February 5, 2017

This Week in Noe Valley: La Nebbia Closing, Trump Inspired Racism Hits Home, Baron’s Meats Preview


The latest news from, about and for Noe Valley from around the interwebs:
[Photo: wannabefashionblogger]

NVV Feb 2017: 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.

February 2016

Front Page: Jeff Sheehy is the new District 8 Supervisor; Noe resident Michael Castleman blogs about sex for Psychology Today; SF families can get a free baby box worth $70.

Letters: A neighbor as a novel complaint about the large corporate "Google" buses that roam Noe Valley streets; a cleanup crew tackled Grand View.

Cost of Living in Noe: Homes prices are cooling off slightly but still very high. Three of the 19 homes sold at the end of last year were over $3 million.

Store Trek: The Lotus Method, 3989 24th St. and The Temporarium, 3414 22nd St.

Features: Valley Tavern hosts Liz Stone and Comedy Gold; new management plan coming for SF parks; Uma Casa is open for business;

Rumors and Tidbits: There was a vigil in the Town Square on Innauguration eve; the next morning many Noe Valleyeons joined the Women's March on Market St. Voice contributor Karen Topakian was among the protesters who hoisted the Resist banner near the White House on January 25. Jeff Sheehy was announced at the new supervisor for District 8 at the Noe Valley Town Square. Bob Roddick is no longer the president of the NVMPA; he's succeeded by Noe resident Rachel Swann. The NVMPA has also received a $15,000 grant from the city to overhaul it's website, newsletter and a printed Noe Valley guide. Baron's Quality Meats is taking over the old Drewe's space. Olive This Olive That is not moving after all and will stay put; The Rachel Swann Group will share the former Cradle of the Sun space with Ian Stallings and will feature a gallery for fine art, accessories, textiles and furniture. Griddle Fresh is adding dinner service. Jiro Lin is upgrading Hamano. Chez Marius is open in the old Le Zinc space.

[The Noe Valley Voice]

February 3, 2017

Interview: David Samiljan of Baron's Quality Meats


We've been watching progress on the soon-to-be Barons Meats on Church since Celia Sack of Omnivore Books broke the news that they were taking over the Drewes space. Owner David Samiljan has been hard at work cleaning and renovating, but made some time to tell us more of his plans for the space.

Welcome! Why did you choose Noe Valley for your second location? What connects you to the neighborhood?
It seems that Noe Valley chose me! I wasn't looking for another location, but I heard that the space was available so I inquired with the landlord and all the pieces fell into place very quickly. I tried to say no to the opportunity but it was impossible to turn down. My great-grandfather's shop was right under the ell in Brooklyn. The Church Street location has a lot of the same feel to it. A real neighborhood.

The space at 1706 Church St has a history – it’s reportedly one of the oldest butcher shops in San Francisco. Did that influence your decision to move in?
It was definitely another attractive component of an already attractive situation. The original Baron's Meat & Poultry goes back to at least 1915. To have the opportunity to operate something even older is a wonderful opportunity for us. The building has a lot of history -- the freezer in back is in the old stable where the original butcher on Church Street would have kept his delivery horses. To be connected to that type of history is wonderful.


Who will staff and manage the Church St. location? Will there be a trained chef on site like you have in Alameda?
I will be personally operating the Church St location, so I'll be the chef/butcher in charge. Because I came from kitchens, I tend to hire from kitchens.

We’ve poured over your Alameda website. What will be the same/different about the Church St store?
Yes and more. I have three times the floor space and 16 linear feet more of showcase to fill. But I will let the neighborhood dictate to me what they want. As in Alameda, I'm sure we'll grow organically as we become more in tune with what our customers want. We started as a strictly meat and poultry shop, and then we took on sustainably harvested seafood and shellfish due to customer demand. We now have twice as much room for seafood in the Noe Valley shop, so that's going to be exciting.

