3300 Club Gone for Good, SRO’s Fate Uncertain, as Fire-Damaged Building Up For Sale

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The 3300 Club has operated at 3300 Mission Street, on the corner of Mission Street and 29th, since 1956. It’s been closed since last June, when a devastating fire destroyed the building next door and displaced the 50+ residents of the Graywood Hotel SRO who lived upstairs. The owners of the 3300 Club were determined to rebuild, but now we learn that the classic watering hole probably isn’t coming back because the whole building has been offered for sale.

In a public post on Facebook, Bernal neighbor and 3300 Club co-owner Shukry Lama writes:

3300 Mission Street is now up for sale. The landlords, who had a sit down meeting with us and talked about their plans to rebuild, and offer us a new lease with potentially more space, failed to let us know about this. My mom got to find out when a reporter called and asked about it. Imagine her surprise.

As much as I’d like to keep hoping that we’ll get a lease in that location, I think we all know it would never be the same. Yea, we could try and move to a new location, but the limits on moving a liquor license, the amount of protests you would get from opening a new bar, the amount of capital you would need, the time and effort that none of us have left, it’s just too much. We had such high hopes for a return, bringing our bar back to the neighborhood where we had been a staple for 60 years, but there is no loyalty in the real estate industry.

Dipak Patel, the current property owner, purchased the building for $1.5 million in 2004. MissionLocal spoke to Patel, who adds:

Before the fire struck, Patel was in the process of remodeling the hotel rooms, had done work to the hotel’s hallways and heating system, and had installed sprinklers which ultimately saved the building from more damage, he said.

“We spent about $10,000 a room before fire, so about $200,000 total, and we did electrical upgrades,” he said. “Whatever happens to the building, it will be a 100 percent upgrade.”

Under a sale, the status of the Graywood Hotel SRO, and the rooms where its former tenants lived, also remains uncertain.

The building at 3300 Mission Street is now offered for $3.5 million.  The property listing says:

The property is currently vacated (subject to residential tenant’s rights), stripped down to studs, and in need of a complete rehab. The building consists of 6 tourist licenses and 22 SRO (previously with 2 non-conforming rooms) on the two upper levels. The ground floor previously housed two retail tenants, a bar and a restaurant, and will be delivered free of tenants. There is a full-height basement. This property presents the opportunity for a developer to reconfigure rooms to maximize square footage and income. This beautiful Bernal Heights corner property is waiting to be restored to its former glory and more!

PHOTO: The 3300 Club sign, as it looked after a fresh paint job in 2013. Photo by Burrito Justice

Driver Hits Two Homes Along Precita Avenue

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There was some morning mayhem along the eastern end of Precita Avenue last Saturday, when an out-of-control car struck a house and a fire hydrant before coming to rest in the wall of another home up the street.

The incident began at around 10 am on Saturday morning, when a Toyota traveling west on Precita swerved from the roadway and bounced off the facade of a home on the 600 block of Precita:

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Next, the vehicle sheared off a fire hydrant, sending a column of water into the sky:

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The car then continued west for another half-block, until it left the street again and embedded itself in the side of a house on the northwest corner of Precita and Florida.

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Police at the scene said two people were in the car, but no one was seriously injured. The driver showed no sign of alcohol- or drug-impairment, and the accident was treated as a motor vehicle violation, not a criminal incident.

PHOTOS: Structural damage photos by Telstar Logistics. Hydrant geyser by @SFMOCA

Big Winter Storm Knocks Down Trees Around Bernal Heights

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None shall pass! Neighbor Amy encounters the tree blocking Bernal Heights Blvd.

The big winter storm that blew through San Francisco on Sunday generally spared Bernal Heights from too much biblical-grade havoc, but it did get the best of our trees (and a few parked cars). Luckily, no one was injured.

The leafy mayhem kicked off on the Richland Avenue, where Neighbor Audra shared this photo of a big limb that fell across the Bernal Cut bridge, cutting off access to our ancestral kin in Bernal-Glen:

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DPW quickly cleared the branch from the Richland bridge (thank you!), but that was not the end of our arboreal mayhem.

