October 31, 2008

Crime Beat

Information is from Mission and Ingleside District San Francisco Police Station newsletters.

October 28
Residential Burglary - 200 block of 28th St. A resident heard a noise at his front door and found it damaged and ajar. He later discovered that a burglar has taken a laptop computer and a backpack.

October 30
Residential Burglary - 500 block of Valley St. Occurred between 10/29 & 10/30. A resident found that her parked car had been broken into and its garage door opener used to enter the home's garage. Another car inside the garage was burglarized and a GPS device and a wallet were taken.

October 30, 2008

Good Samaritan or Paranoid Neighbor?

26th St near Sanchez

"A little before 4pm Mon 10/27/08 a man was seen putting a bicycle in the back of a yellow school bus..."

Update: Planning Commission October 23, 2008

Last week the Planning Commission ruled on two projects on 24th St:
4128 24th STREET - Request for Conditional Use Authorization...to convert the existing, ground floor office space to a full-service restaurant, totaling approximately 350 square feet (dba “Noe Soup"). [Translation: the old BJ Droubi house is getting a restaurant]

3931-3933 - 24TH STREET – Request for Conditional Use Authorization...to allow the construction of one new dwelling-unit with no off-street parking. [Translation: Noe Bagel will have to close while the building is expanded]
Both projects were approved as part of the Consent Calendar. These two and three other projects were approved with a single vote and without public comment. That is not to say the Commission didn't ask for comment - no one showed up to give any. Color us surprised.

As we wrote last week, the conversion 4128 24th St to a restaurant is likely the last available conditional use permit for a new restaurant in Noe Valley.

The motion (brought by Supervisor McGoldrick) to ammend legislation to "require conditional use authorization for any permit...to remove dwelling units" was disapproved 6-1. This would have made mandatory a discretionary review (DR) for all residential demolition permit applications, including 1 and 2 unit buildings (and including dwelling unit mergers). Existing code allows for planning staff initiated DR hearings. Expect this to come up again (after the election).

Bonus: learned a new phrase - "Richmond Special." Seems to be a catch-all for illegal (non-conforming) dwelling units added to a single family home.

[NVSF: This Week at the Planning Commission]
[NVSF: Dwelling Unit Mergers]

October 28, 2008

Noe Valley is Liberal

Fall Line Analytics (via Sweet Melissa) has compiled voter data (and probably more info than anyone really wants to know) about you and everyone you know.

It's no surprise that Noe Valley is mostly liberal, a little moderate and maybe just a tad conservative. Cool map, but it just enforces what a commenter on TheFrontSteps said about life here: "The people in Noe Valley simply have a fully realized liberal fantasy. The ‘charm’ of a tightly controlled social environment, while being near all of those other parts of the city that they can’t quite bear to give up…" But we knew that.

As an aside... if this map is truly accurate how did Chris Daly get elected? Twice!?

[Sweet Melissa: Off To The Races!]
[TheFrontSteps: Comment Du Jour...]

Time Capsule: Noe Valley Bulletin Board

A periodic look at the bulletin board on 24th St. between Noe and Castro Streets.

October 25, 2008

October 27, 2008

Kookez to Become Lupa?

Eater SF has the scoop on what's to become of the Kookez space: "It looks like the deal to the mysterious Tangerine Restaurant Group...has fallen through, because the new name on a new, pending liquor license is Stefano Coppola, who just happens to be the owner/chef of Lupa."

Details as we get them.

[Eater SF: NoeWire: Lupa Taking Shuttered Kookez Space?]
[NVSF: It's Official: Kookez Is Closed]

October 25, 2008

Noe Valley Trees: Two Get the Axe

Two large eucalyptus trees on either side of the parking lot between Radio Shack and Le Zinc on 24th St are destined for the axe chainsaw. Reasons: "Recent branch failure; structural health issues; problematic species." Their removal has already been approved, and replacement trees will be planted.

It's always sad to see mature trees removed, but eucalyptus trees have a short life. Bummer.

Tuttimelon: Open!

Perfect timing (and quite unexpected)!! Harvest Festival and 80 degrees. Tuttimelon is now officially open in Noe Valley. No hours posted, still looking for employees, still says Belgano on the marquee. But at least you can cool down with some FroYo.

[NVSF: Tuttimelon Rising: Update]

Photos: Noe Valley Harvest Festival 2008

"Hay Ride"

The Amazing Tess and some guy in blue

Geisha, 1st Place

CowBama, 1st Place

Story Hour

Does this guy ever smile?

[NVSF: Noe Valley Harvest Festival]
[NVSF: Noe Valley Harvest Festival: Ancillary Events]

October 24, 2008

690 Stanyan St: Approved!

Curbed SF is reporting that the Planning Commission yesterday gave unanimous approval to the development at 690 Stanyan St. Why do we care? Because the anchor tenant is Whole Foods, and it replaces a Cala (Bell) Market. Sound familiar?