Drewes had a rough 20 years before closing, despite a loyal customer base. Will you offer value to the “old Noe” crowd as well as those who can afford the high end?
I consider myself a "neighborhood butcher." I feel as if I'm obligated to give my customers what they ask for, however Baron's has a very strict standard for the products we sell. I will never be the cheapest guy in town, but I will always be the best in town. I stand behind everything I sell. I feed my own family the same meat I'm selling to my customers

Do you want to pursue a stall at the Noe Valley farmers market?
Yes. As soon as I figure out who to talk to about that.

What would you like Noe Valley to know about Barons?
I've been in the food business since 1990. I've been in the meat business since 1996. I've worked in meat processing plants and retail butcher shops and then re-opened my great-grandfather's namesake shop in 2005. Baron's was at the forefront of the "artisan butcher" movement (predating everyone else by at least 2 years). We sell only Organic and Natural Meats. We DO NOT sell any product that receives hormones or antibiotics. We will NOT sell any product that has been raised in confinement. Because I started as a chef, flavor is paramount in selecting a purveyor, as well the humane treatment of the animals themselves. We will not sell an inferior product simply because it was raised next door.   

You’ve said you want to focus on opening, adding sandwiches, and then wine/beer. What’s the timeline for those additions?
We had hoped to be open by February 1st. What with cleaning and permitting, that seems unreasonable at this point. Maybe before March? As long as it's before Easter, it'll be OK. It's been wonderful to be in the shop checking up on progress and getting to meet our neighbors walking their dogs. Everyone seems to be as eager as we are to be open. In terms of what items will show up when: Sandwiches, almost right away. Hopefully within a few weeks of opening or even faster than that. Baron's Quality Meats in Alameda has featured a sandwich of the day before, and I've run a sandwich shop in the past, so it's not a stretch. Beer and wine and maybe liquor, will come in after we settle in as a butcher shop. I'll need a dedicated staff to curate a small beer, wine and liquor section and that will take some time to find the right people and have the butcher shop running well.

Will you offer products outside the meat/fish cases?
Yes. I love the Church Produce Market on the corner of 30th, and we've been talking about how best to work together. I'll probably offer a very limited selection of produce in the shop to make it easier to whip up dinner, but I'm not a green grocer at heart! I expect to have dry goods (pasta, mustard, some spice rubs) and some equipment in the store too (brining bags, cheesecloth, etc.)

Does the Church St space have the capacity to store meat for customers like your spare rib purchase plan in Alameda?
Oh yes! Almost 10 times the space. In Alameda we have a program where customers can purchase an entire loin of beef for us to dry age. We trim steaks off as you want. In Noe Valley, I have an entire walk-in refrigerator to devote to dry ageing. (I'm thinking of lining the walls with blocks of salt. We'll see what the budget allows.) In Alameda, we bring in hundreds of fresh turkeys, Heritage breeds, Organic, and Natural for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but we have to store them in refrigerated containers outside our shop because our floor space is so limited. Thanksgiving is going to be so much easier this year in San Francisco!

What are your favorite haunts in the neighborhood?
I haven't spent near enough time in the neighborhood yet. So far everywhere I've eaten, gotten coffee or met a business owner or neighbor has been a great experience. But I've eaten at Henry's Hunan more than anywhere else by far. I'll take any recommendation you've got!

Philz, Martha’s, Bernie’s or Starbucks?
Martha's is closest, so in the interest of diplomacy I'll go with Martha's. Oh, and thanks for asking -- I'm trying to make friends, not trigger rivalries! (My wife roots for the A's, and I root for the Giants, so I've got enough "friendly" rivalries in my life, thank you very much!)

Dave and son testing new blades at Wondercon

January 28, 2017

This Week in Noe Valley: Lots of Rainbows, Old Noe NIMBYs and WiFi Crackdowns


The latest news from, about and for Noe Valley from around the interwebs:
[Photo: gt_goff ]

Closing: Green11 Noe Valley


Here’s some bittersweet news: After 7 years in Noe Valley, Bettina Limaco is closing Green11, the bulk refill shop for bath, body, and home cleaning products that are cruelty free and made in the USA at 3980 24th St (next door to Just for Fun).

