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

Guns to Ganja: Planning Commission Approves New Dispensary on Mission Street

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In a unanimous vote, the San Francisco Planning Commission yesterday approved a proposal to re-establish the Bernal Heights Cooperative dispensary at 3185 Mission Street, the storefront that had previously been home to the High Bridge Arms gun shop.

As you may recall, Bernal Heights Cooperative used to operate from 33 29th Street. However, after some internal turmoil and a change of building ownership, Bernal Heights Cooperative had to depart, and a new dispensary called Harvest now occupies the 29th St. space.  Meanwhile, around the corner on Mission Street, the former High Bridge Arms store has been sitting empty ever since San Francisco’s last gun shop closed in late 2015.

Yesterday’s Planning Commission vote was a key step in Bernal Heights Cooperative’s plan to re-open in La Lengua. Joshua Sabatini from the San Francisco Examiner provides additional detail about the business plan:

“It’s been a work in progress ever since 2015 to just put it in a new home,” [Bernal Heights Cooperative’s Sean] Killen said. That included paying $5,000 in rent for the former gun shop site since last year and also maintaining a site outside The City and offering a delivery service to longstanding patients.

The application is also among the first batch of dispensary applications to heard by the Planning Commission since voters approved Proposition 64 in November, which legalized adult recreational use of marijuana.

The application has another distinction. Killen on Tuesday signed an agreement, which was provided to the San Francisco Examiner, with United Food & Commercial Workers, Local 648, a local chapter of labor union United Food and Commercial Workers that represents a growing number workers in the marijuana industry across California.

The union is in talks with City College of San Francisco to create an apprenticeship training program for the medical marijuana industry beginning in the spring 2018 semester.

Killen’s agreement supports employees organizing and agrees to certain worker standards, such as at least $20 an hour in the first year of employment. Killen said it is the first such agreement with UFCW Local 648 and a dispensary. He also committed to hiring local apprentices through UFCW.

Separately, anyone else remember this classic Saturday Night Live skit from 1977?  (Note: young Bill Murray cameo!Knock on wood, that approach to keeping good-paying jobs in America is no joke today:

IMAGE: Photo and illustration by Bernalwood

Tonight! Rock Your Raingear at the 2016 Mission Bernal Holiday Walk!

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Last year, a new tradition began here in the Dominion of Bernalwood, as each of our bountiful commercial districts began to play host to its own holiday celebration.

So now, in addition to the glamorous Cortland Holiday Stroll, the myriad merchants, chefs, and barkeeps along our ridiculously abundant, La Lengua stretch of Mission Street also hold a seasonal Mission Bernal Holiday Walk — and the 2016 edition happens TONIGHT, Thursday, December 15.

The Mission-Bernal Merchants Association says:

Mission Bernal Holiday Walk
Tonight – Thursday, December 15, 6-9pm

Join us tonight from 6 to 9pm for the Mission Bernal Holiday Walk. Yes, it will be rainy, but this is a good chance to rock your rain boots, and winter coat!

The Mission Bernal Merchants Association is excited to invite San Francisco to explore the vibrant Mission Bernal small business community. The numerous locally owned restaurants, bars, galleries, coffee shops, and other businesses that line Mission Street from Cesar Chavez Street to Randall Street—along with businesses on adjacent side streets such as 29th Street—will open their doors and put out their welcome mats to the city at large, in a neighborhood celebration aimed at encouraging neighbors and visitors alike to peruse their wares, get to know local business owners, and sample the neighborhood’s diverse flavors. Emerging and legacy businesses alike would like to welcome you to our festive home.

“We see the Mission Bernal Holiday Walk as a sort of social experiment in supporting the neighborhood’s small business community, and we want to invite everyone to be part of it,” says Eden Stein, president of the Mission Bernal Merchants Association. “The Mission Bernal corridor is a hidden gem of food, art, music, and culture.”

As visitors explore the neighborhood, the MBMA encourages them to post photos and videos of the sights, sounds, and tastes they experience on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, with the hashtag #MBMAHW. As an extra incentive, throughout the evening, the MBMA will be monitoring the hashtag and giving away thank-you gifts to those tagging their adventures in Mission Bernal!

Here are some of the specials our neighborhood merchants will offer:

  • Avenue (3361 Mission St.) – Holiday open house with cocktails, a small holiday marketplace, succulent craft station, and live music
  • Baby Blues BBQ (3149 Mission St.) – Fried Chicken Pop-Up
  • Bel (3215 Mission St.) – Bel’s amazing Happy Hour will be extended for the duration of the walk and the San Francisco School of Rock will be singing holiday tunes from 6-7pm
  • Blanca’s Art of Hair – $5 off haircuts and shaves
  • Blue Plate (3218 Mission St.) – Deviled Eggs and a splash of sparkling rose for our early diners
  • Café Seventy8 (78 29th St.) – Extended hours and free 8oz hot chocolate or coffee
  • Café St. Jorge (3438 Mission St.) – Art Show
  • Coronitas (3326 Mission St.) – specials on Coronas and buffalo wings
  • Cole Hardware (3293 Mission St.) – Holiday Pop-Up!
  • Eagle Rider (3146 Mission St.) – Look for the motorcycle out front to learn more about our newest merchant and services
  • El Rio (3158 Mission St.) – Everyone that comes through as a participant in the Holiday Stroll will receive a free hot spiced whiskey cider (21+, one per customer)
  • Emmy’s Spaghetti Shack (3230 Mission St.) – Holiday Sangria and 2 for 1 drinks
  • The Front Porch (65 29th St.) – Delicious sausage balls, mulled wine, and spiced cider to keep you feeling nice (or naughty)
  • Fumi Curry (3303 Mission St.) – Black Curry special. Free Edamame for any order of drinks over $15
  • Harvest: An Alternative Health Collective (33 29th St.) – Harvest will be giving 15% off to all that mention this event. If you don’t yet have a recommendation, you can get a tour of their boutique facility
  • The Knockout (3223 Mission St.) – Drunk BINGO! Also, ask for a Hamm’s Job (a beer and a shot) for $5
  • Melody Cafe (3401 Mission St.) – 15% off dinner
  • Mitchell’s Ice Cream (688 San Jose) – Two cones for the price of one
  • Old Devil Moon (3472 Mission St.) – Lion’s Tail (a classic winter spicy bourbon cocktail), and a wintery gin & tonic of their own making
  • Rock Bar (80 29th St.) – Thirsty Thursday: Singani 63, the ancient Bolivian spirit imported by filmmaker Steven Soderbergh will be poured with specially paired bites. There will also be opportunities to speak with local Singani ambassador Scott Krinsky
  • Secession Art and Design (3235 Mission St.) – The 3300 Club will have t-shirts available for sale, Emmy’s will have their famous meatballs to nosh on, and the art of Hilary Williams and Nicole Bauguss will have art featuring neighborhood bars available for sale.
  • Virgil’s Sea Room (3152 Mission St.) – $5 Hot Toddys with Old Forester Bourbon available from 6-9pm