The latest reporting in the Noe Valley Voice is that:
Bell Market...has lost its lease and will be closing in February 2009. However, the space will be occupied by a new Whole Foods Market, going in sometime after April 2009.
Mark Campagna, spokesperson for property owner Anchor Realty, told this Voice reporter last month that there were no plans to demolish the 16,000-plus-square-foot structure, although the 24th Street store is small by Whole Foods (and Kroger) standards, where the average size is twice to three times as large.

Campagna said he did not know how long it would take Whole Foods to reopen the store, but he estimated it would be a matter of several months.
FWIW, there is no record of a permit application on file with the Planning Department for the location on 24th St. So if they're actually planning on opening next spring they better get on it. At least the decision re: 690 Stanyan St. shows that if Whole Foods is subject to a large-scale review of any project on 24th St, they have a sympathetic ear at the Planning Commission.

While we'd prefer to see housing over retail and the elimination of the parking lot, we agree with the decision to keep the building as is and move in as soon as possible.

Now we have to see if Whole Foods continues to have faith in San Francisco in light of the recent economic downturn.

[Curbed SF: Approved, with love: 690 Stanyan's Mixed-Use Whole Foods]
[NVV: Rumors Behind the News - Market Fluctuations]

October 23, 2008

Noe Valley Harvest Festival: Ancillary Events

There's more to do on 24th St than the Noe Valley Harvest Festival this Saturday:
This Saturday! San Francisco Chronicle's 96 Hours cartoonist Michael Capozzola will be drawing you, your family, your dog, your... For FREE in front of Just For Fun. He will be selling his books for cheap! And...with every picture he will give you a $5.00 coupon to have your picture made into holiday cards at Just For Fun & Scribbledoodles.

There's also a sidewalk chalk drawing competition. Since both these signs are posted outside of Artsake we're going to guess that's where you sign up.

[Noe Valley Harvest Festival]

Holiday Lighting Noe Valley Style

It may be close to 80 degrees and not even Halloween, but 24th St is gearing up for the holidays. This guy was decorating the windows of Hill & Co with festive lighting. No idea if they're LED or not, so we'll have to wait and see if we have a green XMAS.

We've also seen lights wrapping the occasional tree on Church St. Definitely not LED.

Tuttimelon Rising: Update

Still no date. No grout either. Diggin' the walls.

[Tuttimelon: Missing Its Warm Weather Window]

October 20, 2008

Tung Sing: Shut Down by Health Department

When Tung Sign closed abruptly for a "kitchen remodel" we decided to investigate. Public records always provide a better explanation than a sign on the door.

A "complaintant" - presumably a neighbor - filed a report: "Complaintant hired a plumber to determine the source of a leak that is damaging inventory in basement. Plumber says it is coming from the common wall and occupants of 4015 refused access."

The building department detected "...seepage through basement foundation at 4011-24th St. Also at backyard. Dye tested, yellow-green, at 4015-24th St, back cottage, restaurant kitchen and bathrooms...Dye test is positive. Gave owner 1st [Notice of Violation]."

In other words? Leaking sewer pipe. To be fixed this week. Or so. Permit # PP20081017271 was issued 10/17 to "Replace a section of the sewer line that leaks due to wear & tear : Approx 40' & including 6 drainage outlets." They plan to open this Friday.

A recent inspection (6/23/08) detected no sewage leak so this must be a new thing. (Tung Sing's score is 90/100, with mostly low-risk problems since abated.)

Update (10/21): We spoke to one of the owners today and she said they will likely open later this week, pending inspections. Whatever the case may be, they've now scratched out the end date for the sign below.

This Week at the Planning Commission

A weekly look at Noe Valley projects in front of the Planning Commission. Information is provided by the Planning Commission, and taken from its published agenda. All hearings begin at 1:30pm, Room 400 in City Hall.

October 23, 2008
4128 24th STREET (aka the BJ Droubi House) - the north side of 24th Street, between Diamond and Castro Streets, Block 2831, Lot 009 - Request for Conditional Use Authorization, pursuant to Planning Code Section 728 to convert the existing, ground floor office space to a full-service restaurant, totaling approximately 350 square feet (dba “Noe Soup:). The full service restaurant would employ two persons and operate from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. six days a week. The property is within the 24th Street -- Noe Valley Neighborhood Commercial and a 40-X height and bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval with Conditions.
Note: This is likely the last of three additional restaurant permits granted to Noe Valley in 2005. The other two are Contigo and the "high end Vietnamese fusion."

