December 31, 2011

Noe Valley 2011: Year in Review

It was a big year, even in Noe Valley. While nobody occupied the Real Foods space, the Great Blizzard passed us by, and the economy in Noe defied gravity, plenty happened in our little village. Here's a look back at some of the top stories and themes from 2011:

The Town Square Lives
The year kicked off with proposed design concepts for a Town Square in the parking lot that is currently home to the Farmer's Market – and owned by the Noe Valley Ministry. The proposal is still alive but seems to have stalled until funding can be sorted out. Doesn't someone working at Twitter, Facebook or Zynga want a park with their name on it?

Parklets Are Here To Stay
While the town square is in limbo, parklets boomed in 2011. The one in front of Just for Fun was home to concerts, playdates and lots and lots of lights. It's been over a year since the parklets were installed and all signs point to them sticking around. 44 parklets are currently in the application process following the success of extant trials, and the City is moving ahead with other street greening projects such as the nearby Cesar Chavez project.

Noe Is A Foodie Haven
It was a banner year for Noe in food news. Our little hamlet is home to the best fried chicken, the best glazed donut, an amazing (and romantic) foodie bookstore and the best regional Italian food. We also had not one but two wine walks this year. There were a lot of restaurant changes afoot – Joe's is for sale, Fattoush was listed for sale (but the owner decided to stay), Amberjack Sushi turned into Kama Sushi, and the oldest sushi bar in San Francisco closed and is slated to open as Akai Saru soon. There's also a mystery restaurant for sale. For a brief moment this summer we even had an artisan beer mirage and a gluten-free bakery (oops!). Noe is desirable enough that a cookie truck is willing to battle for space in the Farmer's Market.

Fires Bring People Together
In September there was the devastating fire on 24th Street. Fortunately no one was hurt, but plenty of people were displaced and the community rallied to help. This touching and heartfelt letter from a survivor reminds us all how lucky we are to live here.

Crime Hits Noe Too
From plant thefts and curb painting scams, to the attempted carjacking, armed robberies, and horrifying rape – sadly we had them all. Keep your eyes open folks and watch out for your neighbors – we're all in this together.

Change Happens ...
There were plenty of retail changes all around Noe this year. Among the closures: Vivon, Joseph Andrade Floral, San Francisco Mystery Book Store, Cosmic Wizard, Cover to Cover, Bespoke (moved to Pac Heights) and Hot Headz. Openings included Two Birds, K9 Scrub Club, Cliché Noe, First American Title and Walkershaw among others. Coming soon in 2012 are Philz Coffee, Noe Valley Wine Merchants and a new sushi restaurant called Akai Saru. The Lux Condos on outer Church also came to life with the retail spots on the ground floor available soon. On balance it feels like as many places opened as closed in 2011.

... And So Do Lively Debates
The other things that got Noe talking in 2011 were the sidewalk parking crackdowns, the controversial (and not very attractive) AT&T UVerse boxes, shifting school lines, yummy mummies and the signs of the times.

Here's to a safe and prosperous 2012. Happy New Year, Noe Valley!

December 28, 2011

Closed: Hot Headz - And Other 24th St. Updates

The discount hair salon Hot Headz at 4027 24th Street (between Noe and Castro) has clipped it's inventory and closed up shop. The hair products are off the shelves, the hair stations are empty, and the trash bins out front are stuffed with seat cushions. No sign on the door announcing a change, but a call to the phone line reached only a generic answering machine message, not one for Hot Headz.

Other updates on 24th Street:

Mortgage company Opes Advisors is moving into the spot vacated by Joseph Andrade Floral and the sign is up. Next door, 3961A 24th St will soon become the Children's Playhouse at Noe Valley for little ones from birth to age 4. A schedule and fees are posted online, but most of the site is under construction. There's also been activity at Noe Valley Wine Merchants (formerly Urban Cellars) including a coming soon sign in the window, the beginnings what appears to be the tasting bar, and plenty of wine racks inside.

Finally, Akai Saru the sushi restaurant under construction at 3856 24th Street that's replacing Tamasei Sushi is advertising for sushi chef and server so an opening is likely soon there as well.

December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays 2011 in Noe Valley

'Tis the season the for Christmas songs and Santa. Via @gurpreetz on Twitter comes this video of a brass quintet playing last weekend in the parklet in front of Just for Fun. If you walk by tonight, you'll see a giant colorful menorah on display too. Happy Holidays Noe Valley!

December 15, 2011

Sketch And Video Of 24th St Rape Suspect

Person of interest in sexual assaults in the Mission District from San Francisco Police on Vimeo.

The SFPD released a sketch of the man suspected of raping at least two women along the 24th St corridor. The suspect is a black male in his mid 30’s, between 5’9” – 6’00” tall with a medium build last seen wearing a black hoodie and dark pants. According to at least one tweet there's a $25,000 reward for info leading to his arrest.

To contact the SFPD: "Witnesses or persons with information are asked to call the anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444 or “Text-a-Tip” at TIP411 from their cell phones. Please include “SFPD’ in the beginning of the text message."

[SFPD: SFPD Seeks Publics Help in Identifying Sexual Assault Person Of Interest]
[SFGate: Hundreds gather to discuss Mission sexual assaults]
[NVSF: Community Meeting Regarding Recent Sexual Assaults]

December 13, 2011

Community Meeting Regarding Recent Sexual Assaults

The Fair Oaks Neighborhood Coalition has organized a community meeting. A reader alerted us to this Mission Local article:
Residents near 24th Street and Fair Oaks, where a violent sexual assault took place last week, have asked city and law enforcement officials to meet with the community on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at St. James Church to discuss the investigation.

