September 30, 2009

Photos: Noe Valley Whole Foods Grand Opening

Bread Breaking Ceremony

Parking Lot Stencil

More Reasons to Feel Good for Shopping at WF

Allegro Coffee

The Hoards Hordes Enter

The Ruckus

Across the Street: Real Foods as Anti-Whole Foods Billboard

Room For Double-Wides

There were about 100 people in attendance this morning at the Whole Foods bread breaking ceremony at 9:45. Bevan Dufty put in an appearance although he arrived late - and shortly after 10:00 cars were already rolling into the parking lot.

September 29, 2009

T Minus ...

September 27, 2009

Announced: Pixie Hall Studios

Andiamo's Deli has "gone fishing" and a new sign proclaims Pixie Hall Studios, Art Classes for Children is "coming soon." No more information available at this time. But the real question: where are you going to get your meatballs?

September 25, 2009

Friday Night Surprises on 24th Street

Whole Foods
: Big surprise party in the parking lot this evening – tons of food/snacks, a band and a tapas truck. No booze, just kombucha. There were store tours for people with the right pass, and freebie bags full of healthy junk food (more than a few people left the bags on 24th Street benches and ledges for scavengers).

Green11: An early opening tonight to catch some of the Whole Foods festival foot traffic. It's cute (and tiny).

Starbucks: Workers were still toiling away on the design refresh; they’re going to be there all night. Contractor overheard out front: "We will be opening on time tomorrow AM."

Coming Soon: Mystery Store: New store opening in the Simply Chic space. The hipster dude inside says the name is still a secret but will be revealed next week. Opening mid October-ish, the store will be selling “unique gifts” and “unusual cool things” in time for the holidays. Update (9/27): They told us today they'll feature "spiritual items" by local artists, giving us the impression they meant "crystals." But then maybe we're a bit skeptical anywhere near a psychic.

Urban Cellars: Open for business again.

[NVSF: Whole Foods Secret Pre-Opening Celebration]
[NVSF: Coming Soon: Green 11]
[NVSF: Urban Cellars: Closed By ABC]

Moving: Noe Valley's Most Famous D-Bag

Except for the occasional hate mail for daring to mention his name, we haven't heard anything of Stephen Fowler since his notorious stint on Wife Swap. Now he's moving on - his 6 bedroom, 4.5 bath, 4400sf home at 4218 25th St is for sale for a little under $3M. Check out The Front Steps for details.

[TFS: Wife House Swap San Francisco, Stephen Fowler Moving On…]
[NVSF: Fowling Noe Valley]

September 24, 2009

Blue church: Slated For Demo

Word from Felicia is that the Blue Church's days are numbered:
Yesterday the "Blue Church" (Church at San Francisco) located at 28th and Church was boarded up by the sheriff's department and an eviction notice posted. Folks living at the church were given notice several weeks beforehand, however a number refused to leave. The Sheriff's department were to allow them to reenter the building today to gather their belongings. The word is that demolition should begin in 2-3 weeks time.
Longtime residents will recall that this project has been in limbo since the current tenant accused neighbors of racism, sold to the current developer and then sued the developer for fraud. A permit for condo development has been on hold since then, and neighbors have complained about illegal construction and lodging (of homeless) within the church. And that lock on the bathroom door at Martha & Bros? Residents of the Blue Church were 'showering' in the bathroom.

[NVV: Fed-Up Pastor Sells Church to Condo Developer]
[NVV: Rumors: That Blue Church]

September 23, 2009

Whole Foods Secret Pre-Opening Celebration

We've received a copy of this email from about a dozen people already, so we're passing it on. Many of you have had some strong opinions about Whole Foods opening and have made it to various community meetings.
We are eagerly awaiting our opening next week on Wednesday, September 30th ! We have been working hard and are so delighted that we’re almost there! Further, we feel incredibly grateful for the support, well wishes, humor, smiles and hospitality that our new community has shown us! As a very small token of our thanks, we’d like to invite you to join us at our very own “Whole Foods Market Tapas Truck” on Saturday, September 26th from 11a-2p (really it’s a Taco Truck, but we’ll be serving Spanish Tapas—but you can’t miss it in our parking lot.)