Next up: the Noe Bagel building:
3931-3933 - 24TH STREET – south side between Sanchez and Noe Streets; Lot 035 in Assessor’s Block 6508 - Request for Conditional Use Authorization, pursuant to Planning Code Section 303, 161(j), 728.52, and 790.116, to allow the construction of one new dwelling-unit with no off-street parking, and to allow a personal service on the second floor in the 24th Street – Noe Valley Neighborhood Commercial District and 40-X Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval with Conditions
This last one is not Noe Valley specific, but follows up on a previous post:
Requirement of Conditional Use authorization for any permit application to remove dwelling units. Board File No. 081088. This Ordinance introduced by Supervisor McGoldrick would amend Ordinance amending the Planning Code by amending Section 317 to require Conditional Use authorization for any elimination of existing dwelling units through mergers, conversions, or demolitions of residential units; making environmental findings; and findings of consistency with the City's General Plan and Planning Code Section 101.1.

Preliminary Recommendation: Disapproval.
[NVSF: New Digs for Noe Bagel?]
[NVSF: Dwelling Unit Mergers]
[NVSF: Update: "High End Vietnamese Fusion"]
[Contigo: In Praise of Sardines]
[Planning Commission: December 8, 2005]

Photos: Red Bull Soapbox Race

60,000? 75,000? Unknown, but there were people everywhere - in Dolores Park, on Muni and trying to find parking on every street within "walking distance" (or so it felt when we walked back to Noe Valley). Here's a few pics from the day.

[NVSF: Preview: Red Bull Soapbox Race]
[NVSF: We're So There: Red Bull Soapbox Derby]
[Official Site: Red Bull Soapbox Race]

October 18, 2008

Tuttimelon: Missing Its Warm Weather Window

Tuttimelon has removed the signs saying they'll open October 19, or any other day for that matter. All we can tell through the torn window covering is that they're not even close. And since work permits are still outstanding it's hard to say when they'll be ready - they obviously don't know when they'll open.

Those of you craving Frozen Yogurt in Noe Valley will have to wait for colder weather.

[Delayed: Tutimellon]

October 17, 2008

Preview: Red Bull Soapbox Race

Lots of banners, TV ads and neighborhood marketing have created a monster - anywhere from 15-40k people are expected to descend on Dolores Park tomorrow for the Red Bull Soapbox Race. We took a walk this evening and it looks like the event will take over the park, 20th St, Liberty St, 21st St, and Dolores between 21st and 18th. Expect crowds in all the surrounding areas and no parking.

Still... it looks like a good time. And the cars are certainly creative.

[NVSF: We're So There: Red Bull Soapbox Derby]
[Official Site: Red Bull Soapbox Race]

Noe Valley vs. Cole Valley

The Front Steps has started a Battle Royale to determine which Valley is better. Early comments sway decidedly to Cole Valley (hipper, closer to better transport, better sun). Are we going to take that? Head on over and tell 'em what you think.

[The Front Steps: Cole Valley versus Noe Valley]

Noe Valley Harvest Festival

The 4th Annual Noe Valley Harvest Festival is Saturday October 25th, 2008. Posters have popped up around the neighborhood, and organizers apparently spoke to the Noe Valley Voice, but the Festival website is sorely lacking (odd in such a tech savvy neighborhood). And... the poster instructs: "Please visit our website for more information." Nice idea, but with one week to go there is still almost nothing there.

So here is the information from the poster:

When: October 25, 10am - 5pm
Where: 24th between Church and Sanchez
Cost: Free
What: "Celebrate exhibiting artists, craftspeople & non-profits which support our Noe Valley economy & community. With more than 60 different types of crafts, jewelry and artwork to choose from, support our exhibitors and get a jump on your holiday shopping!"

Schedule of Events (Main Stage):
10:30-11:30 James Lick Rock Band
11:30 Kids Costume Contest
12:15-1:15 Playdate (family rock band)
1:30 Dog Costume Contest
1:45 Pie-Eating Contest
2:00-3:30 Groovus (funk band)
4:00-5:00 The Nitecaps (blues band)

10:00-3:00 Hayride, free for kids

Raffle: The poster says to check out the website for participating merchants selling tickets. No dice. But if you can figure out where to buy tickets you can win $500, dinner for 2 at Gary Danko or an iPod Nano. Best guess would be to check out the sponsors for raffle tickets. All proceeds go back to community improvement.

Parking: if you do have to drive to the Festival there is parking at James Lick Middle School.

Bonus: The Noe Valley Farmer's Market will be open all day.

[Noe Valley Harvest Fest]
NVV: Saddle Up for the 4th Annual Harvest Fest on 24th Street]

October 15, 2008

Update: Noe Valley Cafe For Sale

We posted last month that a "charming cafe in Noe Valley" is for sale. We've confirmed that it is Café Ponte (formerly Diamond Cafe) at 751 Diamond St. Yours for only $275,000.

