December 31, 2013

Sign of the Times: Snickerdoodles for Bitcoins

Spotted on 24th St:
Via @colbyh

December 30, 2013

Open: La Tira Wax Studio Moves To Its Own Space

Started as a pop-up at the back of Episode Salon in February of this year, La Tira has grown into its own space at 1301 Church. Owner Christine Fong tells us: "I am very excited to expand and grow my business in this neighborhood I love!" Besides being the only dedicated waxing studio in Noe Valley, what sets La Tira apart? From the website:
The studio uses only the highest quality wax and products on clients, and always adheres to the most sanitary practices possible. The studio supports local vendors, carrying beauty products and housing custom-made furniture created by local artists in San Francisco and the Bay Area. Many of the beauty products sold in our boutique are hand-crafted using sustainable, organic + vegan ingredients.
The space became available when Dermalounge abruptly closed in October We weren't able to contact the owners at the time, but apparently there's been hint of a bankruptcy. Seems likely - all assets are up for auction.

Meanwhile, Episode thinks the space La Tira vacated would also make "a GREAT spot for waxing" (archived here).

La Tira Wax Studio
1301 Church St

December 28, 2013

This Week In Noe Valley: A Grinch, A Local Candle Company, And A Real Estate Rivalry

News from, about and for Noe Valley from around the interwebs:
[Photo: "Carol singers making their way through Noe Valley. Brilliant." via Esbale]

December 21, 2013

This Week in Noe Valley: Real Estate Makeovers, Google Bus Rage Escalates, And A Town Square Documentary

News from, about and for Noe Valley from around the interwebs:
Happy Solstice, Noe Valley. 

[Photo: Moon setting over Sutro at sunrise, Tamar Hurwitz]

Closing: Sway

The former home and birthplace of Streetlight Records at 3979 24th St will soon be vacant again. The inexpensive women's clothing store Sway, which moved into the space in 2010, is closing up shop in Noe Valley and consolidating in the Haight. A sale is underway and the shop will be closed by the end of the month.

Fans of the shop can still buy their stuff online, or visit one of their five other stores around the Bay Area.

No word on who might move into the new space which back in 2009 was commanding $12K per month in rent. Here's hoping it becomes something fun and useful.

December 10, 2013

A History Of One Irish Family In Noe Valley

We've received some great photos and stories in response to the announcement of Horner's Corner Bar, and have put people in touch with Ivor Bradley so he can share their history. We had asked him how he plans to balance the current tech culture with the heritage of "old Noe" being a haven for working class Irish and German families. It's a tricky proposition, and judging by the comments not everyone will be happy.

But hope also springs eternal. Longtime resident Jim Lynch sent a history of his family in San Francisco reminding us that Noe Valley isn't all Google Buses, double-wide strollers and Whole Foods parking lot drama.

Here's Jim's story, posted with his permission: 
Like Mr Bradley, I had 2 grand uncles (Michael & John Lynch) who came to Noe Valley from Gort, County Galway in 1907. Michael Lynch started a general contracting business (M.J. Lynch Construction) and his first jobs were concrete sidewalks. As was the custom, he would place his stamp in his work. Though they are getting scarcer due to ADA curb ramps and re-construction, they can still be found in the Noe Valley, and throughout the city. This is the oldest that I have found (in the Bernal at Aztec & Coso) but I have pictures of newer, more professional ones from the 1930's. Uncles Mike and John lived at 26th & Guerrero for decades. My grand uncles were bachelors well into their sixties. However, MJ married at age 67 to his girlfriend of 17 years, the daughter of a former member of the S.F. Board of Supervisors (1919 - 1930) - Charlie Powers, also a contractor, who lived at 26th and Church. Mike & Dorothy re-located to 20th & Noe.

My father and uncle came to SF in 1949 and also lived at 26th & Guerrero. Like many other Irish immigrants they went to work for M.J. Lynch. My uncle Paul owned an Irish bar (The Skyscraper) at 24th & Mission in the early 1960s. My dad met my mom (from County Leitrim) in S.F. They married in 1955 and raised their family in the Noe Valley until they died. My family currently lives on Duncan Street. So the Lynch family has been in Noe Valley since 1907.

We lived at Vicksburg & Elizabeth in the early 1960's and my Dad and other locals would meet at Noe's, but then it was called Doyle's (named after the owner at the time). My family knew the Forde's well, and like them, my sister (1), and brothers (3) grew up in the Noe, attended St. Paul's or St. Philip's. We worked in the Noe at Mitchell's Ice Cream, the original 24th Street Bell Market, and delivered the local newspapers. I retired from SFPD after 31 years in 2010, and 2 of my brothers are currently officers in the department.

I know a picture of concrete is unusual, but as they say every picture tells a story. This one is about Irish immigration to the Noe Valley in the last century, and a family fond of a great neighborhood. Many Irish Fled to the Sunset in the 50s and 60s, but some like the Fordes and the Lynches, knew a good thing, and stayed!

I wish Mr. Bradley and Dave (who always stops to treat my wheaten terrier - Mulligan) all the best on their new venture.