This is a special invitation ONLY event for our neighbors in the associations that we have been working with.

Have a look at the attached & either print a copy of this to bring with you or contact me so that I can get you printed copies that I have here at the store.

Any question, please ask—we’ll see you very soon!

Best regards,

Jennifer Dobrowolski
Marketing Team Leader
Whole Foods Market, Noe Valley
Click the image for a full-size invitation.

September 20, 2009

Tidbits: Curator Opens And Other Happenings

Opening today: Curator at 1767 Church St. Co-owner Deirdre O’Boyle of She-Bible told us in May "we will be stocking our line and some other hard to find lines and special editions."

Nomad Rugs is hosting an art show beginning September 25th featuring local artist Marc Ellen Hamel. Meet the artist opening night (Friday) from 6-8pm at 3775 24th St. More information here.

Next weekend is the 71st annual St. Philip Festival at Diamond and 24th Streets. It's also the Centennial anniversary of the Parish. Photos from last year's festival are here.

Finally, start thinking about what you're going to prepare for the first annual Noe Valley Farmer's Market Bake-Off on October 24th. Details, rules and entry forms are available at the market and at sponsor businesses: Cooks Boulevard, Omnivore Books on Food and Phoenix Books.

[NVSF: Rumor: She-Bible To Take Over 1767 Church Street]
[NVSF: St. Philip Festival 2008: Food, Fun & Free Beer]

Photos: St. Paul's Scaffolding

Shannon sent the above picture with this comment: My 6-year-old son and I watched the HUGE crane adding the last bits of scaffolding to St. Paul's Church this morning. We both agreed that there is no way we would ever go up there with those workers!

That much scaffolding takes a while to set up - we took this photo August 16th:

FYI: They're repairing the steeples. If you'd like to contribute there is a benefit dinner/auction on November 14th.

September 19, 2009

Urban Cellars: Closed By ABC

As the sign in the window hints, Urban Cellar's license has been suspended for 5 days for "Operating Condition Violations" and "Exceeding license privileges". We've tried to contact the manager but haven't heard back, so we're left to guess that they likely got busted for offering tastings. Most other violations carry stiffer penalties. Anyone know more?

September 18, 2009

WSJ Memorializes Harry Aleo; Noe Valley To Get a Museum?

Tomorrow's WSJ has an interesting piece on the late Harry Aleo, Noe Valley's most outspoken Republican. It's a good read, if for no other reason than it shows how tolerant Noe Valley isn't. But what caught our eye was this:
So, in hopes of some day founding a museum about San Francisco's Noe Valley neighborhood, resident Joel Panzer has set out to archive the signs and other remnants of Mr. Aleo's office. In addition to the salty, handwritten placards, these include a phonograph, posters of Ronald Reagan and an Uncle Sam lamp.
[WSJ: In Left-Leaning San Francisco, There Was Something About Harry ]
[Photo: Bill Yenne]

September 17, 2009

Bomb Squad on 30th: Shotput Defused

From an anonymous tip: "I just asked an officer who told me a woman found what she thought was a cannonball in her house... turned out to be a shotput."

Update from 9/18 SFPD Blotter:
Ingleside Officers arrived at a home where a resident wished to turn over a suspected explosive device. Proper steps were taken to ensure neighborhood safety and fortunately, it was discovered the item was not what it was thought to have been.

Closing: Mi Lindo Yucatan

Robbie sent us a tip that Mi Lindo Yucatan is closing, and the super-generic sign on the window confirms it. Before the present incarnation, owner Victor Juarez ran Legume (Mexican) and then Alcatraces (Creole) at the same location. (He also owns Casa Mexicana down the street.) It's been 10 years since opening Legume, so maybe that lease is finally up. Or maybe another of Juarez's creations is imminent. Stay tuned.

Gypsy Turf War In Noe Valley?