[Listing: Café Ponte]
[NVSF: Noe Valley Cafe For Sale ... Which One?]

Contigo: Oh So Close

Brett is hard at work getting Contigo ready to open, but found time to post a few pictures of how it looks now. No official date yet, but "Believe it or not, we're inching closer and closer to finally opening Contigo's doors."

[In Praise of Sardines: Latest Photos]
[In Praise of Sardines: A Day in My Life]

[NVSF: Contigo: Shaping Up]

Crime Beat: Kookez Robbery

We've had a few inquiries about whether or not Kookez was robbed before it closed. We posted about a September 15 robbery on 24th St, and the owners of Kookez confirm they were hit:
Yes, we did get hit, and I think that it would be a good idea to post it, if you have the time, just to make other business owners aware that there is someone out there that is hitting places. We think (and of course this is only speculation) that it was someone that had been 'casing' the place for awhile. They knew exactly where to go, and how to get in. The police were able to take some evidence to the police station, but it's still an open investigation, so we really can't say much more!
So there ya go.

Opening: Omnivore Books

The Chronicle reports that Omnivore Books will open November 8 at 3885-A Cesar Chavez St.
Omnivore Books, the brainchild of Celia Sack, a rare book enthusiast and home cook, will carry everything from 200-year-old collectible cookbooks and food history tomes to books about agriculture, wine and cocktails. The collection will include signed volumes from M.F.K. Fisher, James Beard and Julia Child.

There will be sections for hard-to-find titles, the latest cookbooks and one for professional chefs. "This is a store for both people who love food and people who love books," writes Sack in a statement.

The store is set in a 1930s butcher shop, and Sack incorporates some of the original equipment - a scale, antique fixtures and the original wooden counters - with her own collection of cooking artifacts. Sack also hopes to feature author and chef guest appearances throughout the year.
What the Chron didn't report is that Celia Sack is co-owner of Noe Valley Pet Company. NV Pet Co took over this space last year when Art Garden vacated. At the time, they said their plan was to use the space for storage and as an office. We're glad to see that they opened it up to retail.

Omnivore Books
3885-A Cesar Chavez @ Church
Opening November 8, 2008

[SF Chron: Inside Scoop]
[Noe Valley Pet Company]

October 13, 2008

We're So There: Red Bull Soapbox Derby

When we first saw signs posted around Noe Valley announcing a hearing about whether or not to grant the Red Bull Soapbox Race a permit to close streets we were skeptical. (Remember the Pac Heights NIMBYs who didn't like the ski jump competition on Fillmore?) But the event received a permit and we shrugged.

And so yeah.... we've seen the signs. And we know a few people making a car for the event. But seriously? Soapbox? Those wooden cars with rickety wheels our dads helped us screw up when we were kids and then never went further than the end of the driveway? Whatever.

All that changed over the weekend when we walked past two of the Soapbox "cars" that will be competing this weekend:

The Bowling Car

This egg is already broken

Now we're, like, totally excited to go. Here's what the promo says:
The live show promises to be a huge hit, complete with announcers Uncle E and Meghan Mongillo on the start ramp, Luv Cheese with the judges and Jerry Bernardo at the finish line. Each of the 39 teams will perform on stage at the starting line to the music of their choice before racing down the course.
What: Red Bull Soapbox Race
When: Saturday October 18, 2008; pits open at 11:00am; races start at 1:00pm
Where: Dolores Park, San Francisco
Route: Race is from 21st to 19th on Dolores St
Cost: Free
Vittles? Food and beverage stands on site, no outside food, beverage allowed - they'll be checking

[Red Bull Soapbox Race: San Francisco]

24th St: Columbus Day

4:00pm, October 13

October 10, 2008

Delayed: Tutimellon

If you're searching for Fro-Yo in Noe Valley you'll have to wait another week. Despite progress, Tuttimellon will open a week later than planned. New target date: Saturday Sunday, October 19.

[Tuttimelon Rising]
[Belgano: Grand Re-Opening]

Closing: Noe Valley Video

"Going Out of Business Sale"
"Everything Must Go"

As Netflix and Blockbuster continue to fight for ownership of the DVD rental market, Noe Valley is losing one of its last independent video rental stores. Noe Valley Video is going out of business. They're staying open to sell off their inventory, but will announce a final closing day sometime in the next couple weeks.

A letter posted on the door expresses their thanks to the neighborhood and sadness about leaving. It also wishes success to the next business to move in. So do we (as long as there isn't a neon Nails/Waxing sign in the window).

Best of luck to owners Brian and Marlene in their next endeavor.