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]


Anonymous said...

no offense but the regular crowd at this place is pretty low rent and not mostly from the neighborhood and a change is probably long overdue. new owners should look across the street at what they did at caskhouse for a template - redo the interior, update the food, and get some proper craft beer and local wines going. i quit going to this bar after hearing my second N-bomb yelled from the old red faced drunk construction worker dudes that are always here - a change would do that corner some good

Anonymous said...

I agree, I think some of the customers are rude in Noes and the staff seem to allow this bad behavior. A change was needed.

Anonymous said...

Low rent and not from the neighborhood? Those customers have probably been going there longer then you've been a living there in Noe Valley. They probably couldn't afford to live there any longer but still like going to their old bar. "No offense", well, you did. Hope you don't consider yourself any kind of "native" or "old neighborhood local."

Anonymous said...

I understand there are sports fans, but as a parent trying to feed your kids at Fresca, Paxti's or Toast, the televisions are constant distractions, and overall it is a pain.
The televisions are annoying. We will not patronize this "family" restaurant if the screens are everywhere. I can deal with them in the bar, but throughout the restaurant is a no-go for us. Do we really need another restaurant with television screens on every wall?

Anonymous said...

hope they do something interesting with the food here - we have more then enough mediocre pizza, burger, and omelet places in noe....

Anonymous said...

Noes bar has been open for over 30 years, the bar caters to all walks of life and has been a home base for many SF natives and especially Noe valley locals, SFFD, SFPD etc..! so to whomever wrote the first comment i wonder how long you have actually been a 'local' to noe valley. change is good and i wish the new owners all the best but Noes bar will be forever remembered, the memories made here good or bad will be treasured.

Anonymous said...

Different people want different things from a restaurant (the current format has been in business for a long time so obviously it is working for group of people) and not all restaurant's in Noe need to be the same (e.g., catering to children or for brunch) some can have TVs, some cater more towards adults and maybe even some can serve dinner. Lets at least wait to see what they do before we pick it apart (and you know we will).

Anonymous said...

There's enough kid friendly places in Noe, or overpriced toast.

Anonymous said...

If you like it, go.
If you don't like it, don't go.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Bradley, Regarding your statement "...We also intend to have wireless internet access for patrons, to help people navigate our website and menus though [through] there [their] hand held devices at any time...." If you mean every table or seating area will have wifi access, I suggest you check out Martha's, Bernies, Ritual Roasters, et al. People come in, order one drink, then take up a table for hours while they do their telecommuting work. I've walked out of places like that because there's no available seating. Not a very profitable business model.

Anonymous said...

Low rent and not from the neighborhood? Those customers have probably been going there longer then you've been a living there in Noe Valley. They probably couldn't afford to live there any longer but still like going to their old bar, because that is where they buy their drugs. Jack the Cabbie and Dean the Contractor always had some coke on them.


Anonymous said...

Basso's has been a real asset to the local neighborhood. It has good bar food and fair prices. I hope this is not going to be a transition we saw when Herb's Fine Food became Toast. Herb's was a neighborhood place, rough around the edges and ok but not great food at fair prices. Toast got the place cleaned up but serves really mediocre food at inflated prices. It would be nice to have one place in Noe Valley where you can go for a burger and fries for 9 bucks and not 13 and you can still get a pint for 5 bucks. Basso's made pretty good pizza, some nights better then others, and a great meatball hero. Keeping my fingers crossed this doesn't become one more over prices place, but I'm not holding my breath.

Anonymous said...

To anon @ 12:50: and I stopped to going to caskhouse after the 2nd time I heard someone bragging about what ridiculous startup company they work for.

Also, love your concept about renovating and serving craft beer - that will really set it apart from every single other bar in the city.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Bradley seems like good people and I wish him well, but I'm really, really sad to see Noe's go.

nails doverspike said...

for the record...the photo above is not the corner of what will become Horner's Bar It is an image of Hoffmann Grocery store and Hubberts butcher on the southeast corner of 24th and Church Streets taken in 1878, (when Noe Valley was known as "Horner's Addition') looking southwesterly, Noe Valley, San Francisco--- This was replaced in 1907 (along with the windmill) and a larger structure was built which still stands today. (Happy Donuts on the corner and Shufat Market next door up 24th)

Anonymous said...

Noe needs a diverse set of restaurants. After living here since 2004, I have eaten at every establishment and a lot of them are just overpriced and not that great in terms of food. We end up going to the Mission a lot because of the choices and prices. I liked the Bliss Bar but the music in there was too loud so we could not really have a conversation. It would be nice to have a bit more upscale wine bar like Noeteca that has some good reasonably priced food. There are lot of sports bars in Noe and we don't we need another one. Need some places for Adults without kids - There are lots of places for kids and frat boys already.

Anonymous said...

anon 10:10
Hear, hear!
Couldn't agree more!!