The crew at Plumpjack has been telling the following story to anyone who will listen (paraphrased, of course):
Last Friday afternoon a big truck pulled up in front of the 24th Street psychic, someone hopped out [Ed-- referred to as "Gypsies"] and proceeded to “slap around” the Noe psychic. Cops were called, Noe psychic left in an ambulance and filed a police report. The motive? Turf wars. Apparently a psychic at 24th and Mission wasn’t happy that someone new had moved in. For the rest of the weekend, beefy guards were patrolling 24th Street to be sure it didn’t happen again. Next up? Pawn shops!
Anyone see any beefy guards over the last week? How 'bout the ambulance? Is Noe Valley really in the middle of a gypsy turf war?

Regardless, the stories are getting better since the psychic moved into 24th St.

[NVSF: At Least It's Not A Nails/Waxing Salon]

September 15, 2009

Crime Beat: Reader Inquiries

Jeremy wants to know:
Just wanted to notify you guys that my wife and I both had our cars rifled through last night (9/13) on Elizabeth between Noe & Castro. About $250 of stuff was taken (sunglasses & Bluetooth speakerphones), but the weird thing is I'm 99% certain my car was locked yet there was no sign of forced entry. I don't know about my wife's, but I always lock my car. It's made me wonder if some savvy thieves are using "code grabbers" somehow to intercept keychain lock/unlock signals. says it's possible but unlikely. I'd be very curious to know how many other cars on our street experienced this, and if they were locked.
And MH asks:
Walking home from work 9/14 @ 6PM, 6 cop cars blocking Jersey Street. A block away on Church, I almost got run over by a maroon van haulin a** up to Diamond Heights and a Honda flying right after him. Coincidence?
Update (9/16): A link for reporting crime is in the comments.

September 13, 2009

Tibits: Upcoming Events

Too shy to hang out at Elizabeth Street Brewery? Richard is participating in the Great America Beer Festival and for a limited time (like maybe another week) you can sample his beer at at 21st Amendment.

The Noe Valley Book Club is meeting on September 16th at the Noe Valley Library to discuss Suite Fran├žaise by Irene Nemirovsky. More information from Cary Friedman at

La Ciccia is hosting a paired-wine dinner on October 5th featuring Argiolas Winery (of Sardinia, of course). A four course meal with wine is $105/person (plus tax/tip). No online reservations. (415) 550-8114.

Big Blue Bucket: "Learn how to go green, and turn your beautiful home blue! Join the SFPUC and support San Francisco’s efforts to become more eco-friendly! Take advantage of conservation programs and services, FREE giveaways and raffle prizes!" September 26th.

CC Puede is looking for help with their Parking Day event on Cesar Chavez. To volunteer, send a note to Dan Sherman ( or show up at Mission Pie September 15th at 6:30pm. The plan is for a medical/nursing team to "give real health care to attendees, including the local day laborer community." Too far away? Plan a Parking Day event in Noe Valley. Be sure to let us know about it.

Finally, through the Twittersphere we learn that this year's Noe Valley Harvest Festival will be October 24th. Entertainment includes Wee the Band (above). More info on the Harvest Fest as the date approaches.

September 11, 2009

Noe Valley Whole Foods: Opening September 30th

From Inger:
Just walked by, there is a small sign on the sidewalk saying they're opening on Sept 30th! Sorry no picture.

And this last night from @b_frank on Twitter:
just walked by Whole Foods in Noe Valley. Shelves being stocked, employees being trained. Opening day must be around the corner!

September 10, 2009

Miracle on 24th Street: Real Foods Renewal

By Robbie Miller

My partner @oddknock tweeted it best: Miracle on 24th Street: Just as Whole Foods finishes up their move-in to the old Bell Market, Real Foods starts renovation across street. I attached a picture!

And 24th and Noe is under construction.

[Ed: Anyone have more details? In the comments, please. We'll post more info as we have it.]

September 6, 2009

NVV: 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 highlights from the latest issue. Links are to stories we've covered at NVSF.

September 2009

Front page: Whole Foods opening; Blue Church on outer Church inches closer to demolition (and condos); Senior lunch program extended at NV Ministry; local artist maps her NV memories; librarian Carol Small retires.