...the goal of Wednesday’s meeting is threefold: to get an update on how the victims are doing, to set up a fund to help them financially, and to find out how the investigation is going.
We called the Mission Station, but no one was able to confirm SFPD will attend.

Our reader added a few more details:
The first victim, who is a personal friend of ours, is a Noe Valley resident who was walking to the SamTrans bus stop in order to get to work early at the airport to cover a co-worker's shift.

...In addition to these two assaults, the Dec/Jan edition of the Noe Valley Voice listed three other sexual assaults, which according to a police officer that I spoke with may or may not be related to the other two. They were listed as occurring on Jersey, Church and Sanchez during the month of October. The police are considering whether or not all 5 might be related, but the most recent two certainly seem to be. In addition to the surveillance photo that is posted on your site, the first victim did a face/head sketch which has not been widely distributed.

Also, the Fair Oaks residents are apparently trying to set up some sort of fund to help the victims, at least the one attacked near Fair Oaks. If there were any interest in helping out the Noe Valley victim, I would be happy to discuss that further with her and anyone interested in making such a contribution. She will remain off work into January as she is still recovering from her injuries. She lives paycheck to paycheck, and we are providing direct financial support to her so that she doesn't need to worried about rent, etc. on top of everything else.
Stay tuned for more info on how to help the victim. Meanwhile, consider attending the meeting tomorrow night and be safe.

What: Community Meeting Regarding Recent Sexual Assaults
When: Wednesday, December 14, 7:00PM
Where: St James Church, 1086 Guerrero St at Alvarado

Update: More from the Fair Oaks Community Coalition
Dear Neighbors,
In response to the terrible assault that occurred on Fair Oaks at 24th Street on December 8, a public meeting will be held this Wednesday, December 14, at 7:00 PM at St. James Church, Guerrero at 23rd Streets. All neighbors, local schools staff and students, church and community organizations are invited to attend.

  • To assist the survivors of this and another similar attack in November (also on the 24th Street corridor in the Mission), several options will be discussed;
  • City officials and the San Francisco Police Department will provide updates on the investigation;
  • Flyers to warn the public will be available for posting in streets, shops, restaurants, BART and bus stops (or print your own from the attached flyer);
  • An online list-serve is being developed for the neighborhood – get details and sign up! Recommendations on self-defense will be provided;
  • Advice on safeguarding your home will be discussed;

Our neighborhoods can combine strengths to stop these attacks if we heed the guidelines at this SFPD web site.

Please share this invitation with others, and bring your ideas to the meeting on Wednesday. Meanwhile, stay alert and stay safe!
And another update:
Andrew Segal of the Fair Oaks Neighborhood Coalition...confirmed that...Supervisors Weiner and Campos will attend, as well as representatives from SFPD and the DA's office. There are three goals: solving the crimes, identifying some way of supporting the victims, and identifying an avenue for community healing.

[NVSF: Crime Beat: Rape]
[SFPD: Wanted: Sexual Assault Person Of Interest]

December 8, 2011

NVV Dec - Jan 2012: 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 items we've covered here on NVSF or outside sources as the Voice doesn't post stories online until mid-month.

December / January 2011

Front Page: Noe Courts at Douglas and Elizabeth is set for a much needed upgrade thanks to a $210,000 grant - the new design and upgrades should be realized over 2012; live reindeer and other festivities are planned for 24 HoliDAYs on 24th St - including six visits by Santa; Circle Bank has benefited from local discomfort with big banks ("dozens if not hundreds of neighborhood residents took part in the nationwide protest and switched their money from big banks to smaller instituions."); and up to 11,000 groups and people in Noe Valley may have unclaimed assets (money,stocks, etc.) sitting in a database.  

Letters: None. Weird.

Features: Noe Valley lamp designer Jennifer Slepin plies her craft on Etsy; get your geek on and raise money for local schools at the 3rd annual Tech Search Party on Feb 4; Bevan Dufty clocked in an abysmal 7th place in the mayor's race.

Obits: Former PlumpJack Wines manager Drew Spaulding dies by his own hand after wrestling with depression [Here's a picture of the staff mentioned in the obit; from the left are Josh, Elio, John and Drew.]; Nicky Salan, founder of Cover to Cover dies at 77 after a long illness.

Cost of Living in Noe: 14 single family homes sold in October - all for more than $1 million. Home values were up 12% year over year in the hood.

Rumors: Cookie wars erupt in the Ministry Parking lot [update: whether Cookie Time will be able to be a regular at the Farmer's Market is up in the air - until decided/accepted they will not be part of the market]; Only 51% of the 20,031 registered voters in Noe cast their vote this past Nov. - among those that did cast their vote Avalos was the top vote-getter for Mayor; Pixie Hall Studios is becoming a preschool and will be sponsoring a Date Night (hello, kid sitting) with Firefly; Fattoush has decided not to sell after all; The Vietnamese/Thai fusion restaurant on Church is going slow and may - or may not - open in 2012. A parking stall in the Walgreen's parking lot is now a charging station for electric cars [Ed note - Since a reader sent us this photo before Thanksgiving we've been trying to figure out how it works - apparently nobody knows, including the management at Walgreens which is waiting for instructions so they can "tell the customers how to use the dang thing." It also edges out a handicap spot.]

