July 29, 2015

New Parklet Application for 24th Street

What started out as a rumor in June is now a reality: A giant sign in the window at Patxi’s Pizza at 4042 24th St proclaims the pizza shop’s “notice of application to install and maintain a parklet” out front “for the purpose of placing tables, chairs, benches, landscaping and/or bike parking on a Parklet.” The application was filed by Jim Howard, head of marketing for Patxi’s.

Parklet permit - click the image to see it large
Sounds like a great place to enjoy a slice or a froyo on the sunny side of the street - but there are still some hurdles: Debra Niemann, who represents the Noe Valley Association and the Community Beautification District, told the Noe Valley Voice in no uncertain terms that the NVA will not approve any more parklets for 24th St. Period.

Hmmm. So it’s not a done deal and it’s unclear if the NVA can block the application, but hope springs eternal. Also of note – in this earlier post, when we first heard about the possible parklet, several commenters mentioned Patxi’s hasn’t always been the best neighbor – and unfortunately the double-parking delivery drivers may be compounding neighbors' ill will.

The final day for comment on the parklet application is August 5, 2015. If no protests are received, Patxi’s can submit a detailed plan for approval with the San Francisco Department of Public Works.

Update: An astute follower on Twitter reminded us that Patxi's has also applied for a parklet on Irving.

What do you think? Does 24th Street need a new parklet - and is this a good place for it?

July 27, 2015

Horner’s Corner Is Closed, Will Reopen Soon As Hamlet

In late 2013 when we learned that Noe’s Bar/Bassos was becoming a new restaurant and bar called Horner’s Corner under a partnership that included Ivor Bradley from The Creamery, we were excited. Ivor's vision for the new place was promising:
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.
Sounds great, right? Alas, Horner’s Corner never delivered on the promise of its owner's pedigree or its namesake - and was sadly just a local bar with basic bar food. So it wasn't a huge surprise when this May, barely a year after it opened, Horner’s Corner quietly closed. Around the same time, we also learned that John Dampeer, co-owner of Caskhouse, was buying the place and planned to call it Hamlet.

The sale of Horner's Corner finally closed and although he's a man of few words, Dampeer graciously gave us this rundown about his plans for the new corner bar and eatery:

What made you decide to buy Horner’s Corner? The opportunity presented itself and I believe the potential for the space/location is huge.

What opportunities do you see that you can’t do with Caskhouse? Caskhouse is a much smaller space. The kitchen itself at Hamlet will essentially be the entire size of Caskhouse. Also, Hamlet has a full liquor license, so we will have a carefully curated cocktail program as well.

Will Caskhouse remain as is? Caskhouse will remain as is.

For Hamlet, what changes are you planning to the bar? What changes are you planning to the restaurant? I'm doing pretty much an entire overall of the space: new bar, new floor & new design. The kitchen and back seating area will be converted into a large kitchen, prep storage and employee only space.

Why Hamlet? Hamlet is defined as a 'small settlement, generally one smaller than a village'. I believe that perfectly defines what Noe Valley is.

When do you plan to reopen? And will there be any special event? If all goes well, opening should be early fall (target is the end of September).

July 25, 2015

This Week In Noe Valley: Summer Pop-Ups, SF Unreality TV And Other Summer Fun

News from, about and for Noe Valley from around the interwebs:
[Photo: Summer sunset via wannabefashionblogger]

July 18, 2015

This Week In Noe Valley: Fried Chicken of Your Dreams, Decrepit Shack Shocker, Scott Wiener Shuts Out FOX

News from, about and for Noe Valley from around the interwebs:
[Photo: Perfectly pointed house via maria.bruno.sf]

Closed: The Ark

Say it ain’t so: The Ark, the wildly cute toy store with the always interesting window displays at 3845 24th Street on the corner of Vicksburg is closed. A sign in the window reads simply: 
Unfortunately The Ark has to close its doors. We appreciate all the love and support you have given us throughout the years.
We had heard rumors that the store was struggling to match the prices of Amazon and the owners closed the Presidio version of the store earlier this year. Still… toys are one of those things that people like to see and touch before they buy, and the selection at The Ark was consistently good.

Then again, it might not just be the high prices, high rent or Amazon that are entirely to blame for The Ark's demise. Quite a few Yelp reviews gave The Ark exceptionally low marks for the staff including some pointed comments like “The male cashier, Sean, always provides terrible customer service, scowls at us, and is extremely unhelpful and unfriendly” and “I had this shocking discussion with a sales person who explained me that spanking is good for your child.” As of this writing, The Ark's website is also down.