Letters: A plea to allow parking in driveways as long as a potted plant is in the car; an open letter to the annoying woman who leans on her horn whenever drivers stop for pedestrians; an appeal to neighbors to shop at local stores once Whole Foods opens to avoid transforming Noe Valley "into a cookie-cutter, third-rate Union Street"; and a reminder that Valencia St stores are open for business during the Streetscape Improvement Project.

Op-Ed: Farewell to Noe Valley Pizza founder Tony Vozaites. Following the La Boulange buyout, Tony and his wife are going on an extended vacation back to their native Greece.

Obits: Remembering longtime Noe Valley resident Mary K. "Micki" Ryan and musician Bruce Sherman.

Cost of Living in Noe: 37 single-family homes sold in June and July – the 2nd highest tally in 10 years according to Zephyr Real Estate. Rent: Still expensive.

Short Takes: The Noe Valley Association is holding a survey to see what businesses residents want to see on 24th St. Take the survey online Sept 7-21 or email suggestions to Debra Niemann at (Ed--The survey was not online yet as of this posting but here's your chance to veto any future title companies, banks, nail salons, psychics or pawn shops.)

Store Trek: Bistro 24, Successories in the Button Box.

Traveling Voice: Spotted in Turkey, North Carolina and Edinburgh, Scotland.

Rumors: Camel's milk chocolate at Chocolate Covered; Circle Bank fills the Aveda spot; Green 11 comes to former Ritz space; Deep restaurant opens in place of Deep Sushi; Noeteca soft opening Sept. 9; Noe Tuttimelon finally gets froyo; Accent on Flowers at 24th and Castro is bought by Flowers of the Valley across the street and will soon carry gardening supplies like soil and tools; a plant nursery and garden store called Independent Nature will open behind When Modern Was on Church St on Sept. 21; Glow Day Spa and a psychic are now open on 24th Street; the old Streetlight building and the vacated Phoenix Books building are both for sale ($2.2 million for Streetlight, the other undisclosed).

[The Noe Valley Voice]

September 4, 2009

A Step Above Blight: Old Republic Title Company Coming To 24th St

A tweet from @robertol let us know that Old Republic is taking over the AAA space on 24th St. Which means? Another space that will never turn into something useful. Nail salons and banks at least drive traffic. Real estate offices and title companies suck the life out of otherwise vibrant areas. How often do you think you'll visit Old Republic?

[Photo: robertol]

September 2, 2009

Noe Valley Single Family Home Sales

Inside SF Real Estate breaks down sales of single family homes in Noe Valley from 1995-current:
  • In inflation-adjusted terms, Noe’s 2009 median is somewhere between 2003 and 2004’s.
  • Values have come down 22.05% from peak.
  • 19.94% of that decline has occurred in the past year.
  • The 2009 SFH median in Noe is $1,120,000. At its peak it was $1,436,850 (inflation adjusted).
  • Peak occurred in 2007.
Time to buy?

[INSideSFRE: Getting Granular in Noe Valley]

Update: Circle Bank

More: "At 3936-3938 24th St., the bank will be adjacent to a new Whole Foods Market scheduled to open in the fall. President and Chief Executive Officer Kim Kaselionis said the scheduled to open by year’s end, depending on regulatory approval."

That's in the Aveda/GNC/Noe Valley Video strip for those keeping track.

[NBBJ: Circle Bank to open San Francisco branch]
[NVSF: Announced: Circle Bank Coming To Noe Valley]

September 1, 2009

Proposed: Gateway Park At South End Of Dolores Street

We've been tracking the Mission Streetscape Plan for the past year, and today a new addition to the proposal caught our eye. Building on the theme of Pavement to Parks, the City Design Group envisions a park at the south end of Dolores Street. Traffic calming and more green space is good, no?

The final proposal will be available for public comment this fall, with environmental review set to start in the Spring. Here's a very large PDF with all the details.

[City Design Group: Mission Streetscape Plan]
[SFGov: Pavement to Parks]