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

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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

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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

Local Restaurants to Host Tasty Benefit for Chef Tim from Ichi Sushi

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As you may recall, all-star Bernal neighbors Tim and Erin Archuleta, the husband and wife team behind the fabulous Ichi Sushi, have been navigating a rough patch lately, owing to Chef Tim’s health crisis. That’s why Ichi re-relocated to its original location at 3369 Mission at the beginning of the year, and the Archuletas have been doing some crowdfunding to help defray the cost of medical expenses.

Now, some of Chef Tim’s friends in the local restaurant biz are joining forces to lend a hand as well, as InsideScoop reports:

To help support the couple during this rough time, local chefs and restaurateurs are banding together for an evening, offering up a walk-around food/drink event and raffle tickets.

“They are the nicest people of all time,” says Corridor partner Ryan Cole. “And they do so much for everyone else. ”

The fundraiser will take place on the (al fresco) rooftop above Cole’s three-star Corridor (100 Van Ness), and will include food and drink from the following places:

  • Blue Plate
  • CatHead’s BBQ
  • Deli Board
  • Flour + Water
  • The Front Porch
  • Lolinda
  • Mission Chinese
  • Namu
  • PizzaHacker
  • Waterbar
  • The Riddler
  • Mr. Tipple’s Recording Studio

The restaurants will each have food stations, and the Riddler and Mr. Tipple’s will be serving up drinks. Tickets cost $60 and are available here. Oh, and do note that if you can’t attend, you can still buy a raffle ticket. All proceeds will go to the Archuletas to help pay their hospital bills and help them “prosper in Ichi Sushi’s latest location.”

You’ll notice, of course, that there are many Bernal-based restaurants on the list of participants, as well as some Bernal-owned restaurants around town.

Get tickets for the event right here.  And even if you can’t attend, you can still support Chef Tim and Neighbor Erin the traditional, tasy way, by stopping by Ichi to have some of their amazing food. All the old-skool favorites are still on offer, and there’s a new lunch menu as well.

Feel better soon, Neighbor Chef Tim!

PHOTO: Tim and Erin Archuleta, via their crowdfunding page

Café St Jorge Getting New Ownership

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Andrea de Francisco created something lovely when she opened Café St Jorge at 3438 Mission Street (near Kingston) in 2013: She created the kind of establishment that became the focal point for a community at the southern end of La Lengua. But now change is afoot, as Andrea tells Bernalwood:

Andrea de Francisco, owner of Café St Jorge, has announced that her beloved Californian/Portuguese café will soon change ownership.

The new owners, the Saleh family, are expected to keep the warm, welcoming café exactly as is. The staff, menu, décor and programing will all remain. Opening in 2013, Café St Jorge quickly became one of the core businesses in Mission/Bernal and San Francisco.

With a fresh menu featuring the best local and organic ingredients in a creative take on California/Portuguese cuisine, alongside traditional Portuguese pastries and dishes, Portuguese wines and Stumptown coffee, people and especially neighbors and the Portuguese community fill Café St. Jorge’s tables from morning to night, each and every day of the week. The happy hours, art shows, music performances and game nights have entertained and delighted people of all ages.

All of which are expected to continue under the new ownership of the Salehs. “We are honored to steward this amazing café that Andrea has built. Café St. Jorge is a warm, inviting, frankly perfect café and we are so excited to continue to work with the amazing staff that makes it the great neighborhood spot that it is. We can’t wait to meet our customers and neighbors.”

“Creating Café St. Jorge was always my dream, and I couldn’t be more proud of the café. I have loved serving our amazing customers that I will truly miss, and being a part of the Mission Bernal community,” said Andrea de Francisco, current owner of Café St. Jorge. “I’m so sad to move on, but delighted the café will be run by an amazing family who truly values it and the special place it holds for our customers. As for me, I will continue to consult and I’m looking forward to spending more time with my family and more time in Portugal, and dreaming up my next adventure.”

The transfer of license is expected to be complete at the end of February.

PHOTO: Courtesy of Café St. Jorge

Pop-Up “Eye of the Avocado” Serving Breakfast & Lunch at 833 Cortland

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Someday soon, Black Jet Baking Company will hang its sign above the former Pinkie’s/Sandbox space. But in the meantime, Chef Jes Taber has opened up a pop-up eatery at 833 Cortland called Eye of the Avocado that’s serving gorgeous breakfast and lunch sandwiches right now.

Chef Jes says:

Eye Of The Avocado, is a Pop Up Cafe at 833 Cortland @ Gates, the old Pinkies Bakery. We are excited to part of the beloved Bernal Heights community. We offer one of the best dang egg sandwiches you will ever have, the “Roy G. Biv Sandi”. Plus we have: coffee, lattes, tea, scones, chocolate chip cookies, and etcetera. We are strictly locally sourced & organic. Check out the Pay It Forward program & inquire for details. Can’t wait to meet you!