Also of note: A longtime Noe resident takes out a quarter-page ad looking for a "Woof Friendly Noe Valley Rental." Is it that bad for rentals in Noe?

[The Noe Valley Voice]

Crime Beat: Rape

Via the Fair Oaks Community Coalition:
Dear neighbors:

Today at 6:30 AM, a woman was attacked on 24th Street and raped around the corner on Fair Oaks Street. The woman has been hospitalized and is under care in San Francisco. The SFPD cordoned off the northwest corner during their investigation, and the fire department was later called to wash blood from the sidewalk. [A neighbor] who lives across the street found a bloody undergarment in shrubs near her home and gave it to the police, who have classified this as a “very violent crime,” and are giving it their utmost attention.

There were apparently no witnesses, and are no suspects at present – however, in the event that you may have heard or seen something in this area at that time, PLEASE NOTIFY THE POLICE DIRECTLY. Believe it or not, the preferred contact method is not by phone (which ties up the station’s switchboard), but by email or Twitter:
But if your only contact method is telephone, please call the TIP LINE: (415) 392-2623.

Three Fair Oaks neighbors went to Mission Station late this morning to ask how our community might best offer support and assistance to the woman. Officer Salvador suggested that cards and notes could be forwarded to her from Mission Station. Needless to say, her identity will not (and should not) be made public, but assuming that she’s unable to work for a while, some financial assistance might be welcome, particularly at this time of year. As soon as a fund can be established, contribution information will be provided to this email list.

While the case is under investigation, the police strongly advise all of us neighbors not to discuss any “facts” that we may have heard or believe to be true. The reason is simple: Misinformation made public can prejudice a case, and could provide the perpetrator’s defense attorney grounds for dismissal when it comes to trial.

In the meantime, Officer Salvador recommends that extra attention be paid to the personal safety of our families and our homes in the following ways:
  • Never, ever walk down a public street while talking or texting on your phone! C.W. Nevius’ recent column in the Chronicle explains why. Doubters should note that at Mission Station this morning, two young women walked in to report exactly this sort of attack. One of them had just been mugged from behind while talking on her phone on busy Mission Street at 10:30 AM!
  • Lock the doors and windows of your home! Burglars are looking for holiday gifts, and will be delighted to take yours.
  • Lock your car, and leave nothing of value on view inside. Even a trash bag full of used tissues may prompt a smash-and-grab – especially if it’s a recycled bag with an interesting label. The thief will get nothing for his efforts, but you’ll still have a broken window to replace.
  • When you’re away from home, leave the lights on, inside and out. And always keep your porch lights on when it’s dark outside (morning & evening commute hours). Set them on timers, if possible, and add a radio for sound effects. Like germs, burglars thrive in the dark.
  • If you’re going out of town, cancel mail, package and newspaper deliveries, or ask a neighbor to pick them up from your front steps. Why advertise that no one’s at home?
  • When you see something suspicious – even a little bit suspicious – call 911 immediately! The police will never, ever scold you for giving them the opportunity to stop a crime while it’s happening. And if it’s a false alarm, they’ll still thank you for staying alert.
These are commonsense precautions that should be heeded by all. For more ideas, please check
In the interval since the above email went out a suspect has been identifed: "a black male, mid 30’s, 5’9” – 6’00”, medium build last seen wearing a black hoodie, and dark pants." More info on the SFPD website

Update (12/13): Get involved. Go to the community meeting on December 14.

December 5, 2011

Two Noe Valley ZIP Codes Among America's Most Expensive

File this one under bragging rights (or dubious achievements): Noe Valley is home to two of the 500 most expensive ZIP codes in the U.S. At #242 is 94114 with a median home price of $940,368 and at #460 is 94131 with a median home value of $704,864. The other Noe ZIP, 94110 (aka Baja Noe), didn’t make the list.

[Forbes: America's Most Expensive ZIP Codes]

December 4, 2011

Deck The Parklet

Just For Fun has upped its game. In addition to perennial giant nutcrackers, a giant menorah and mechanized window displays of winter wonderlands, they have added the parklet to the mix. Other parklets around the city are sedate in comparison, as a walk this evening on Valencia and also 22nd St proved (unless you like viewing a football games on tiny bean bags). Murphstahoe agrees.

November 28, 2011

Open: Cookie Time!

Love them or hate them, food trucks in SF are here to stay. And the latest addition to the Noe food scene is a food truck that features... cookies:
Cookie Time is a cookie truck operating out of San Francisco's Noe Valley. We use organic, mostly local ingredients to deliver the most deliciously nutritious goodies! CookieTime also firmly believes in zero waste, which is why all of our serving dishes & utensils are compostable.
Permitted and ready, Cookie Time opened Friday in the Noe Valley Ministry Farmer's Market. One positive review on Yelp, and one negative response from Martha & Bros. The Farmer's Market is already tight on space and turning away vendors; no idea if this fits in with their plans.

Whether you're a cookie fan or not, how do you feel about food trucks setting up near "brick-and-mortar" restaurants now that the long-running battle has made it to Noe Valley?

Cookie Time!
3865 24th St, San Francisco, CA
415 735 5055
Facebook, Twitter

[SFGate: Restaurants want to put brakes on food trucks]
[SFoodie: The Chronicle and the GGRA Go After Food Trucks]
[Photo: Cookie Time!, via Facebook]

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 are on Thursday at 1:30pm, Room 400 in City Hall.

