We've long felt the city needed to ease up the restrictions in the 1996 Mission District liquor license moratorium--making it easier for grocery stores and markets to remain viable in the neighborhood--and legislation introduced by Supervisors Scott Wiener and David Campos is going to do just that. The Chronicle has the scoop:
Wiener and Campos try to address a number of problems in their measure, which they planned to introduce at Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting.
Neighborhood stores under 5,000 square feet would be allowed to sell beer and wine, as long as it doesn't take up more than 15 percent of the floor space. It would also allow businesses to close for up to 120 days for repairs and upgrades without surrendering their liquor licenses. The current 30-day limit discourages business owners from making improvements to their establishments, the supervisors said.
It also will require the Planning Commission's approval for a full-service restaurant to move into a former retail space. The new rule, which is used in North Beach and other commercial areas of the city, recognizes the need for businesses that serve the community, as well as visitors.
The 1996 law was created in part to combat the proliferation of corner stores that were blamed for public drunkenness and neighborhood violence. However, the unanticipated drawback of the law is that nearly two decades later, neighborhood residents cannot buy a six pack at their corner grocer despite "tourists and well-heeled visitors [being able to get] a drink at any of the pricey restaurants in the area." The new legislation aims to change that.
We've already heard that Valencia Whole Foods would stay open later if allowed to see booze, and the forthcoming Local Mission Market has previously declared the vitality of alcohol sales to their market's success, it is hard to imagine much controversy around the proposed changes. But with the changes to the restaurant openings in retail spaces process (sacred cow!), who really knows.
Previously on Uptown Almanac
Is this a joke? An ingenious way to earn rent? The future of #swag? Either way, this acceptably-priced $80 tank top has quite the marketing pitch:
The rent is too high. You're too educated to ignore that you're part of the problem, but you're not about to move to Mountain View. Find solace in this high fashion accessory. Admit your Privilege, find release.
Given the photo looks like it was taken on some beat kitchen table, this is probably for real. So why don't you email your credit card information to some unverified gmail address? Coachella is only 11 months away...
Update: The folks behind Rent Raiser tell us the tanks are not American Apparel, but in fact "100% Vietnamese Sweatshop brand." Be advised.
Previously on Uptown Almanac
I'm not totally sure how the artist's statement behind this decapitated baby head whirligig would read, but I imagine its purpose is to make small children cry and make big children (me) laugh. Regardless, it's the most refreshing piece of street art this blogger has seen in Clarion Alley in quite some time.
Here's a moving picture Instagram of it in action:
The Bold Italic has
built an empire lost their parent company Gannett Company, Inc. millions of dollars by pushing borderline racist listicles and backstories exploring our city's most tired stereotypes. Now, their completely oblivious editor "producer" Jennifer Maerz has had it up to here with commonfolk stereotyping poor techies, goshdarnit!
According to Maerz,
techies The Bold Italic's primary customers aren't making assault weapons (true!, kinda) and not every techie is a yuppie satan-spawn that would have been a Manhattanite financier if born a generation ago (true!, obviously), so let's cut them some slack and save our stereotypin' energy for Chinese people and everyone else in the city, okay?
She explains why you should get with the brogram:
I don't blame an entire industry (and every single person who works within it) for a city growing expensive, and I'm getting tired of hearing complaints from friends and strangers who make mass generalizations about people they likely have never met or worked with. I know we've done our own stereotyping on TBI of tech folks too, but our writers have approached the topic as parodies. It's hard watching the very serious hatred for people who have tech jobs grow stronger in posts and forums. It's not like these folks are making assault weapons for a living. Most of my friends who work in startups are helping build information systems that benefit universities, organize and label your iTunes music collections, and help get the bands you want to see to your city. You can't lump all tech work, or people using the medium to push out new ideas, as evil.
We completely agree. Wholesale dismissal of people based on what employee badge they carry is a real poor idea. And we know plenty of people who ride the shuttles and are perfectly bearable humans. But the idea that the industry's occasional nobleness and lack of complete sameness makes it somehow off-limits to criticize its rampant racism, gender inequality and sexism, insularity and cronyism--never mind the widening inequality and and Republican tax policies it promotes--is completely baffling.
(Besides, should we not criticize bankers despite the fact their industry is by and large corrupt?)
Anyway, if the brogrammer apologists at The Bold Italic really want to stop techie stereotyping, maybe they should start with themselves?
Previously on Uptown Almanac
Whenever I read about local coffeeshop news in TechCrunch, I generally expect the news to not be good. But in Philz' case, it might not actually be so bad.