Jim Lynch

December 6, 2013

The New Normal For Income Property In Noe Valley?

A reader pointed us to a listing on Craigslist offering 1688 Dolores for $9500/month. What raised his eyebrow is that 1688 recently flipped and sold after a relatively long time on market. We;re curious, too, so we turned to John Downing for some background. In short, a developer bought it from the bank in 2011 for $928,000, renovated and put it on the market in April of 2013 for $2.295M. It went in and out contract, on and off the market and eventually closed escrow on November 4 for $2.2M.

All of which begs the question: why would someone pay $2.2M for a house and then put it on Craigslist as a long term rental? We asked John if he knew anything more:
That's an interesting question. I did some more digging. Looks like the buyer purchased it as a 2nd home. They put $1.2M down and got a $1M loan with a 30/yr amo from BOA. The mortgage payment, taxes, and insurance might be just be under the $9,500 asking rent.
What do you think? Is a $2,200,000 single family home on Dolores near 30th the new normal for income property?

NVV Dec 2013: We Read It So You Don't Have To

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

December 2013 / January 2014

Front Page:The Noe Valley Farmers Market celebrates 10 years on December 7th; Interview with NV resident and Twitter editorial director Karen Wickre (@kvox); An update on the continuing process to update Noe Courts [Ed.--Scott Wiener's take is here]; Church St artist Stan Heller exhibits "the faces and stories of long-term San Francisco residents caught in the current real estate frenzy" at Borderlands Cafe on Valencia through January 17th.

Letters: A promotion for SFSU's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute; Not everyone agrees with Tom Peck's poem last month condemning Scott Wiener; In memory of Kathleen Albert, who ran With Care preschool on Fair Oaks St.

Short Takes: Upper Douglass Dog Park to remain closed "until further notice;" A reminder about 24 HoliDAYS on 24th St; Announcement of yesterday's meeting of the NVDC and UNN about CCSF; The next community meeting for the Noe Valley Streetscape Project tentatively scheduled for Jan 20th; Horner's Corner Bar announced.

Cost of Living in Noe: Expensive. Still. 2-4 unit buildings are popular for converting to TICs.

Police Beat: Since NV beat cop Lorraine Lombardo has stopped providing blotter info, the NVV has discovered just how frustrating it is to get timely and pertinent crime information from the Mission and Ingleside stations. The Voice is experimenting with

Rumors: Only 33% of Noe Valley voters voted in November, shooting down Prop B & C two-to-one; Swatdee is closing, New Dehli moving in; La Nebbia on track to open "sometime mid-Decemberish;" Real Foods cited, faces max fine of $6885; Local activist Peter Gabel to be first to hold author event at Folio Books; Starbucks closed for remodel; Easy Breezy awarded.

Notable: The copy editor who is so kind to offer his/her services in our comment section may want to give the Voice a call -- there are many blocks of text that are repeated in this issue.

[The Noe Valley Voice]

December 1, 2013

Announced: Horner's Corner Bar From One Of The Creators Of The Creamery

Rumors have been circulating for some time that Noe's Bar / Basso's has been sold. We've been searching for details, but no one was talking. The usual permit searches have come up negative. But then a few days ago we heard from Ivor Bradley announcing changes to come:
We are a local partnership team who are looking to reopen Noe's as a local neighborhood bar with good food, and we are calling it "Horner's Corner Bar" after John Horner, a historical figure from 1850 who purchased the surrounding area of Noe Valley from Jesus de la Noe in the mid 18th century. He's also known as the man with the plough, a father figure of California agriculture.
For the newbies, here's a brief history. Mr Bradley isn't new to the scene - he's part owner of the wildly successful The Creamery in SOMA. This time around, Mr Bradley wants to tap into the history of Noe Valley and display old photos and other tributes to the history of Noe Valley. He's consulted local historian Bill Yenne, but he'd also like your help (more on that in the interview below). 

We also asked Mr. Bradley for some more details on what to expect in the months (weeks!) ahead:
Are you the same Ivor Bradley who is associated with The Creamery? And if so, what have you learned from The Creamery that you think will resonate in Noe Valley?

Yes I am the same Ivor Bradley associated with the Iron Cactus & The Creamery, located at 683-685 4th St. Over the last 6 years I've learned a great deal in the course of developing both of these businesses in the Soma community. I have become an active member of the local business community, becoming involved in numerous charities and events, such as the Saint Vincent De Paul, The SF Aids Walk, The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, as well as the numerous school and event donations that occur throughout the year.

I believe that in opening our new business in Noe Valley we will be able to bring some of our core practices to our new venture: we use only the freshest ingredients and free range meats; our commitment to the local community and merchants will strengthen as we grow each year; our commitment to our staff and their families will allow us to build a strong team approach to service and quality; we will ensure that all labor codes and standards are adhered to as a respectable member of the business community; we will be initiating a long term business growth plan to ensure that we can cope during the different stages of our growth plan.