4366 26TH STREET - north side between Diamond and Douglass Streets; Lot 016B in Assessor’s Block 6556 - Request for Discretionary Review of Building Permit Application No. 2011.02.23.0805, proposing to construct a horizontal rear extension at the first floor level and add a new basement level at the rear (below the proposed first floor extension) to an existing two-story, single family building within the RH-1 (Residential, House, One-Family) Zoning District and 40-X Height and Bulk District.
Staff Analysis: Abbreviated Discretionary Review

Preliminary Recommendation: Do not take Discretionary Review and approve
In brief:
  • The DR requestor has owned the home next door for 50 years and is concerned about light and privacy. It also appears that the DR requestor has existing non-conforming stairs, bedroom and some sort of shed that occupy the same rough footprint of the requested addition. 
  • The applicants moved into their home in 2010 with one child and are expecting twins. They appear to have made considerable effort to minimize expansion and disruption in order to "get to know San Francisco and Noe Valley" in the years ahead.
The full staff analysis contains the requestor's application, the applicant's response, plans, renderings and more.

[SF Planning: 4366 26th St]
[Photo: SF Planning (hat tip to SocketSite for selection]

November 26, 2011

Dear Santa: SF Parent Needs Donations For Toy Drive

A note from Alvarado Elementary parent and toy drive organizer September Rose-Owens:
Last year I did a toy drive and it was very successful with all of the children receiving a gift from Santa. This year I am blessing a lot of families again. I am a Parent of Alvarado Elementary. The toy drive is for a community based school located in the Bay View district. Each child ranging from ages 2 months to 5 years has created "Dear Santa" letters with two wishes. If you are interested in sponsoring a child for the holidays, please contact September Rose-Owens ASAP [subject line: becoming a Dear Santa]. All donations are tax deductible. Thank you!
Click the image for a summary and photos from last year's event.

Update (12/1):
Dear Noe Valley,

Thanks so much for the help in getting the sponsors for the toy drive. All children have been sponsored for the toy drive. My next step is I have 16 days to get everything organized and make sure all presents are delivered. Happy holidays and Merry Christmas.

September Rose

KGO on Tuggey's: Still Going Strong

An NVV reader's worry notwithstanding, a story on KGO/ABC claims Tuggey's is still going strong after 100+ years:
"These are tough times for neighborhood hardware stores, so many are being driven out of business by the big box giants. But a tiny San Francisco store is bucking that trend: Tuggy's [sic] Hardware, which opened in 1898, is still going strong."
Some quotes from current owner, Denny Giovanelli, who has worked there since he was 12:
"The floorboards creek [sic]. That's a good thing."

"When I was younger, I just asked myself what it takes to keep a house going, and that's what you stock."

"We get people from Home Depot sending people to us."
And if you go to Tuggey's on this Small Business Saturday and can't find what you want, there's also this tidbit from the story: "Residents know that Giovanolli [sic] keeps a secret room filled with hard-to-find antique parts."

[ABC: Small hardware store goes strong for 100 years]

November 21, 2011

The Lux Condos Come To Life

Now that the scaffolding is down, here are a few more details via Eileen Bermingham about The Lux apartments at 1596 Church St. From the blueprints (PDF):
  • 13-car parking (including five with a "rotating parking lift") and a Church Street facing commercial space at street level. However, the 1527 sq/ft commercial space is specified as "office use only." Maybe a title company/bank/dentist will set up shop, but don't hope for a cool cafe/bar/gym.
  • The second floor has three 2BD/2BA units and a outdoor courtyard (with "outdoor kitchen"). 
  • The third/fourth floors have three two-level units that are 3BD/3BA with internal staircases. 
The information provided to us last November from agent Keely Ferguson says they'll be "high-end modern homes." Per Eileen, the 2nd floor units are priced at about $900k, the upper units are $1.3M-$1.6M. Expect an official opening in January 2012.

[Inside SF RE: Wraps Off: Noe’s “Luxe” Condos Closer to Market]
[NVSF: Announced: The Lux Condos On Outer Church]

November 20, 2011

A Day In The Life Of Billy Goat Hill

Via Burrito Justice comes this slightly haunting and totally cool 360 degree "pan lapse" shot from Billy Goat Hill. Ken Murphy is the same artist who shot the three-and-one-half-day time-lapse of the Muni rail replacement at 30th/Church. And also the mesmerizing History of the Sky.

[Vimeo: Ken Murphy]

Supervisor Scott Wiener's Newsletter

If you're not already getting Scott's newsletter you're missing out. The November/December version includes updates on recent legislation (public nudity, dog walkers, food trucks), transportation issues, neighborhood park improvements, volunteer opportunities, and an appreciation for Cafe XO. You can read it online, or email Scott to request a subscription.

Happy 165th Birthday Noe Valley

The Friends of Noe Valley is throwing a birthday party for Noe. Local historian and prolific book author Bill Yenne will host a slide show and talk at St. Philips on November 29th. There will also be a "special and spectacular cake" baked by the Noe Valley Bakery. Admission is $5.

What: Noe Valley 165th Birthday Celebration  

When: Nov. 29, 7-9pm (program starts at 7:45) 
Where: St. Philips – 665 Elizabeth St @Diamond

[Photo: 25th and Dolores, 1947]

1st Annual Noe Valley Holiday Wine Walk

Steven Restivo Event Services and the NVMPA are bringing another cookie-cutter event to Noe Valley on December 7th (here's a list of similar events [PDF]): the Noe Valley Holiday Wine Walk. What is it, you ask? Basically, SRES convinces wineries (four, so far) to donate wine and time, and merchants to pay $50-$275 [PDF] for said wineries to set up shop in the store/restaurant and for inclusion in advertising. Merchants are also encouraged to provide food. Wineries get exposure and merchants get foot traffic.

