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


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

Struggling Chloe’s Closet Plans Cutbacks at Cortland Store


Chloe’s Closet, the consignment store at 451 Cortland specializing in clothes for kids and expectant moms, has been a cherished resource for budget-conscious Bernal parents for more than a decade. Yet recently the business has been struggling, and today Chloe’s Closet announced a series of changes intended to keep the Cortland store afloat.

In an email to customers, Chloe’s writes:

It is no secret that San Francisco has a rapidly declining population of the people Chloe’s Closet really depends on: middle class and working class families. Many of those families just can’t afford to live here any longer and it shows in our sales. The last three years have seen decreasing revenue at both our San Francisco locations, especially in Bernal Heights. While sales have dropped steadily, costs have risen – rent, insurance, taxes and payroll go up and up. We are just barely hanging on.

At this time we are considering our options. We have 18 months left on our lease in Bernal Heights and the next few months will determine whether we can turn things around in Bernal. If we can’t make it work, then unfortunately we will need to find a tenant and close that location down. (We will continue in the Inner Sunset as well as in Berkeley)

In order to hang on in the meantime, we have no other option but to decrease our overhead. To this end, we will be reducing our employee hours at all three locations, and doing a partial shutdown of the “Toy” side at our Bernal Heights location. We are having a sale on our remaining Women’s and Maternity clothing, then we will close that section down. This will allow us to have one fewer person on the payroll per day.

We are also considering going to limited drop off days/hours and/or closing one day per week at all of our locations.

In addition, Chloe’s Closet will implement changes to its consignment policy in order to reduce the quantity of unsellable items dropped off at the store.


New Preschool Opening on Cortland Today


There’s a new preschool opening at 610 Cortland today (right next to the Wells Fargo banking robot), and it’s called Little Angels Nursery School. Neighbor Jen’s child has been attending Little Angels at another location, and she bring the 411 on the new Cortland facility:

Little Angels nursery/preschool will be opening their 610 Cortland Avenue location on January 3rd, 2017. School founder Rabab and many of the students’ families are very excited!

Little Angels will accept children aged 18 months to 6 years, and has a sister school in Sunnyside for infants. The Bernal location has two main play rooms including an invitingly cozy reading nook by the Cortland-facing windows, a new play kitchen, and enough blocks, train tracks, and Magna-tiles for everyone.

In the back, there’s a good-sized yard with a redwood playhouse and a large sandbox, all shaded by a generous avocado tree. My personal favorite thing about the school is the full kitchen: Rabab and the other teachers do fun baking projects and make tasty, healthy, homemade lunches for the children. (They got my picky kid to happily eat vegetables and soup! I can’t express how amazing that is to me.)

Bernalese grow-ups can expect to see the kids at the local library, playground, and around the neighborhood. There was an open house at Little Angels before the holiday break, and it had a ton of walk-in traffic, so I expect the school will fill up quickly — if it’s not full already. This is a great neighborhood for kids. If anyone wants to ask Rabab questions or apply, the school’s site is here.

PHOTO: The Little Angels on Cortland, courtesy of Neighbor Jen

Sunday: Celebrate 2017 by Helping to Make Bernal Hill More Beautiful


Here’s an honest way to atone for all the unholy things you will do on New Year’s Eve: Neighbor Sarah invites all Bernalese of all ages  to participate in a Bernal Hill clean-up happening on New Year’s Day,  Sunday, January 1, 2017(!) at 9 am.

The fabulous Neighbor Sarah says:

Start 2017 off by joining your neighbors in cleaning up Bernal Hill on New Year’s Day. (The Hill often takes a bit of a beating on New Year’s Eve.) Meet at the south entrance bulletin board at 9 am. Bring gloves and a couple of garbage bags or a bucket. We’ll divide and conquer, picking up bottles, cigarette butts, and, yes, unclaimed dog poop. This should be a good activity for kids – I will be bringing mine (ages 7 and 9).

See you there! (And thanks to the neighbors who, day in and day out, pick up trash on the Hill – we see them frequently!)

PHOTO: Bernal Hill from the air, courtesy of the Bernalwood Air Force

Today: Wild Old Women of Bernal to Protest at Mission Street BofA



Today at noon, the iconic Wild Old Women of Bernal Heights will stage an anniversary protest at the Bank of America branch at 3250 Mission Street to put an end to Big Bank malfeasance.

Neighbor Lynn, one of the Wild Old Women, says:

The Wild Old Women of Bernal will be celebrating our 5-year anniversary of weekly demonstrations to protest foreclosures, evictions, and other disdainful corporate-bank acts. The demonstration and celebration will be in front of the Bank of America on Mission near 29th St. on Thursday, Dec. 29th from noon until 1 pm. We’re inviting one and all to join us.

PHOTO: Courtesy of the Wild Old Women of Bernal Heights

Apartment Rents Down Citywide in 2016, But Rising in Bernal Heights


The median rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in San Francisco declined by 4.9 percent in 2016, but the opposite was true in Bernal Heights, where rents spiked 9 percent. That’s according to data compiled by the real estate site Zumper,

Citywide, rents may have reached the limits of what people are willing (or able) to pay, as the construction of additional market-rate housing combined with a slowdown in tech hiring combined to put downward pressure on rents in pricier parts of San Francisco. Yet the rent is still too damn high, so San Francisco renters have apparently been looking for more affordable options in other parts of the city — such as Bernal Heights.

Kevin Truong from the San Francisco Business Times explains:

Even with the decline this year, the city sits firmly in the top spot when it comes to the most expensive rental market in the country, with its $3,300 median 1-bedroom rents beating out New York City by $300.

Falling rents were seen in previous high-flying neighborhoods in the city’s Northeast like Nob Hill, which was down 6 percent. The biggest drop in rental prices was seen in the NoPa neighborhood, which is down 9 percent since last year and Noe Valley which dropped 8 percent. Other neighborhoods seeing major median rent price declines include Ashbury Heights, Civic Center and Nob Hill.

“Overall, the priciest neighborhoods seem to have hit a price ceiling that renters are willing to pay,” the Zumper report said.

The data also traced a shift from the most expensive San Francisco neighborhoods like SOMA, Downtown, and Pacific Heights, to the outer, and less expensive, areas of the city, like Bayview, Bernal Heights, and the Outer Richmond.

Zumper adds that Bernal saw the second-highest increase in median rents this year:

The only neighborhood with double digit rent growth this December was Bayview, up 11.5% since this time last year. Bernal Heights (+9%), Western Addition (+9%), and Haight Ashbury (7%) had the next fastest growing rents.

GRAPHIC: via Zumper