You stated you want to create “a local neighborhood Bar & Grill, for local residents and families to enjoy daily, with weeknights dinner, weekend brunch, and a great happy hour for all to enjoy “Tell us a bit about who you and your partners are.? Are you all local?

My grandfather's brother and his two sisters moved to Noe Valley from Galway, Ireland, in the mid 1930s,settled on Valley St, and continue to live there today. Pete Forde raised his sons there, and one of his sons Ricky Forde worked and retired from the Noe Valley fire station where he had served for many years.

I have been a San Francisco resident for the last 19 years. I live in Parkside, with my wife Sarah and our two children, Molly (7) and Michael (5). I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Hotel Business Management, and a Masters in Hospitality Management. I have managed neighborhood restaurants and worked with hotel companies in the city for over 12 years, before branching out to work on my own in 2007. I have worked for some of the best companies in the Bay area, such as McCormick & Kuletos, Real Restaurants, Kimpton restaurant group, Chow restaurant group, and the Four Seasons Hotel Group, gaining extensive Food & Beverage experience in my time with them in a management role.

In my spare time I am an active sportsman with many hobbies. I like to fish for trout and salmon, go clay pigeon shooting, and golf. I am a keen gardener,with a strong appreciation for all wildlife.

My partner, Dave O’Donnell, is married to Patricia Gillespie who is a Hospice Nurse and they have twin daughters Eva and Lauren aged 8. They have been in SF for 20 years. They lived for 5 years on Noe and 25th before moving to Glen Park. He has been an IT professional for many years, but also worked as a club DJ and club promoter in Ireland before emigrating in 1994. He is a big sports fan, loves baseball (Red Sox and Giants), plays golf to a 16 handicap, and coaches soccer with the SF Glens ( u-9 girls soccer team).

We both have many friends and families who live in Noe Valley & the surrounding neighborhoods, and have shopped and socialized on 24th street for over 15 years. We are on a first name basis with a wide variety of Noe Valley locals and residents and staff who work on the street.

What kind of food will you serve? Paint us a picture.

We are in the process of writing our menu with our chef who is also a seasoned veteran of the San Francisco Culinary scene, and our goal is keep the menu focused on using local vendors, ensuring customers have a variety of choices at a great price. We would like to see good American comfort food being served in a great bar environment with a great children’s menu nightly and on the weekends.

There will a wide range of appetizers, salads, and entrees, a great house burger, a variety of Pizzas, and daily specials, with a Happy Hours menu, including some exciting finger foods. Above all we are aiming to provide simple, elegant, tasty, comfort food, with the emphasis on affordable quality.

Noe's Bar caters heavily to local sports fans? Will Horner’s cater to them?

We would like to continue to build on the sports theme that's already in Noe's, and ensure that sports fans and locals can continue to come in and watch all their favorite teams as we continue to be a destination for all sports fans in 2014. We will be upgrading the visual and audio systems to enhance the experience.

How deep will you carry the nostalgia? How will you balance the current tech culture with the heritage of Noe Valley being a haven for working class Irish and German families?

That’s a great question, and I will simply say that we will try to create a feel that is historical - with a repainted exterior, and new signag, with a stylish Logo, and branding for the new concept. We intend to do a minor remodel to the bathrooms, and some light interior painting with a wide selection of photographs and memorabilia from the 1850s era, to the turn of the century, and mid-century Noe valley photos on display. Our goal is to show the historical side of Noe valley, and how the old and the new can be incorporated into a modern day concept in a neighborhood in San Francisco. We also intend to have wireless internet access for patrons, to help people navigate our website and menus though there hand held devices at any time.

We want to make the bar a place that people can identify with, regardless of their background. We believe that these visual links with the past will provide a timeline of what the neighborhood was, and is today.

You're working with Bill Yenne to research old photos and historical artifacts/information - is there anything in particular you'd like to have but haven't found yet?

While researching old photos, and speaking with Bill Yenne, we are still compiling our list of items and photos, through extensive searches of the San Francisco Library, and the California Historical Society, Noe Valley Archives, and numerous other sources.

We would like to ask residents of Noe Valley if they have any old photographs of 24th street, and around 24th/Church that were taken around the turn of the century or earlier. If they would like to the opportunity to show them to us, we would consider putting them up on the wall, as a gesture of historical significance to Noe Valley. Moreover if any resident has an old sign, or metal tagger we would love the chance to view them.

You're taking over Noe's and Basso from the Basso family and hope to close escrow in January. When will the new space open?

We would like to take possession of the location in early January, and reopen to the public in early February as Horner’s Corner Bar. We dream of having customers old and new enjoying the Super Bowl at Horner's Corner!
If you have old photos, signs or other memorabilia showcasing Noe Valley Way Back When get in touch. We'll connect you with Mr. Bradley. If you don't? You can check out the display while watching the Super Bowl.

[NVSF: Rumor: Noe's Bar Has Been Sold]
[SFGate: Creamery is deal central for SF techies]
[FoundSF: The Farmer with the Golden Plow: John Meirs Horner (1821-1912)]
[Photo1878, 24th/Church opposite the current Noe's Bar via FoundSF]