Warning: Carbo-Crazed Tater Tot Fans May Invade Cortland This Evening

Warning: The eastern end of Cortland Avenue may be packed with people this evening, as an exceptionally large number of foodies are expected to descend upon Barebottle Brewing, where a food truck will be on had to sell some ostensibly special tater tots.

Fanned by several local media outlets, the news that Jackrabbit Kitchen will be on hand at Barebottle this evening, Friday, July 14 starting at  4 pm has ripped through the Interwebs like a grease fire, such that that 10,000 people have said they’re interested in attending.

SFGate writes:

Jackrabbit Kitchen, which operates food trucks and a catering business, will be hosting Tater Tot Fest, a Facebook event at Barebottle Brewing Co.

Jackrabbit is known for its crispy cheddar-scallion tot — served with Sriracha ketchup — but it reportedly will be offering some new tot creations, including sweet-potato with ancho aioli and a fresh corn with a jalapeño vinaigrette.

So far, more than 10,000 people have expressed interest in attending. If even a portion of them do, Jackrabbit better have lots of tots.

Indeed. Even if we assume an exceptionally high Facebook event flake-rate, such that only 0.5% of those people will actually attend, that still means there may be 500 carbohydrate-crazed souls wandering the streets of Cortlandia this evening.

Likewise, if we also assume a bunch of those people may be jacked-up on ancho aioli and jalapeño vinaigrette, well, Bernal residents living in and around the impacted area are hereby advised to shelter in place until Tater Tot Fest subsides.

PHOTO: Very special tater tots by Jackrabbit Kitchen

Two New Japanese Restaurants Planned for Bernal Heights

Teaser sign in the window at 433 Precita

Sugoi! Bernalwood has learned that two new Japanese restaurants are (hopefully) coming to Bernal Heights; one is planned for Mission Street and the other will bring sushi and sashimi to Precita Park.

Let’s start in La Lengua, where the burgeoning Nano Tokyo District around the intersection of Mission and 29th Street is set to grow a little bigger with the addition of RakiRaki at 3282 Mission Street, in the space formerly occupied by Neighbor Tim and Erin’s Ichi Sushi + Ni Bar.

RakiRaki Ramen is a Japanese restaurant with two locations in San Diego. A power-call to RakiRaki’s power-lawyer yesterday confirmed their intention to open a branch here in Bernal.  Their website says:

Rakiraki Ramen & Tsukemen opened its doors in October of 2012 to it’s first location in the heart of Kearny Mesa in San Diego, California. Now with a second location in San Diego’s Little Italy, Rakiraki specializes in serving authentic Japanese cuisine including curry, tsukemen, or dipping noodles, and specialty sushi rolls, but is best known for its great-tasting ramen.

Interesting! The original RakiRaki outlet in San Diego has a four-star rating on the Yelps, where people speak highly of the “tonkotsu black edition” ramen made with fermented garlic oil.

Of course, this means RakiRaki will be located right across the street from the satisfyingly authentic Fumi Curry and the surprisingly impressive Coco’s Ramen, so we may soon have an even more robust Japanese street-food cluster happening on the west side of our Bernal territories. Ganbatte and lucky us.

Meanwhile, at the east end of Precita Park, a “modern Japanese” restaurant hopes to open at 433 Precita, in the space formerly occupied by the organic pet food shop.  A quick call to the proprietor revealed an effort is now underway to convert the retail space for restaurant use, although the restaurant does not plan to have an exhaust hood or grill. Bernalwood is told sushi and sashimi with anchor the menu. A name for the restaurant has not yet been selected.

(Sidebar: Don’t be misled by the fact that the little red lantern shown in the photo at the top of this post says “yakitori.” Absent an exhaust system, the restaurant’s proprietor confirmed they don’t plan to serve Japanese grilled chicken skewers, which is a bot of a shame, because proper, low-key yakitori is very hard to find in San Francisco and Precita Park would be a lovely place for it. Oh well.)

Anyway, sushi would be a great addition to the Precita Park food mix, and even more so because the proposed Red Apron Pizza at the east end of the park is stalled because of an ongoing dispute with the property owner.

Neither the sushi place in Precita Park nor RakiRaki has planned opening dates yet; both establishments were reluctant to set a target given the fickle nature of San Francisco’s labyrinthine bureaucracy and permitting process.

Itadakimasu!

 

Special thanks for Jessica Park at Hoodline for reporting assistance on this article.