The reason? It’s not rising rent or a greedy landlord. There are good reasons, and even praise for the landlord. Here’s here official announcement below about the top 3 reasons Green11 Noe Valley is closing (click the image to see it full size).

That’s a charming goodbye note and a classy way to let the neighborhood know why the store is closing. Best of luck, Bettina, with your new store and projects!

[Photos via Green11]

January 3, 2017

Fattoush Calls It Quits, Sasa's Pizza To Take Over The Space


A new development in the drawn out saga of Fattoush, closed due to fire for over a year.  Neighbors have noticed intermittent work behind the papered-over windows over the last couple months. Apparently someone complained to the DBI, which prompted a new permit application filed on 12/29/16 to "ADD WOOD BURNING PIZZA OVEN TO EXISTING RESTAURANT SPACE FOR NEW TENANT." Another permit filed on 11/30/16 indicates that the business will be called Sasa's Pizza.

And that's all we can find so far. Anyone have more information? Are you reading this, Sasa's Pizza? Please contact us.

That is unless you're behind these pizzas. We really don't want know more.



January 1, 2017

This Year In Noe Valley: The Big Stories Of 2016


What a year. According to the Oxford Dictionaries the word of the year in 2016 was “post-truth.” Merriam Webster chose “surreal.” And Noe Valley resident and liguist Geoff Nunberg chose the word “normal” in a year that was anything but. All three together pretty much sum up 2016 in the real world. Fortunately, we also live in Noe Valley -- and here were the biggest stories of 2016 in our little hamlet.


Noe Valley Is Officially a Foodie Mecca 
2015 was a good year for food in Noe Valley, but 2016 was better. Uma Casa is close to opening on Church St. Barron’s Meats announced it’s also coming to Church St. to replace Drewe’s. Le Zinc closed but a new French bistro, Le Marius, sprang up in its place. La PanotiQ finally opened. Hahn’s Hibachi was replaced with BistroSF. Hamlet SF rebooted with a new menu. Hamano was bought by a local A-list sushi chef who plans to turn it into something even more special. And all that in addition to the already fantastic restaurants in our hood including Saru, Firefly, La Ciccia, Aster, Al’s Place and Contigo. Think about it: We can walk to some of the best restaurants in San Francisco!


Election Aftershock 
Let’s not sugarcoat this: Noe Valley mourned the national election results this year. One man in the house at the top of Sanchez hill was so shell-shocked he woke up the next day and decided to fly the Nazi flag (which begs the question, why did he just have one lying around?). Fortunately, his neighbors weren’t having it. Fasten your seatbelts folks, 2017 is going to be a bumpy ride.


The Town Square Has Arrived 
In happier news, after much fund-raising and handwringing, Noe Valley has an open space for the Farmer’s Market and local gatherings. It’s real, it’s ours, and it’s only going to get better as we all imagine new things that can happen there.


It’s Still Really, Really, Really Expensive to Live Here 
There’s a reason you see so many Teslas here: Two Noe Valley zip codes (94114 and 94131) are in the Top 100 Most Expensive zip codes in the US. The average cost of a home in Noe Valley was well north of $2.5 million – and here’s what $1.85 million gets you. [Photo via Janeep]


Real Foods? Real Nothing 
Still blight. Still empty. So sad.


Farewell 
In 2016 we also said goodbye to some old Noe Valley places, including In-House, Walkershaw and See Jane Run, several of which have since been replaced by little boutiques. Union Street, here we come!

Phew. Upward and onward. Happy New Year, Noe Valley! Here's to a safe, fun and prosperous 2017.

Want to see how far we've come? Here were the top stories of 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2012.

Did we miss anything? Share it in the comments!

[Top photo via kellyhafer, bottom photo via alexlgoldman]