Sad to see The Ark go – here’s hoping something just as useful and entertaining takes its place.

July 9, 2015

Noe Valley Town Square Update with Scott Wiener and Mark Farrell

Wondering what's up with the Noe Valley Town Square? Now's your chance to hear more and ask questions. This landed in our inbox today:
Join Supes Wiener and Farrell for a Conversation Re Park Funding and an Update on The Town Square

Please join Supervisors Scott Wiener and Mark Farrell on Monday July 27th, at 6pm, at Noe Valley Ministries, for a District 8 conversation regarding rec and park funding and an update on the Noe Valley Town Square. Supervisor Farrell has been working with the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department, San Francisco Parks Alliance and City Controller’s Office on an initiative of increased sustainable funding for our park system.

Before he introduces the initiative, he wants to hear from park users and gather feedback from the public on what additional resources they would like to see go towards parks. There will be a short presentation as well as a question and answer session.

Following the park funding conversation, Supervisor Wiener will update us on the Noe Valley Town Square. Supervisor Wiener recently secured approximately an additional $600,000 to develop the Town Square. We are currently targeting a January, 2016 groundbreaking and an October 2016 ribbon cutting.

What: A conversation regarding park funding and an update on the Town Square
When: July 27th at 6pm
Where: Noe Valley Ministries (1021 Sanchez St at 23rd St)

July 7, 2015

NVV July/August 2015: 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.

July/August  2015

Front Page: San Jose Avenue traffic calming isn't working [for cars]; the earthquake shack was ruled a historic resource under the California Environmental Quality Act; Airbnb hosts are successfully colonizing Noe Valley - there are currently 227 rentals in the hood with an average price of $212 per night;  Lhami Sherpa, co-owner of Holy Kitchen on 24th St has family affected by the Nepal quake.

Letters: A hater complains about the benches in front of Martha & Bros; the Garden Tour was a success and well-sponsored by Voice advertisers; a neighbor doesn't like the produce selection and high prices from the new owners of Church Produce.

Features: The bar at 1600 Dolores St has new owners and will be called The Bar on Dolores Street; Horner's Corner is closed and John Dampeer of Caskhouse is buying the bar/restaurant - still no word on planned changes or when it will reopen. Bliss Bar is becoming Tom Rai, a restaurant with live music. RIP local activist Vicki Rosen.

Cost of Living in Noe: Hotter than the surface of the sun. The average house price is up 10 percent year-over-year to $2.4 million according to Zephyr data.

Store Trek: The Podolls (3985 24th St)

Rumors: Short items in the back: Starbucks is killing La Boulange in September - no word on what will move into the corner spot on 24th St but there is still 10 years left on the lease; L'Atelier's brief run of upcycled goods is over and a children's bookstore called Charlie's Corner will move in by September; Work on a new cafe called LaPanotiQ in the old Global Exchange space should begin at the end of the month; VideoWave is losing it's annual lease but hoping to hang tough; The Ark toy store closed it's Presidio Heights store and is having a tough time competing with Amazon (maybe that's why the staff rarely smiles?); Songbird Studios opened and is offering singing lessons; Isso is closed; The Noe Valley Town Square got another grant for $743,543 and construction should start early in 2016; The 24th St. bulbouts, planters, benches and crosswalk improvements are wrapping up and there will be a ribbon-cutting on July 15; Noe Valley Harvest Fest is cancelled this Fall and will return in 2016; The Noe Valley Association will not approve any more parklets for 24th St says Debra Nieman; The new construction on 24th at Church is now expected to be completed in September and the 4 luxury condos and retail space will be available for sale/rent; the Noe Valley Wine Walk returns on August 20.

[The Noe Valley Voice]

July 5, 2015

New Owner: Noe Valley Wine Merchants

Retail wine business veteran James Mead is selling Noe Valley Wine Merchants, the shop he opened in March 2012 at 3821 24th Street in the old Urban Cellars space, and the longtime store manager Donald Norton and partner Nancy Sack are buying the business. A sign in the window announces the change and the new owner is listed as EDUVINSF.

From what we can tell, this announcement could be good news for local wine shoppers. Donald has been a friendly face in the shop for years and as a Noe Valley resident he’ll want to be sure his neighbors are happy. According to a clerk in the store, there are plans to increase the selection of wine, beer and spirits and the popular wine tastings will still be in the shop’s repertoire.