What's your role? Drink and (hopefully) shop. You can purchase tickets in advance through Eventbrite for $30, or just head straight to Groupon and pay just $15. Careful, though, because even though it says "Bring this Groupon to an applicable ticket booth to receive a wristband, wine glass, and map," at least one person was upset by the unannounced  $5 extra charge for the glass in the first annual (non-holiday) Noe Valley Wine Walk earlier this year. Same day tickets will be $30 and available on site.

What: The 1st Annual Noe Valley Holiday Wine Walk 
When: Wednesday, December 7, 4:00-8:00pm
Where: 24th Street, Diamond to Chattanooga

November 18, 2011

For Sale: Joe's 24th Street Cafe

Per Craigslist:
Fully Equipped Restaurant For Sale.

LOCATION : 3853 24TH STREET Cross St: Vicksburg Street - Lots of Foot Traffic

Cozy, Euro style, corner, 22 years established in great location for upscale restaurants! Prime Location for your business. Serves American Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner. Ready for any Menu. Good Lease could be negotiated. Seat 30+15(outside) Open 7 days/week.

LEASE : $4,000.00 PER MONTH (APPX.)
9:00AM -- 8:00 PM

Please do not disturb employees. Any questions call the agent.

Call Laurel Realty
(415) 641-1500
And's not the mystery restaurant for sale.

Obit: Necia Salan

A reader sent along the obituary for Cover to Cover founder Necia Salan, who died last month:
Necia (Nicky) Salan Mar. 27, 1934 - Oct. 10, 2011 Beloved San Francisco bookseller Nicky Salan died peacefully at home after a long illness. The bookstore she founded, Cover to Cover, a San Francisco institution, grew out of her love for children's literature and the small, Saturday sales of children's books from her long-time home on Edgewood Avenue in Parnassus Heights. Even before the bookstore opened, initially on Clement Street and later on 24th Street in Noe Valley, Nicky was known as the Book Fair Lady, providing books to hundreds of school fund-raising events and befriending many elementary school teachers. She soon became a nationally recognized expert on literature for children and youth. She was proud to count among her closest friends many of her devoted staff as well as publishers' book representatives. When Nicky retired in 1999, the Noe Valley store passed into employee hands. Born in Baltimore and raised there and in Ellicott City, Maryland, a graduate of Barnard College, Class of 1955, Nicky is survived by her daughter, Debra (and Ken Maki), son Fred (and Toni Barba-Salan) and adored grandsons Aram Hava Salan, Daniel Fine Salan and Marco Barba Salan. Nicky moved to San Francisco in 1958 with her former husband, Martin Salan, who predeceased her, working initially as a social worker at the Jewish Community Center on California Street. A lifelong Giants fan (her move and theirs in 1958 was merely a coincidence) and long-time season ticket holder, Nicky lived to see her team bring home a World Series trophy. She was a superb and inventive cook, a gracious hostess, and a most generous friend. The family would like to thank and acknowledge Nicky's devoted caregivers, Fay Gustilo and Juanita Russo and the wonderful hospice staff. Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, October 12, at 10:00 a.m. at Sinai Memorial Chapel, 1501 Divisadero St., SF, followed by burial at Home of Peace Cemetery in Colma. In lieu of flowers, contributions are welcome to Grattan School: Nicky Salan Library Fund, 165 Grattan Street, San Francisco, CA 94117 or the charity of your choice.

November 8, 2011

Opening Nov. 14: New Spa on Outer Church

There's a new spa opening on outer Church St. in Noe Valley next Monday, and it's not a nail salon. The K9 Scrub Club, first announced in July, is a locally-owned upscale dog spa.

From the press release (emphasis ours):
The dog wash is designed to make washing your dog a fun process without the chore of cleaning up. There are five tubs to reduce wait time and each is designed to make the process easier on both dogs and their human companions. K9 Scrub Club team members will provide a blueberry or plum face scrub on the house, which helps to relax dogs with aroma therapy and will leave their face smelling great! They have a strong selection of shampoos to help everything from itchy skin to smelly dogs. All of their shampoos are made from natural sources and are good for your dog.
During the month of November, the Scrub Club is offering free basic washes. You can read the full release here.

K9 Scrub Club
1734 Church Street (between 29th and Day)

November 5, 2011

NVV Nov 2011: 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 items we've covered here on NVSF or outside sources as the Voice doesn't post stories online until mid-month.

November 2011

Front Page: Local couple authors a kids book called Ben Not a Puppy; Omnivore Books at 3885 Cesar Chavez at Church turns 3, and is bigger and better than ever - owner Celia Sack also now has her own book (The Omnivore's Recipe Keeper) and divulges her favorite new cookbook picks; the Noe Valley Farmer's Market has released a CD of bands who play at the market as a fundraiser for the Noe Valley Town Square - available at the market, on iTunes, and at Phoenix Books and Common Scents or at; and a profile of the artist behind the most excellent and creative Eye Q Optometry window displays at 4017 24th Street.

Letters: An apology from Whole Foods to a reader who didn't get a good answer from customer service about how blueberries are measured in volume and not weight; a clarification from SFVacationHut on the rules and regulations governing vacation rentals in Noe; and a request from Steven Short of KALW to contact him if you know someone with a "now rare Mission/Noe Valley accent."

