December 20, 2014

This Week In Noe Valley: More Package Thieves Caught on Camera, Real Reindeer, And Other Holiday Mischief

News from, about and for Noe Valley from around the interwebs:
[Photo: Reindeer in front of Just for Fun via han_cholo23]

December 13, 2014

This Week In Noe Valley: #Hellastorm Wreaks Havoc, The Smallest Apartment In SF, And Bom Dia Opens

News from, about and for Noe Valley from around the interwebs:
[Photo: Sunrise over the city, view from Noe Valley via San Francisco News]

December 6, 2014

This Week In Noe Valley: Glorious Rain, Poinsettia Poaching, And Other Signs The Holidays Are Coming

News from, about and for Noe Valley from around the interwebs:
[Photo: Muni Polaroid in the rain via Nuugent]

December 4, 2014

NVV Dec 2014: We Read It So You Don't Have To

The Noe Valley Voice is published ten times a year and has been a neighborhood fixture since 1977. Here are notable highlights from the latest issue. Links are to stories we've covered here on NVSF or other resources. Follow the NVV link at the bottom for full articles and all the ads.

December 2014

Front Page: A profile of the Tom and Jerry Holiday House at 3650 21st. St; Plans move forward at the former Real Food space (you can see our take and comments from Scott Wiener here); Renovations - and temporary classrooms - commence at James Lick High School and should take about two years.

Letters: Castro Computers thanks everyone who donated recycled electronics to the recent recycling drive for the NVMPA - it was a huge success; A Clipper St resident beseeches you not to donate to local panhandlers - your taxes contribute to the $167 million spent annually on homeless programs; Gwen Anderson of Video Wave writes that the video store's lease is up in July - she asks fans of the store to watch their website and storefront for meetings about how you can help keep the 20,000 piece video collection in Noe Valley.

Feature: Details about holiday festivities in Noe Valley this month (aka 24 HoliDAYS on 24th); Scott Wiener held a local town hall with District 8 residents to discuss rising crime in Noe Valley and surrounding neighborhoods.

Short Takes: Looking for places to do good for the holidays? Folio Books is having a fundraiser for the Children's Book Project, and SF firefighters are taking food and toy donations for the needy (as are several other local businesses); The dog park at Upper Noe Rec Center will be closed on Thursdays for maintenance and to "give the turf a day off"; The Noe Valley Ministry is raising funds for a new stained glass window; The Garden Tour is looking for nominations for its 2015 event.

Cost of Living in Noe: 18 single family homes changed hands in October, all for over $1 million. The most expensive was a $4.85M home on Jersey.

Store Trek: Mapamundi Kids (1306 Castro St at 24th); Ambiance is combining two small stores into one big one in the former Sway and Streetlight Records space at 3979 24th St; An eco-friendly clothing store called Podolls will be moving into one of the spaces Ambiance is vacating - the other is still for rent.

Rumors: The former Pasta Pomodoro space will become a new restaurant serving an all-day menu of American/Mediteranean food called NōVY and will be run by the owners' daughters who also live in Noe Valley; The UPS store has temporarily moved into the Cardio-Tone space while their current space undergoes ADA and seismic work - they expect to be there until mid January; The towering retail space across the street from Shufat on 24th St is listed for $16,000 per month; L'Atelier Artist Collective is open for business - as is a new hair salon called Mio Mio on Castro above Subs, Inc; Not everyone is happy about the location of the new city carshare parking spots in front of LaBoulange because...parking. Bill Yenne (and his new book Beer: The Ultimate World Tour) was the guest of honor at Folio's one year anniversaryPorcellino is closed for good; There's a gorgeous new mural on 24th St.

[The Noe Valley Voice]

December 2, 2014

Coming Soon: Plans To Develop Real Foods Building

You know how you walk past that empty storefront across from Whole Foods and wonder what the hell? Or maybe you remember that eleven years ago Real Foods was abruptly shut down and there have been years of drama since. Maybe your remembrance is that Big Corporate America is against unions. Or maybe you don't care what happened. Regardless, many of you have had opinions over the years about what should happen to this prime Noe Valley space.

Andrew Ross writes (albeit in a bit flowery way) on SFGate that plans are finally moving forward to develop the Real Foods location. He references a visit Scott Wiener and others made to Utah in October of 2013 to meet with the current owners - Nutraceutical. And he tells of a promise made ("a solid oath") to rebuild on the site. None of that is news.