Neighbor Darcy shared this photo of a tree eating a Nissan on the 100 block of Bradford, near Powhattan:

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On Wool Street, Neighbor Bernard reports that a tree had it out for this Audi:

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The Revenge of the Trees continued in Precita Park, where Neighbor Maria captured another tree munching on the hood of a Mazda, as a neighbor raised her fist in solidarity with the fallen foliage:

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But the biggest drama unfolded on the south side of Bernal Hill, where a very big tree fell across Bernal Heights Boulevard, rendering our scenic artery impassable. Neighbor Markus shared a dramatic photo of the fallen tree’s root structure:

treedown-markusMeanwhile, on the western side of the roadblock, Neighbor James captured a neighbor pausing for a stylish moment of chaos chic. Never mind the Golden Globes; What’s the it-look for Bernal Heights storm-chasing in 2017?  Why, it’s slip-on sneakers, cranberry tights, and a slim-fitting winter coat in navy — obviously!

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Supervisors Approve Alex Nieto Memorial on Bernal Hill

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Yesterday, the Board of Supervisors approved a plan to establish a permanent memorial for Alex Nieto, the Bernal neighbor who was killed in a controversial confrontation with the San Francisco police in March 2014.

The San Francisco Examiner reports:

The Board of Supervisors voted 9-1 on Tuesday to adopt legislation directing the Recreation and Park Department to install a memorial for Alex Nieto, who was shot and killed by San Francisco police in Bernal Heights Park on March 21, 2014.

A civil federal grand jury exonerated the four officers who shot Nieto after police said he pointed a Taser at them when responding to a call about a man with a gun.

The memorial, which would be designed through community input, would require approval by the Arts Commission.

Supervisor John Avalos, who introduced the legislation, said, “If we acknowledge these incidents have happened, it brings us closer.”

Avalos said the memorial is also about a “sense of healing.” At the site of Nieto’s killing, there is currently an altar that is often visited by Nieto’s parents, who attended Tuesday’s meeting.

Wall Collapses at Crescent Avenue Construction Project

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A wall collapsed yesterday at a home renovation jobsite on the corner of Crescent Avenue and Moultrie in South Bernal. Fortunately, Bay City News reports no one was injured:

The collapse was reported at 501 Crescent Ave. just after 10 a.m., according to a fire department spokesman.

The two-story residential building is currently under construction. No injuries have been reported, fire officials said.

The city’s Department of Building Inspection has been called to the scene.

June 2016 Google streetview of the site shows what the project looked like before the accident.  Neighbor T. adds that the property has been — and remains — a magnet for drama:

The house at Crescent and Moultrie that collapsed Tuesday morning has been undergoing the most recent of MANY unfortunate renovations.  The crew that was working on it today scattered/disappeared just as it was collapsing.  Then, after hours of police investigating and photographs/red tagging it, they came back after dark and were demolishing more. At 7:30 pm there were 2 police cars on the scene with three guys face-down on the street, I imagine arrested for trespassing a red tag.

PHOTO: 501 Crescent yesterday, courtesy of a Bernalwood reader

Oakland Fire Victim Cash Askew Had Deep Roots in Bernal Heights

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Cash Askew

A few neighbors have alerted Bernalwood that one of the victims in last weekend’s horrific Oakland warehouse fire had roots in Bernal Heights. Cash Askew, 22, perished in the blaze.

Neighbor Paula says:

Cash Askew, one of the artists who perished in the Oakland fire, grew up in Bernal and also worked at Bernal Beast for a few years before she moved away to go to school.

Neighbor Jordan adds:

Cash Askew died in the Oakland fire. Cask was a graduate of Children’s Day School and she was in a band named Them Are Us Too.

Cash’s step-dad, Sunny Haire runs a dog-walking business and walks many a Bernal dog (including mine). Cash’s mom, Leisa Askew, owns Fix Studios on Valencia Street.

Neighbor Jordan adds that a memorial fund has been set up to assist Cash’s surviving family as they come together to recover. Bernalwood readers are encouraged to contribute.

The Washington Post published a profile of Cash Askew yesterday:

Cash’s stepfather, Sunny Haire, is a transgender man and skilled guitarist who for years worked as the manager of one of the last lesbian bars in San Francisco, the Lexington Club, he told The Washington Post. As a child, Cash would spend time with her stepfather in the Lexington Club, sipping cranberry juice and watching the clientele.

Since 2013, Cash had been performing in a musical duo called Them Are Us Too alongside Kennedy Ashlyn, whom she met while studying at the University of California at Santa Cruz. Some have described the group as “goth” or “synth-pop,” but the duo prefers to refer to its sound as “visceral,” “euphoric” or simply “feelings.”