Features: Benefit for 24th Street residents displaced by the fire on Sept 10 raised $4500; obit for jazz drummer Eddie Marshall of Day Street.

Cost of Living in Noe:  10 single family homes sold in September - more than double last year - including one for more than $3 million.

Store TrekRaquel Settles Metalsmith (4126 24th St); First American Title (1354 Castro at 24th)

Rumors: Walgreens is applying for a ABC license and after Jan. 1 will be adding refrigerators and fresh fruit and sandwiches to it's food offering [Ed note: no record of the ABC license application is available online]; Fattoush is for sale - asking price is $250,000; mortgage company Opes Advisors is moving into the spot vacated by Joseph Andrade Floral; Vivon is moving to Pinole - and 3961A 24th St will become the Children's Playhouse at Noe Valley for little ones from birth to age 4; another wine walk is coming to Noe for the "HoliDAYS on 24th Street" on Wed Dec. 7 from 4-8p.m. (more details and ticket info here); and local historian Bill Yenne will be talking about Noe Valley history on Nov. 29 at 7p.m. at St. Philip's Church ($5 at the door).  

[The Noe Valley Voice]

October 28, 2011

Update: Never-Ending Project at 1298 Church St

Contractors working ... progress.
In possibly one of the longest build-ups ever for a restaurant, the "high end Vietnamese fusion" restaurant long in the works at 1298 Church Street is now described by those we spoke to as "Thai food." But neither the mechanical contractors on site nor the woman who answered the phone at Regent Thai have any clue if/when it will actually open. Stay tuned...

[NVSF: Update: "High End Vietnamese Fusion"]

October 18, 2011

New Legislation To Curb Dog Walkers

Here's the press release. Emphasis ours:
Supervisor Wiener Introduces Legislation Regulating Commercial
Dogwalkers Who Use City Property

Among other things, legislation would limit number of dogs walked at one time to 7

San Francisco (October 18, 2011): At today's Board of Supervisors meeting, Supervisor Scott Wiener will introduce legislation to set standards for commercial dogwalkers who conduct their business in City parks or on property owned by the Port of San Francisco or the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. The legislation will require commercial dogwalkers to obtain a permit, pay an annual permit fee, receive training, certify that their vehicle is fit for transporting dogs, carry required equipment, and ensure that the dogs they are walking have licenses. In addition, the legislation will allow commercial dogwalkers using city property to walk no more than seven dogs at one time.

To formulate this legislation, Supervisor Wiener worked with a broad coalition, including the SPCA, the Neighborhood Parks Council, professional dogwalker groups, dog owner groups, and the affected city departments. The idea of regulating commercial dogwalkers has been around for a number of years, but this is the first time that a Supervisor has converted the idea into legislation.

"Commercial dogwalkers provide a critical service to the many San Franciscans with dogs," said Supervisor Wiener. "This service must be carried out in a professional manner that respects city property and the other users of that property. There are many responsible and professional dogwalkers in San Francisco, and we need to ensure that the few irresponsible dogwalkers don't give the many good ones a bad name."

Dr. Jennifer Scarlett, co-president of the San Francisco SPCA, adds: “This is important legislation that recognizes our City's unique relationship with dogs. Dogwalkers provide an important service for many guardians in San Francisco and these standards help ensure the safety and protection of our City’s animals and the wellbeing of its residents.”

Professional dogwalker organizations also support the legislation. "For the many professional dogwalkers who are well-trained, who know how to care for dogs, and who respect the city property they use, this legislation will legitimate them and will require dogwalkers who lack training or skills to get training," said Angela Gardener of San Francisco Professional Dogwalkers Association. "It will also provide firm standards to ensure that all of us in the industry operate under the same rules."

Scott Wiener
Member, San Francisco Board of Supervisors
District 8
(415) 554-6968

[NVSF: How Well Do You Know Your Dog Walker, Noe Valley?]
[SFGate: Should Dog Walkers Be Licensed? (2009)]

October 14, 2011

Reminder: Noe Valley Harvest Festival

A booster for the Noe Valley Harvest Festival (who asks to remain anonymous) would like to remind you of tomorrow's event:
This Saturday! 10AM -5PM. Some cool things: Farmer’s Market all day, live local music on TWO stages all DAY!, tons of children’s events. Pets and childrens costume contest 1:30 GREAT Prizes! Intensely great raffle – FIRST PRIZE TRIP TO HAWAII second prize IPAD! Come one, come all! See and be seen!

October 11, 2011

For Sale: Fattoush Restaurant

Yet another Noe restaurant is for sale. From the listing:
Fattoush Restaurant - FOR SALE
Noe Valley Neighborhood Location
Turnkey & Fully Equipped

Location: 1361 Church Street


Space: Approximately 1,500 Sq. Ft. including Patio

Seats: 96 Total Seats
(40 in dining area + 40 in patio + 16 at front sidewalk seating)

Liquor License: Type 41

Lease: Initial Term: Through May 31, 2016
Plus two 5-Year options through May 31, 2026

Rent: Current monthly rent is $5,216.73 per month

Sales Price: Contact Broker

Comments: Beautiful Outdoor Patio renovated in 2008 features a wine bar. Restaurant is currently operating and prospects are urged to not talk to employees.
Contact broker Bruce Breitman at or (415) 435-4506 for more info.