Eye of the Avocado is already crushing it on Yelp, and the cafe is open from Wednesday to Sunday from 8 am to 2 pm, with plans to remain at 833 Cortland until the end of the month.

(Also, If you have tips about potential permanent locations around greater Bernal, Chef Jes would love to hear them.)

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

Black Jet Baking to Open in 833 Cortland Bakery Space

Team Black Jet Baking, with Gillian Shaw at center

Team Black Jet Baking, with Gillian Shaw, center

It was a sad day when Pinkie’s Bakery announced plans to shutter in October, but now the cycle of rebirth and re-use is set to take another turn. Last weekend, rockstar baker and former Bernal neighbor Gillian Shaw launched a crowdfunding campaign to relocate her Black Jet Baking Co. to the former Sandbox/Pinkie’s space at 833 Cortland.

Justin Phillips from Inside Scoop brings the backstory:

Black Jet owner Gillian Shaw sees potential on the block, so much so that she recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to drum up support (and $75,000) for the move. Black Jet’s loyal customer base has responded in droves, donating almost $11,000 within the first 36 hours.

“People have been so sweet. They’re donating and writing notes,” Shaw said. “Everyone seems to be excited. This year, we’ve just been lucky to grow and grow.”

After opening in 2010 as a niche shop delivering cookies and pops mainly to San Francisco office workers, Black Jet is known more now for its nostalgic takes on classic treats like layered chocolate cakes, banana cream pies, and oatmeal cookies. (Shaw’s”Lil Jennys” were featured in this Sunday’s Chronicle, with a recipe.)

Shaw said this year, the business had its most profitable November since opening six years ago. Black Jet sold more than 900 pies around Thanksgiving – no small feat for three bakers working out of a commercial kitchen space.

Neighbor emeritus Gillian Shaw has a lot of fans here in Bernal, not just because she used to live here, but also because she was the baker at the former Liberty Cafe , back in the days when the Liberty Cafe was known for its amazing baked goods. So congrats to her, and hooray for us.

If you’d like to join Black Jet Baking Co. crowdsourcing fund, you can contribute here.

PHOTO: Courtesy of Black Jet Baking

After Chef Tim’s Medical Scare, Ichi Sushi Moving Back to Smaller Shop

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These are challenging times for Bernal Heights neighbors Tim and Erin Archuleta, the husband-and-wife team behind the much-celebrated Ichi Sushi and Ni Bar.  Yesterday, Neighbor Erin told Bernalwood that Chef Tim has been navigating some very serious health issues, with the result that the couple has decided to shutter the the Ichi Sushi and Ni Bar restaurant at 3282 Mission and relocate to their original, smaller restaurant space across from the Bernal Safeway.

As you probably know, Ichi Sushi has won nationwide accolades and drawn big crowds since expanding from the small shop at 3369 Mission to the full-service space down the street near 29th Street. But in a statement, Neighbor Erin says Chef Tim’s heath necessitates a change:

After Tim suffered a significant health scare, we are returning us to our roots and moving ICHI back into our little space at 3369 Mission. We are grateful to our talented team who helped us win local, regional, national and international acclaim, and we will keep many of our beloved crew with us. We are also actively searching to secure placement for the rest of our skillful team.

Our final night of service in our 3282 Mission Street space will be New Year’s Eve — A party for the books! And, we’re planning to reopen in our 3369 Mission Street space just after the New Year.

This move will allow Tim to get back behind the sushi counter and to reconnect with all our guests. Our gorgeous space at 3282 will go on the market with our friends at CGI Retail and we’re excited to offer it up to a new generation of small business owners.

We’ve been so grateful for the support we’ve received from our friends and guests over the last few months, and look forward to Tim getting back to the sushi counter soon when he is on the mend. Food, restaurants, and the community bring us all together, and through Tim’s recovery, our guests have been incredible. We never forget how loved we are and we are thrilled to return the favor and care for everyone back in our original sushi bar, where Tim is looking forward to reciprocating that hospitality.

We’re accepting reservations at our current venue via ichisushi.com and OpenTable. We’ll also be accepting reservations for the return to 3369 Mission in the new year on our website and Open Table, as well.

Sadly, Chef Tim’s medical expenses have been a huge strain on the couple’s resources. To help defray their costs, a crowdsourced fund has been established to help with some of the bills. If you’re so inclined you can assist Tim and Erin by donating here.

It goes without saying that all this is sad and troubling, but it’s also true that Tim and Erin have nurtured (and fed) a huge local community.  Now, many members of that community will be eager to support them, in any way possible.

Get well soon Tim.

PHOTO: Chef Tim Archuleta in the then-new Ichi Sushi + Ni Bar space, January 20, 2014,  by Telstar Logistics.