January 1, 2017

This Year In Noe Valley: The Big Stories Of 2016

What a year. According to the Oxford Dictionaries the word of the year in 2016 was “post-truth.” Merriam Webster chose “surreal.” And Noe Valley resident and liguist Geoff Nunberg chose the word “normal” in a year that was anything but. All three together pretty much sum up 2016 in the real world. Fortunately, we also live in Noe Valley -- and here were the biggest stories of 2016 in our little hamlet.

Noe Valley Is Officially a Foodie Mecca 
2015 was a good year for food in Noe Valley, but 2016 was better. Uma Casa is close to opening on Church St. Barron’s Meats announced it’s also coming to Church St. to replace Drewe’s. Le Zinc closed but a new French bistro, Le Marius, sprang up in its place. La PanotiQ finally opened. Hahn’s Hibachi was replaced with BistroSF. Hamlet SF rebooted with a new menu. Hamano was bought by a local A-list sushi chef who plans to turn it into something even more special. And all that in addition to the already fantastic restaurants in our hood including Saru, Firefly, La Ciccia, Aster, Al’s Place and Contigo. Think about it: We can walk to some of the best restaurants in San Francisco!

Election Aftershock 
Let’s not sugarcoat this: Noe Valley mourned the national election results this year. One man in the house at the top of Sanchez hill was so shell-shocked he woke up the next day and decided to fly the Nazi flag (which begs the question, why did he just have one lying around?). Fortunately, his neighbors weren’t having it. Fasten your seatbelts folks, 2017 is going to be a bumpy ride.

The Town Square Has Arrived 
In happier news, after much fund-raising and handwringing, Noe Valley has an open space for the Farmer’s Market and local gatherings. It’s real, it’s ours, and it’s only going to get better as we all imagine new things that can happen there.

It’s Still Really, Really, Really Expensive to Live Here 
There’s a reason you see so many Teslas here: Two Noe Valley zip codes (94114 and 94131) are in the Top 100 Most Expensive zip codes in the US. The average cost of a home in Noe Valley was well north of $2.5 million – and here’s what $1.85 million gets you. [Photo via Janeep]

Real Foods? Real Nothing 
Still blight. Still empty. So sad.

In 2016 we also said goodbye to some old Noe Valley places, including In-House, Walkershaw and See Jane Run, several of which have since been replaced by little boutiques. Union Street, here we come!

Phew. Upward and onward. Happy New Year, Noe Valley! Here's to a safe, fun and prosperous 2017.

Want to see how far we've come? Here were the top stories of 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2012.

Did we miss anything? Share it in the comments!

[Top photo via kellyhafer, bottom photo via alexlgoldman]