October 6, 2011

NVV Oct 2011: 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 items we've covered here on NVSF or outside sources as the Voice doesn't post stories online until mid-month.

October 2011

Front Page: Benefit for Sept 10 victims of 24th St fire - all 7 displaced tenants have since found places to stay in the Castro while repairs get underway; local author Clint Werner has a new book on the benefits of medical marijuana called Marijuana Gateway to Health: How Cannabis Protects Us from Cancer and Alzheimer's Disease; drama between good and bad dog owners - and families - at Douglass Dog Park; local '90-Pound Weakling' becomes a triathlon star.

Letters: A heartfelt open letter to Noe Valley from fire victim Christina Vo; a letter about the St. Paul's priest accused of child abuse; and Bruno Matos of Twin Peaks Pizza will donate 5,000 slices of pizza to the homeless if the community can pitch in by giving the pizzeria 5,000 likes on Facebook.

Features: Traffic safety campaign started by pedestrian safety advocates - learn more at; Harvest Fest happens this year on Oct. 15.

Cost of Living in Noe:  Average single-family home sales price: $1.35 million.

Store Trek: Walkershaw Man

Rumors: NVMPA reports the Noe Valley Wine Walk was a success with over 800 tickets sold (half presold) - and mayoral candidate Bevan Dufty also attended; someone posted a paranoid YouTube video about RF in the Hood filmed at Church and Day; reports of flooding as a result of water meters changed to wireless smart meters; Noe is full of yummy mummies; a vacant lot next to 3822 24th Street is for sale for  ... $2.2 million; Philz coffee is coming to Noe in December; the old Cosmic Wizard space at 4028 24th St. is becoming a "frozen yogurt and treat" shop; the old Bespoke space is rumored to soon be a maternity shop; something's up at J&J, but what remains unclear ("rumors were that Pete's was trying to relocate but those rumors were strictly from hearsay and gossip departments"); Joseph Andrade Floral is gone [Ed - and soon Vivon next door will be too]; and the nail salon on Vicksburg at 24th closed without a trace. K9 Scrub Club is opening on Church; and the original owner of the Real Food Company who sold the business to the Neutraceutical Corporation in 2002 (including the Noe Valley outlet), died last month at 91.  

[The Noe Valley Voice]

Tonight: Benefit for the Noe Valley 24th Street Fire Victims

After last month's fire, Catherine Bergstrom quickly mobilized to organize tonight's benefit. Catherine sent the following reminder:
Thank you for your interest in the Noe Valley Friends & Neighbors Helping Neighbors benefit to aid the victims of the Radio Shack Apartments fire.

This fire on Saturday, September 10th was devastating to all those involved. 100% of any contributions made will go directly to the residents, most who lost everything they own.

Here is the latest information:

We appreciate the overwhelming response from Noe Valley and beyond.

Thank you,
Catherine Bergstrom

Raffle prizes include an iPad and gift certificates to neighborhood merchants. The live auction features a day of brewing with Elizabeth Street Brewery and 2 tickets to the sold out conversation with Ferran Adrià sponsored by Omnivore Books.

What: Benefit for Noe Valley Fire Survivors
When: Thursday October 6, 6-9pm
Where: The Valley Tavern, 4054 24th Street

[NVSF: 2-Alarm Fire On 24th Street]
[NVSF: An Open Letter To Noe Valley]
[Photo: Randy Drevland]

October 5, 2011

Crime Beat: Noe Valley Cyclery Robbed

More crime and mischief in the neighborhood: Two readers wrote in to alert us to a break-in at the bike shop at 24th and Diamond, Noe Valley Cyclery.

According to the man replacing the smashed door, "I think 8 bikes" were stolen.

[Photo: Noe Valley Cyclery]

October 4, 2011

Closing: Vivon Clothing Co. on 24th St

A sign in the window announced today that Vivon at 3961 24th Street (next to the recently closed Joseph Andrade Floral) is having a moving sale.

Wait - moving or closing? A quick call to the store confirmed both: Vivon is "moving to Pinole" and “closing in a month… at the end of November."

[Image: Google Streetview]

October 3, 2011

Another Noe Valley House Fire

There have been a few big fires around the City in the last few weeks, including the two-alarm fire on 24th St (don't forget the benefit this Thursday) and the porch fire at 1209 Church that attracted all the early morning helicopters on Friday. There was another on Sunday at 22nd and Sanchez. We weren't around, but a Upper Noe neighbor sent us the above picture, adding that it was taken just after the SFFD arrived about 5:30pm.

Here's a little more info on today's fire from Twitter:
 Whitney Hills 
Something is seriously on fire in Noe Valley. I can smell smoke over on Valencia.

 Marisol Segal 
Anyone is noe valley know what's going on? i hear threes a fire on sanchez and 22nd.

FIRE: heavy smoke as firefighters arrive (on yet another) fire at Sanchez & 22nd in Noe/Castro/Mission area. 

 looks like fire dept has it under control, this was several mins ago when they'd just arrived 

Can anyone provide more details? Opportunities for providing assistance?

[NVSF: Benefit for the Noe Valley 24th Street Fire Victims]

October 2, 2011

Crime Beat: Attempted Carjacking

Laney writes:
At 9:30 this evening [10/1], my husband and I were driving down Noe and at the corner of Noe and 21s, a guy who was crouched down, jumped out and attempted to get into our car. All our doors were locked and we were fine. We called the police. We saw a young woman taking night photography at the top of the hill and told her what happened and gave her a ride back to her house. But still, it was very scary. Please warn people to keep their doors locked while they're driving. Even in this seemingly very safe neighborhood. It gave us a huge scare.

