — or even if you have — now is the time to contribute.

Neighbor Nancy, one of the superstar volunteers who has been organizing the Esmeralda slides renovation project, writes:

We have less than $1,000 needed to reach our target.

[mosaic artist Rachel Rodi] came to Esmeralda last week for her first site visit to see where “The Locator” will be installed in the Plaza. She loved the surroundings, especially the pepper tree that lords over the Plaza. Between our concept design and the inspiration Rachel got from her visit, she’s eager to create a mosaic tile that will knock our socks off!

We’re giving Rachel her 50% deposit this week so she can order the tiles and put “The Locator” on her fall schedule.

If you haven’t yet donated, NOW is the time. We’d like to close the campaign down within the next couple of weeks knowing we have all the funds to pay Rachel.

To all of you who have donated…..THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!

Let’s do this! Please contribute now, right here, to help make this mosaic come to life at the fabulous Esmeralda Slide Park.

PHOTO: via the GoFundMe page