PHOTO: Teaser sign posted in the window of 433 Precita, courtesy of Neighbor Brandon.

Black Jet Bakery Now Open for Business on Cortland

Gillian Shaw at her new Black Jet Bakery

There’s been a lot of excitement and anticipation about Gillian Shaw’s plan to open her celebrated Black Jet Baking Co. in the former Sandbox/Pinkie’s space at 833 Cortland, at the corner of Gates. Now the wait is over, because Black Jet is officially open for business.

As you may recall, Gillian Shaw is a former Bernal Heights resident who was also the baker the former Liberty Cafe. She tells Bernalwood:

We are in love with our space, our goodies and so delighted to be open!

We are so excited to be in the space and seeing all the friendly faces! As a wholesaler, we’re not used to seeing our customers in the flesh, and it has been such a treat! I love seeing all the Liberty faces and longtime Black Jet fans who remind us of pastries we have done in the past. Bernal is such a special place and I feel so lucky to have learned to bake on Cortland and have a bakery on this street!

I am planning for a GRAND OPENING PARTY on Saturday APRIL 29th, which also happens to be my birthday! We were thinking of having a happy hour party with cupcakes and snacks to celebrate! Would love to welcome people to stop by! I am thinking festivities to begin at 5 and go til 7.

For your info, we carry the following Liberty Items:

  • Blueberry Corn Muffins
  • Raspberry Bran Muffins
  • Banana Cream Pie
  • (Chicken Pot Pie to come sooooon)
  • Liberty Scones

MY FAVORITE ITEMS that are exclusive to the shop:

  • Danish!
  • Boston Cream Croissant is a croissant filled with pastry cream and topped with ganache. This beauty is named after my sister Jen, who is the mastermind.
  • Croissants! We are using the SANDBOX recipe under the kind guidance of Mutsumi who is the best landlord ever. We adore her and are so proud to be using the Sandbox recipe.
  • Mascot/Somerville: our signature beverage is the SOMERVILLE which is a shot of espresso, steamed milk and dollop of housemade toasted FLUFF. Fluff, my obsession was created in SOMERVILLE, MA where I used to live. We developed the’ MASCOT’ after Audrey Duane, our amazing mascot who doesn’t care for espresso… and has a hot chocolate with fluff instead.

Other Points:

We have the best staff ever and I am so proud of each and every one of them! It is a stressful and crazy time opening a bakery, but everyone has been so determined and excited and hardworking to create our little shop.

I am also over the moon to let people know that Max B. Newman, who worked with me at the Liberty, is BACK in the Black Jet fold after working at Zuni & Marla. We are so lucky to have him back in Bernal.

I am a happy happy tired baker and are so grateful to everyone!

Hope to see everyone in the shop soon, especially you!

The Bernalwood Culinary Expedition Team had the opportunity to visit Black Jet last weekend.  We ate many things during our foray, including a meyer lemon and havarti danish, a ham, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwich, and a morning bun. We  can confirm that everything we tried was insanely delicious. Yum!

PHOTOS: All photos by Telstar Logistics

Eye of the Avocado Re-Pops Inside Little Bee Baking

eyeofavodado

As you may recall, waaaaaaaay back in January Bernlwood wrote about Chef Jes Taber and the Eye of the Avocado pop-up breakfast and lunch sandwich place she opened on Cortland Avenue inside the former Sandbox/Pinkie’s Bakery space.

As you may also recall, Eye of the Avocado attracted substantial love and affection, thanks to Chef Jes’s cult-favorite  “Roy G. Biv Sandi” egg sandwich, which Bernalwood readers have described as “a slice of heaven” and “by far the best [breakfast sandwich] I’ve ever had.”

Whoa. With bona fides like that, we’re pleased to report that Chef Jes has now relocated her pop-up just up the street, inside the fabulous Little Bee Baking shop at 521 Cortland, right across from the library.

She tells Bernalwood:

Eye Of The Avocado, is a Pop Up Cafe at 521 Cortland @ Little Bee Bakery. We’re excited to continue to be part of the beloved Bernal Heights community. We offer one of the best dang egg sandwiches you will ever eat, the “Roy G. Biv Sandi”. (It’s name is the acronym for the rainbow, after it’s colorful ingredients.)