Most of all, the two identified as “queer femmes” and connected most with underground, queer or transgender communities of young people in different parts of the country, Ashlyn told the Post.

“It’s our chosen family, our radical music community,” Ashlyn said, describing their circle as one of “creative, beautiful people who are not as highly valued in normative spaces as they should be.”

Them Are Us Too released its first album last year, and had since toured the country several times, Ashlyn said. Cash had been working on a new demo track for years, and the duo had hoped to finish writing a new album within the coming year. They planned to tour South America at the end of January, Ashlyn said.

This is “Eudaemonia,” from Them Are Us Too’s 2015 album, Remain.  It’s wonderful:

Once again, you can contribute to the memorial fund for Cash Askew’s family right here.

Bernalwood Readers Report on Monday’s Alex Nieto Memorial Meeting

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What happened during Monday night’s community meeting about the proposed City ordinance to install a memorial for Alex Nieto on Bernal Hill? Several Bernalwood readers attended the meeting, and shared their perspectives on what happened.

rikitiki49 felt the meeting wasn’t really about soliciting input from the Bernal community about a memorial:

Just left this meeting disappointed that the first 1 1/2 hours was not about establishing a memorial for Alex Nieto, but a memorial come-together meeting. It was very touching and sad to to hear from the Nieto family and indeed other families of recently shot citizens who were introduced by Campos.

Campos and Avalos (with a brief but sympathetic cameo by Hillary Ronen who left shortly after 7) spoke at length . Then the father of Alex spoke o Alex’ life and then warmly about once sitting on that bench with his son overlooking the city. Then, a woman from the arts commission distributed paper info with photos re plaques, sculptures and other forms of remembrance. She noted that given the story she heard from the father perhaps a special bench might be what the community wanted…(I thought this was so appropriate and hoped the crowd would agree but this was not to be that kind of meeting.)

There was then another round of much shouting “Amor, Amor” for Alex and posturing by one man in particular. I left about 7:20 hearing no constructive talk about a memorial other than Campos/Avalos saying there would be a community process, two supervisor meetings, and a guiding committee you could sign up for. The vast majority of people in the room appeared to either express love for Alex or anger for the incident.

Craig says he’s still unclear on why a memorial for Alex Nieto is being proposed:

I attended the meeting together with about 40 others. The people attending were all supporters of Alex Neito and friends/families of the other 2 victims of police killings this past year. The family of Alex Neito spoke in Spanish and was translated to English. Alex apparently grew up in Bernal and attending local public schools. He later attended a [junior college] and studied criminology. He did a lot of volunteer work with children. I attended to learn more about his contribution to Bernal and to understand the reasons to establish a public memorial on the hill. Campos, Avelos and Hillary Ronen attended. Each spoke and their comments were unremarkable.

An artist from the city art commission spoke about the type of memorial that might be considered. She had a portfolio of brass plates, benches and bronze bust. She mentioned that a bronze bust of Newsom cost about $120,000 that some of his wealthy patrons contributed to have it made. She did mention the public must pay the cost of this type of project. However, Campos chimed in to announce that he inserted language in the ordinance to possibly include city money to purchase the memorial. He received a round of applause.

I left the meeting after 45 minutes and still cannot understand why two public officials – Campos, Avelos and Supervisor-elect Ronen would endorse a public memorial for Alex Neito. Hearing scheduled Dec 5th at 1pm. If approved by this committee, it will go to the full Board for a hearing.

But mimiklausner had no trouble understanding why a memorial might be appropriate:

I went to the meeting. It was an overflow crowd. Once the resolution is passed, it is up the the Nieto family with input from the community to decide what form the memorial will take. Someone from the Arts Commission made a presentation about the process, gave ideas about plaques, benches and statues. Right now there is no City money available for the memorial. Some in the audience wanted to approach the City to fund it; others thought it should be funded by the community. Beth Stephens who teaches at UC Santa Cruz offered to fabricate the plaque at the USC bronze foundry. Other people offered to write grants.

Rufugio Nieto talked about his son and said that at one point he dragged Rufugio up to the hill at 3 am and they sat together on a bench and Alex said he loved seeing the City asleep and that he felt so safe there, safer there than anywhere else.