Newfangled App Will Deliver Healthy Spirits Booze by Bicycle


Such are the wonders of modern life that you can now use an app on your futuristic smartphone to have exotic spirits delivered to your glamorous home by Healthy Spirits, the esteemed boozemonger on Cortland.  Eli Rodriguez, manager of the Healthy Spirits store on Cortland, tells Bernalwood:

Hope this message finds you in good spirits. We have a new service we’re providing the neighborhood, in partnership with Postmates. We made a menu of some of our most popular products available via the Postmates App (or website).

In addition, we now deliver via Uber, so customers can call us for a recommendation or request and we can get it to them easy-peazy.

We’re one of the only stores Postmates and Uber have partnered with for booze delivery, and we’re pretty excited about it. Here’s a link to the Postmates Menu and if Bernalwood readers are new to Postmates they can get a $10 delivery credit with the password healthy.

ILLUSTRATION: An ET-powered booze delivery bicycle sails over Bernal Hill, courtesy of Healthy Spirits and Postmates

Bernal Merchant Seeks Revisions to Mission Street “Red Carpet” Program


Neighbor Eden Stein is a resident of the La Lengua Autonomous Zone and the proprietor of the fabulous (and resilient) Secession Art & Design store at 3235 Mission (@Valencia). She’s also president of the Mission-Bernal Merchants Association, which represents merchants along the Bernal’s stretch of Mission Street.

In recent weeks, Neighbor Eden has expressed concern about Muni’s new “red carpet” bus lanes on Mission Street. Although bus riders report the new red carpets have noticeably improved public transit, Neighbor Eden says local merchants are struggling because the rollout of the new traffic configuration has coincided with reduced foot traffic and sales in Mission Street stores.

This morning, Neighbor Eden released a letter summarizing her views on Muni’s new red carpet along Mission Street:

Two months ago, MTA reconstructed Mission Street, introducing red transit lanes and forced right turns. The bus is running two to five minutes faster, but I have observed a decrease in pedestrian traffic and clientele, especially for daytime businesses. My business is not only a go-to for locals, but a destination for people from all over. The forced right-hand turns funnel drivers away from shopping and local restaurants, making it harder for our customers to show up and support us. This is a direct call to our customers to walk, bike, take public transit, or drive to support local businesses impacted along Mission Street.

My specific concerns for Mission Bernal are to make sure it is safe for pedestrians, residents, and our valued customers. A request has been made to MTA to put in protected left turn signals at 29th and Valencia, remove the right hand turn at Cesar Chavez, and review positions of new bus stops. I am concerned that the Mission-Powers bus stop is not well-lit and is located in front of a preschool. My other concern is when it rains the red paint is causing the buses difficulty in stopping. I have seen the buses slide through the intersection at 29th Street on the red light because they are slipping on the red lanes. This is a safety concern for our whole community. I support public transit, but not at the cost of safety or small business. I am for finding a balance that works for all us.

My grandparents owned a storefront for over 40 years in Philadelphia. Their legacy business was one of the things that inspired me to open Secession Art and Design in an emerging area of the Mission in 2007. Mission Street has been home to my gallery and boutique for 9 years, supporting over 60 local and independent artists and designers. Businesses along Mission Street all want the chance to be legacy businesses, and live out our dream that small business can thrive in San Francisco. This is why I became president of the Mission Bernal Merchants Association, so my neighborhood would have a passionate point person who lives and works in Mission Bernal.

I have attended many MTA meetings, sometimes closing my store to make sure my voice is heard. A happy medium needs to happen, so small businesses aren’t forced to shut down. I want to continue my grandparents’ legacy of doing what I love everyday, being the owner of a small business. I’m working to help Mission Street culture return back to its vibrant and artistic hustle.

Thank you to everyone who has been supportive, encouraged me to go outside my comfort zone and speak up for my community, and reminded me to be strong and love what I do!

You rock, Eden

PHOTO: Top, a worker installs flexible bollards to prevent traffic from crossing Mission Street at Cesar Chavez, April 7, 2015. Photo by Telstar Logistics

Free Bike Rentals for Bernal Residents on Bike to Work Day

rider-4 copy

Cortland Avenue’s newfangled bike shop, The New Wheel, has a special offer for Bernal Heights residents: A free ride to work on a electric bike for Bike to Work Day this Thursday. They say:

The New Wheel is offering free electric bike rentals to residents of Bernal Heights on Thursday May 12th, Bike to Work Day.

Here’s the fine-print:

Neighbors interested in renting bikes should email to secure a rental. Quantities are limited. Bikes will be available for pickup the day before Bike to Work day, between 5 and 7pm on Wednesday May 11th.