We are open Fri – Sun 8am-ish – Sell Out or 2pm. We are proud to be working within Little Bee Bakery. Little Bee offers amazing fresh fruit tarts, fresh ginger cake that will make your heart soar, gluten free brownies, & four barrel coffee to boot.

We hope to see you soon!

PHOTO: The famous Roy G. Biv Sandi + Bacon, courtesy of Eye of the Avocado

Old Bus Tavern Getting a Neighborhood-Focused Makeover

oldbusface2

It’s been 2+ years since Old Bus Tavern opened at 3193 Mission (near Valencia) in the heart of La Lengua’s fashionably low-key restaurant and entertainment district.  Along  the way, Old Bus has garnered a lot of enthusiastic notice and acclaim. Now it’s time to change things up a bit, as Old Bus plans to give itself a more casual makeover, in a way that’ll probably please many hungry and drinky  Bernalese.

Old Bus brewmaster and co-owner Ben Buchanan tells Bernalwood:

Wanted to let you know about some upcoming changes at Old Bus Tavern.

As owners, Jimmy, John and I have decided to take our food program in a more casual direction — a decision that reflects our original vision of building a neighborhood brewpub that offers an easygoing vibe and a comfortable menu of craft beer, cocktails, and food that locals can enjoy often.

The primary driver behind the shift is the rapid growth of our beer program. We recently started distributing OBT beer to a solid list of SF beer bars and restaurants, including Old Devil Moon, Alamo Drafthouse/Bear Vs Bull bar, Wesburger, and Liquid Gold. A more casual approach to our food frees up resources for our beer program, which is the heart of the operation and the original reason we created OBT.

In addition to creating more time for beer-related pursuits, we were motivated by neighborhood feedback, which has been a unanimous vote for more accessible brewpub fare. Although we are dialing down the fine dining factor, the new food program won’t compromise integrity.

We are currently working on the new menu with a longtime friend, culinary consultant Blair Warsham (Adriano Paganini’s The Bird, Christopher Kostow’s American Express Centurion Lounge), who is crafting dishes that are comforting, delicious, and beer-friendly. The menu is still in the works, but we’re keeping favorites like the burger, chili, and cornbread, and introducing new craveable items like Frito Pie with housemade Fritos.

This Saturday, February 25th will be the last day we’re serving our current dinner menu. The brewpub will be closed for two weeks to allow us to make interior updates, train, and transition to the new menu. When we reopen on Sunday, March 12th, OBT will operate seven days a week (up from five), serve an all-day menu on weekends starting at 11 a.m., and offer free live music every Sunday.

We’re really excited about these changes, and we hope the neighborhood will be as well. Basically, the goal is more beer, more accessible and delicious food, and more FUN.

Cheers,
Ben

PHOTO: Old Bus Tavern facade, via InsideScoop

Get Your Passport for the Bernal Heights Beer Crawl, Happening Now

glassandpassport

Beer lovers of Bernal Heights, this is your moment. As previously noted, future historians will look upon our current era as a Golden Age for Bernal Beer, because recently a remarkable profusion of craft beer manufacturers and purveyors have set up shop here in Bernal Heights. Lucky us.

Happily, several of these esteemed beermongers have formed an alliance, and the result is that the first-ever Bernal Beer Crawl is currently underway right here, right now in our neighborhood. Neighbor Steve explains how to partake:

After years of being a great neighborhood — albeit one bereft of great craft beer — times have changed.

Six Bernal beer locations have teamed up to create a way for all Bernalese (and others who visit our corner of the city) to try the beers produced and/ or served and sold here in Bernal. The Bernal Beer Crawl started on Tuesday, February 14, and it runs through Sunday, February 19.

Here’s how it works:

  • Stop by to pick up your “Bernal Beerlands Passport” at any participating location:
    – Holy Water SF
    – Old Devil Moon,
    – Barebottle Brewing Company
    – Old Bus Tavern
    – BEL
    – Healthy Spirits
  • Patronize any 4 of the 6 participating locations to get “stamped,” until the end of Beer Week. (purchase of one full-sized beer=one stamp)
  • At the 4th location you get a Free Bernal Beer Crawl glass + a free pour of the beer of the bars choice, or 35% off any 22oz Beer or 6 pack at Healthy Spirits.

Check out the Facebook event page here for full details.

Cheers,

Neighbor Steve
(of Andover Street and BeerByBART.com)

PHOTO: Nifty custom Bernal Beer Crawl glass and passport, by Neighbor Steve

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

300clubrepainted

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