What is news: Nutraceutical is ready to present plans to the public - there will be a meeting in January. This type of meeting is standard procedure for developers looking to submit high-profile plans to the Building Department so don't expect final drawings and a committed tenant. Instead expect concept drawings and be prepared to give feedback on the project. Want to make sure it doesn't house a bank, nail salon or title company? Let them know how you feel.

We asked a few local people in the know for some more information. Todd David of Friends of Noe Valley told us the architect is SF-based Jackson Liles Architecture. Brian Liles is the project lead. Principal Julie Jackson is active in the public school system and has children at James Lick.

Carol Yenne, past president of the Noe Valley Merchants and Professionals Association, gave us a bit more information:
I went on the trip in Oct 2013 with Scott to meet with the owners of the property. The plans to develop the property had stalled during the downturn in the economy in 2008 but we discovered when we arrived that the company was already starting to work on plans again. San Francisco is trying to encourage housing and we all are on the same page about wanting to get the property developed into active retail and housing so that it does not continue to be a vacant space. The company asked for ideas for the retail space and we encouraged them to consider active retail or a restaurant which they seemed to take to heart. The space will likely be two businesses and the housing will be a minimum of four units.
Todd and Carol both let us know that neither FoNV nor the NVMPA have an official or active role in directing how this space is used.

So this is your chance to weigh in - mark your calendars for the community meeting and bring your opinions.

What: Community Meeting to present plans for Real Foods building
Where: St Philips Church, 725 Diamond St
When: January 22, 2015, 7:00PM
Bonus: Todd told us there's a rumor of childcare provided.

[Andrew Ross: Noe Valley’s Real Food to be reborn]
[NVSF: Real Foods - I Wish This Was...]

November 26, 2014

Closed: Porcellino

After a very brief run as a local all-day restaurant/market serving small plates, sandwiches and pasta in the old Incanto space, Porcellino is closed for good.

A sign in the restaurant window and a brief post on the Porcellino site today announced the sad news:
Porcellino is now closed. Please accept our sincere thanks for the 12+ years of support and friendship. For salumi, please visit Boccalone in the Ferry Building or online at For great Italian food and hospitality, we encourage you to visit our friends down the street at La Ciccia and La Nebbia. Wishing you and your families a holiday season filled with health, joy and laughter.
The closing is a sudden but not entirely unexpected (we’ve never seen a crowd there for lunch). No word on what’s going into the space next but chef and partner Chris Cosentino’s newest restaurant, Cockscomb, will be opening very soon in SOMA – which may have something to do with the timing of Porcellino's demise.

One bright spot: Locals looking for prepared meals will soon have another option nearby. The owners of Bom Dia Market at Sanchez and 29th tell us they hope to open this weekend and will have pre-made Mediterranean dishes for sale as well as organic produce, beer and wine. Eater has uploaded the opening menu here.

November 24, 2014

New Mural On 24th St By Shawn Bullen

The side of the Radio Shack building on 24th Street is getting a new look this week with the addition of a giant greenish blue, black and gold mural. The project is part of a citywide celebration of small business and a promotion involving the American Express national #ShopSmall promotion plus major San Francisco partners including SF Travel, the Office of Small Business, Invest in Neighborhoods, and the SF Chamber of Commerce. We asked around, and Carol Yenne of Small Frys connected us with Dani Sheehan-Meyer of Cliché Noe who in turn connected us to a representative of Small Business Saturday Coalition based in Washington, DC.

The artist, Shawn Bullen, is an accomplished muralist who has painted hundreds of pieces around the country. The artist claims he’s created murals in most cities in North America and plans to create works on every continent in the next five years. He’s also been teaching mural painting for 8 years. You can see some his work on his personal site - - or follow him on Instagram: @shawnbullen1.

We asked the organizers a few questions about the mural and here’s what we learned:

How did you choose the artist for this project? The mural was created through a partnership between American Express and the SF Arts Commission. The artist, Shawn Bullen, was selected by the SF Arts Commission.

How was the design was chosen - was it the artist's discretion or did you give him some guidelines? The artist was free and open to create his own design, representative of his work to include the “Shop Small” icon.  The concept and initial sketches were approved by the Commission, building owner etc.

How is the building owner involved in the project if at all? And is it meant to be a permanent mural? The building owner was involved, and the mural is permanent.

We were also able to connect with Shawn today while he was painting. Shouting up to the lift he was working from, we asked if his mural has a name. He thought for a few seconds and replied: “Dream Big.” Love it.

The mural is a work in progress but looks like it will be done in plenty of time for Small Business Saturday – which is this Saturday - November 29.

[Photos: Murals via NVSF; Shawn selfie via shawnbullen1]