September 29, 2011

Video: Demolition of 448 Diamond St

Tom sent us this time-lapse video of the demolition on 448 Diamond St:

Here's what it will look like when the new "family-sized 5 bedroom" [PDF] home just outside Noe Valley is completed:

SF Parent PAC Meeting

A brief note from the SF Parent Political Action Committee:
We want every candidate for mayor to hear our voices and understand what it will take to make SF the best place to raise kids and have families. We are hosting the first Mayoral Candidate Forum focused on our issues.

Please come to hear how each candidate understands your needs and his/her ideas regarding this City and family issues.
Tuesday October 11th from 6:30 to 8:30
2266 California Street
Refreshments, childcare, and interpretation services will be provided.
For more information contact:

September 25, 2011

Announced: Philz Coffee In Noe Valley

In case the photo isn't clear, this is the space recently vacated by The Animal Company at 4298 24th St and across from Noe Courts.

Halloween 2011: Help A New Mother Out

Emily asks:
I have what I hope is a question quick to answer: When are people trick-or-treating in Noe this year since Halloween falls on a Monday? Still Monday night I'm assuming? SF seems to take it's Halloween very seriously. This is my first Halloween as a mom so I'm not sure what local tradition is along these lines.

September 23, 2011

Noe Valley: Home Of Yummy Mummies

Harvest Festival 2010
A hat tip to SF Weekly for pointing us to the following assessment of Noe Valley by the BBC:
Noe Valley is one of the most desirable neighbourhoods in San Francisco right now. It is close by the Castro and the Mission, but it [is] filled with yummy mummies and the stroller set, sidewalk cafes and lovely old Victorians.
[BBC Travel: Living in: San Francisco]

Benefit: Pancake Breakfast At James Lick

September 22, 2011

Tidbits: 24th Street Updates

While we weren't watching Raquel Settles Metalsmith opened up at 4128 24th Street -- once destined to be Noe Soup and before that part of the BJ Droubi Empire. The tiny jewelry store carries one-of-a-kind handmade items (earrings/necklaces made from antique glass buttons from the UK, for instance) and also does repairs.

Raquel Settels Metalsmith
4128 24th St
(415) 821-9979

Other happenings on 24th Street over the last few weeks:
  • Two spaces are being painted (and no longer have For Rent signs): the old J+J Market and Bespoke. Workers on site were unable to provide any info.
  • The former Urban Cellars storefront is also showing signs of life as it edges closer to becoming Noe Valley Wine Merchants -- plasterers set up shop inside this week. License still pending, BTW.

Reader Letter: Hey Noe Valley Thief – Read This!

Fully recognizing that the thief likely won't see this, Charley pleads:
Yes you.
Look, it had cash in it and those visa gift cards that were supposed to go to my daughter’s teachers so you got some nice stuff out of it. It had a pen I liked, and who knows, maybe you even get to keep the stuff you charged on my Amex before I canceled it.
But you know what? That dumb handkerchief that I know you don’t care about, it was from my wedding, and that’s what I miss the most.
If you have any heart at all in you, can you please put the handkerchief in my mailbox at 61 Vicksburg (the house you took it from)? I don’t care about the rest of it, keep it, sell it, whatever. I just want the handkerchief back.

September 15, 2011

Announced: Cliché Noe

Looks like truth in advertising for the shop opening in the space last used by Mystery Books:
Located in the heart of San Francisco, Cliché Noe is a 'varietal' gift store. Filled with eclectic gifts specifically tailored to appeal to all ages, we want to welcome you to our neighborhood. Our soft opening date is set for November 25th, so look for updates!
Cliché Noe
4175 24th St
On FaceBook

Noe Valley Restaurant For Sale

But which location is it:
Fully equipped, established restaurant for sale in prime Noe Valley corner.
Motivated Seller! This is a turn-key profitable business with upside potential. Currently opened for dinner only. Type 41 Beer & Wine license and below market rent! Lease is negotiable.

More info provided to qualified buyers only. Serious inquiries only.
Emphasis ours.

September 14, 2011

Benefit for the Noe Valley 24th Street Fire Victims, Take 2

Noe Valley resident Catherine Bergstrom is organizing a benefit for the victims of last weekend's fire. Click the image to see the official flyer or the details are below:
Noe Valley Friends & Neighbors Helping Neighbors

A Benefit for the Victims of the Radio Shack Apartment Fire

Thursday, October 6, 2011 @ 6 – 9 pm
The Valley Tavern in Noe Valley

As you may know, there was a devastating fire on the 4000 Block of 24th Street on
Saturday, September 10, 2011. Seven residents who lived in the building have been displaced, most of them having lost everything that they own.

They have many needs and perhaps you can donate time, have an apartment to rent to them or can contribute a few household items that they could use.

Let’s rally together to help them regain their lives. Come meet more of your  neighbors.

Please show your care for your fellow Noe Valley and San Franciscan neighbors.

You can help by contributing to a special benefit account for the victims (Wells Fargo #3191560626); and/or by attending a benefit for these fire victims to be held on Thursday, October 6th (6-9pm) at The Valley Tavern (4054 24th Street).

The raffle will be held during this fundraiser. Raffle Tickets will be sold at The Valley Tavern beginning Saturday, September 17th. There are some fantastic prizes!

Contact Catherine Bergstrom for more information on how to help.