Tonight: Celebrate the Gorgeous New Mural on Mission Street

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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

Front Porch Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary With Street Party

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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

Passing the Torch: La Terraza to Become Craft Beer Bar and Restaurant

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There’s been lots of transformation on Mission Street in Bernal Heights, along the northern reaches of the La Lengua Autonomous Zone.

Anchoring the party, El Rio has (blessedly) been there since more or less forever, of course. More recently, the arrival of Blue Plate, Emmy’s Spaghetti Shack, Baby Blues BBQ, Iron and Gold,  The Royal Cuckoo, Virgil’s, ICHI Sushi+Ni Bar, the Pizza Hacker, and a few other 21st century foodie/drinkie institutions have steadily transformed the northern half of Bernal’s stretch of Mission into a destination for folks from all over our City.

Yet so far, this transformation has not extended south beyond 30th Street and our Taoist Safeway. By the time you reach the (Bernalistically symbolic) intersection of Cortland and Mission, for example, you’ll notice that the urban fabric today remains pretty much as it has been since the 1980s. Pretty much.

Now, however, comes news that evolution is coming to our southern part of Mission Street. InsideScoop broke the story yesterday, revealing that at 3472 Mission Street, a new bar/restaurant called Old Devil Moon will soon replace La Terraza.

Google recently captured La Terraza for posterity, in first-rate form, looking awesome and adrift in time:

Laterraza

InsideScoop sez:

Old Devil Moon is in the works at 3472 Mission Street, the location probably best known as La Terraza, which has been owned and operated by brothers Pedro and Isidro Navarette for the last 20 years. La Terraza will remain open for about three to four more months, until the liquor license transfers.

Old Devil Moon will be a craft beer bar, albeit one with a full liquor license and menu of Southern food. The folks behind it are a trio of beer nerds: Chris Cohen (founder-president of the SF Homebrewers Guild), Andrew Kelley and Will Marshall.

That’s Chris, Andrew, and Will in the photo up top (though not necessarily in that order).

At first blush, this probably looks like yet another in a contemporary series of awkward local tales about Old-Timers vs. New People. Gentrification! Hipsters! “Erosion of our San Francisco culture!”

Alas,  this isn’t really one of those kinds of stories. Instead, it’s is a tale of neighborly evolution and passing-of-the-torch.  Old Devil Moon’s Chris Cohen told Bernalwood how the change of ownership went down:

Pedro was my next door neighbor on Tiffany Ave for 5+ years, and I knew he owned la Terraza from talking over the fence over the years.

One day when we were both taking the trash out at the same time I asked him if he knew any bar owners who may want to sell (I’d been looking for a space for months). He said, “I’ve actually been thinking about retiring for a couple years, I’d love to sell you my place.” It took another few months to get the deal done and we finally just posted the ABC notice of license transfer in their window today. Everyone did well and is happy with the results of the deal.

It’s essentially similar to what happened with Emmy’s taking over El Zocalo, and the Nap’s/Virgil’s story. Nap was ready to quit the business, and his bar wasn’t doing as well as it used to because the neighborhood had changed around the business. The process and reason for the changes at our La Terraza location are similar.

Pedro and his brother Isidro have owned La Terraza for about 20 years and are ready to retire. They were happy to sell to a neighbor.

PHOTO: Team Old Devil Moon, via Old Devil Moon

Today at Noon: Listen to Bernalwood on Burrito Justice Radio

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Yes yes, we know… the idea of Bernalwood participating on Burrito Justice Radio is sort of like General Douglas McArthur agreeing to appear as a studio guest with Tokyo Rose. But stranger things have happened…

Today from noon to 2 pm, tune your Internet dial to Bff.fm as La Lengua’s chief agitator Burrito Justice hosts your Bernalwood editor for a mix of talk, music, local history, and seething geo-political rivalry. As Burrito Justice says, “It’s like Twitter on the radio!” (We don’t know what that means either.)

Bernalwood has been granted full diplomatic immunity to participate in the radio show, along with assurances regarding safe passage to and from the BFF.fm studios in the Mission. Just in case, I’ve also gotten a tetanus shot and purchased a Speak Conversational La Lenguan phrasebook.

Listen in today at noon on BFF.fm, and share your questions and snarky comments on the Twitter.

PS: If you’ve never heard Burrito Justice’s exclusive celebrity interview with @KarltheFog, then stop what you’re doing right now and pop it in your earholes. Guaranteed, you will never look at a fog bank rolling over Twin Peaks the same way ever again.