The New Wheel will equip renters with an appropriately sized bike, a helmet and a lock. Bikes must be returned no later than 7pm on Thursday May 12th. This time window is designed to allow for a fun and swift ride to work and back home on Bike to Work Day, with no rental fee. Late returns will incur a rental fee.

All electric bike rentals require a fully refundable security deposit in the event of damage or theft. Renter takes full responsibility for the return of bike in the condition it was rented.

PHOTO: Courtesy of The New Wheel

Secession Art and Design Wants to Set You Up for Mother’s Day


Pro Tip: Mother’s Day is this Sunday, May 8.  Don’t forget!

Neighbor Eden from the fabulous Secession Art and Design wants to help you remain in good standing with mom. She writes:

Secession Art & Design (3235 Mission @Valencia) is consistently inspired by the moms that shop our gallery and boutique. In our eyes, they’re rockstars! Stop by this weekend, 12-8pm, to pick up a card, gift, or art that will make mom smile from head to toe.

As a special bonus for Bernalwood readers, we’re offering a 10% discount on our jewelry collection this weekend. Just mention Bernalwood when you stop in the store, and have a great Mothers Day!

Sunday: Celebrate Pinhole Photography Day at Pinhole Coffee


Neighbor JoEllen from Pinhole Coffee on Cortland brings word of a special photo-coffee event happening on Sunday, April 23:

There is a big holiday for Pinhole enthusiasts this Sunday. It’s Pinhole Day, a worldwide event that goes back to the roots of photography to celebrate pinhole photographs. It’s always held on last Sunday of April,and  this year that’s Sunday, April 24th

Pinhole Coffee is featuring pinhole photographs by Bay Area artist (former Bernal resident) Joy Caves. In addition to taking pinhole photographs, Joy develops them with caffenol, a coffee developer. From 10-2pm on Sunda,y she will be present to show people how to take pinholes and how caffenol works.

In addition, anyone who wears Pinhole Coffee apparel, or purchases any, on Sunday the 24th will receive 1 free beverage.


PHOTO: Top, Sutro Tower pinhole photo, by JoEllen Depakakibo

The Epicurean Trader Celebrates First Anniversary (And For You, Special Price)


Oh, how the time flies. Neighbors Holly and Matt from The Epicurean Trader on Cortland are celebrating the first anniversary of their store, and to mark the occasion they’re offering a special deal to Bernal neighbors. Holly says:

We’re celebrating our first year as a Bernal merchant! We love this neighborhood. Mat and I have both lived in the neighborhood for years and all our employees live in Bernal Heights too.

The store has changed a lot since opening day – not our overall mission, but the assortment of products we sell. We’ve always wanted to be a neighborhood store, so we continually collect feedback from you about items you find difficult to buy locally. We stock as many as we can to make everyone’s lives a little easier.

We were also just named one of the Best Neighborhood Markets in San Francisco, and we’re now the highest-rated Specialty Market on Yelp (even ahead of Bi-Rite on 18th.) So now we’re even more excited to celebrate!

To thank the neighborhood for all their support, we will be extending a 10% discount off all purchases Monday thru Friday this week to Bernal Heights residents. Just ask for the discount when you check out. (Note: we may ask for some confirmation that you live in Bernal Heights.)

PHOTO: Telstar Logistics

House Portrait: Peek Inside the Home of Succulence’s Ken and Amy Shelf



Where do Bernal merchants retreat to rest and recharge after they hang the Closed sign in the windows of their Cortland storefronts? Our friends at the CurbedSF blog recently did a profile of the house that Amy and Ken Shelf from Succulence call home. It’s a colorful look behind the scenes at one of Cortland Avenue’s most unique shops — and the people who created it:

The Shelf family had been friendly with the owner of [Four Star Video] before he died. David Ayoob was often in front of his business, sweeping up and greeting the neighbors. “He was a community character. When I read that the business and building were up for sale, I thought ‘I could be that guy,'” says Ken.

Borrowing every penny (“Back then, you could do that,” notes Amy), the couple purchased the building at 420 Cortland Avenue. The days of video rentals at a brick and mortar store were waning, and from the beginning they were planning the next phase. When Darcy Lee, the owner of Heartfelt down the street, suggested they start selling succulent plants out back, a new business was born.

Amy came up with the name Succulence to honor the richness of life, and for this couple, it’s an idea they take home with them after the store closes. The store, the neighborhood, and their family are inextricably woven into the into the nearby Victorian cottage they own on a short street that’s quintessentially Bernal Heights; in other words, it’s on a narrow, hilly passage where each crest hosts a scenic city view.

Read the whole thing to learn more about Neighbors Amy and Ken Shelf and to see pictures of their colorful home.