According to TechCrunch, Philz raised over 3.75 million cups of Tesora worth of money to expand the 13-shop operation outside the Bay Area:
Today, Philz Coffee is adding some growth capital of its own. Although the company isn’t ready to disclose the exact amount, [Phil] Jaber says that the company has raised an eight-figure round that’s on the lower end of the spectrum. From what we can gather from sources, it appears to be in the $15 to $25 million range. The lead investor in the round is Summit Partners, and as a result of the firm’s investment, Summit Managing Director Greg Goldfarb will be taking a seat on the startup’s board of directors.
It's been a helluva story for Phil and his emerging startup. Founded 25 years ago as a modest corner store at 24th and Folsom, he spent decades perfecting his secret coffee blends. Then in 2003, after decades of limited growth in the corner store market, Phil pivoted the company launched Philz Coffee in the same location. Philz soon brought on rockstar Silicon Valley CEO "his son", opened over a dozen more stores, and cemented partnerships with Virgin America and Facebook, giving the small neighborhood coffee house the totally reasonable $40-70 million dollar valuation they have today.
Of course, one of the best features of Philz was never the coffee itself, but rather his shop felt like the kind of welcoming, worn-in den that only an old artist would open. How they'll be able to replicate that freewheeling culture which they've become know for across hundreds of stores remains to be seen.
With the Jack Spade-backed eviction of Adobe Books from their 16th Street store a done deal, the beloved used bookshop has signed the lease for a new spot on 24th and Shotwell. While the new shop will not official open until July, they're exploring some new business models and giving us a sneak peak at their new digs this Saturday (2-7pm) with Adobe Marketplace:
Join us as we invite local artists and merchants to sell out of the brand new Adobe books. Browse the wares of your talented Bay Area comrades, and enjoy music, food & drinks. This Saturday afternoon event is sponsored by Rainbow Grocery and Speakeasy Ales and Lagers.
A few of our fabulous participants:
- Cool Try, clothing & accessories by artist Ryan De La Hoz
- Shirts by Amos
- The Bold Italic, products by SF locals- along with postcards, posters and other Bold Italic exclusives
- Most Ancient, limited edition books, experimental comics, and art in print form
- SCRAP, scrounger’s center for reusable art parts
- Jewelry by Sea Pony Couture
- Super Classy Publishing, small editions of handmade books
- Jewelry by While Odin Sleeps
- Yam Books, Oakland–based independent small-press publisher of art books, comics, graphic novels, and zines
- Tiny Splendor, publishing collective representing over 30 artists from around the Bay Area and Los Angeles, zines, artist books, prints & more
- Vintage by Annemarie
- Maren Salomon & Megan Hendry, drawings, prints, collages & embroideries
- Eunice, art boxes
- Adobe Books!
All bar proceeds and 10% of sales from the marketplace will be donated to help open the new Adobe Books.
Previously on Uptown Almanac
Because everyone wants to have their bangs trimmed in a motor vehicle, San Francisco is filling up fast with truck-based businesses that cater to more than our stomachs. That's right, foodless food trucks that instead sell flowers and haircuts are all the rage, according to a glowing profile of she-trucks in San Francisco Magazine:
Sarah LaShelle, owner of the Mission salon Pretty Parlor, and her partner Misty Briglia started taking their new beauty truck, which they dubbed Pretty Parlor a GoGo, to big tech companies such as Facebook and Google last fall, where they offer services to employees. “We’d been talking about how cool it would be to own a mobile salon and decided to give it a shot before somebody else did,” LaShelle said. “Once we made up our minds, we bought a truck on Craigslist the next day.” She and Briglia celebrated with tequila shots and coordinating tattoos. [...]
“It’s definitely a labor of love,” LaShelle said of the undertaking. “The generator weighs a ton, and we have to take it and out to charge it after every trip.” Even finding a space to park the truck in the city has proved a challenge. Yet the duo has pressed on, traveling to music festivals and teaming up with wineries and neighborhood businesses for events where they offer makeup, spray tanning, waxing, and occasionally nail art and hair braiding. “We get a lot of attention as cute girls driving a big truck,” LaShelle said.
Is rolling retail here to stay or just the next passing fad we'll all be over in 18 months? Either way, I'm pumped for the impending roll-out of the F.S.C. Barber Lifestyle Truck For Men.
We always knew that the people protesting basic freedoms outside of Valencia Street's Planned Parenthood were a bit unhinged, but their tantrum during last week's Board of Supervisor's meeting--when the board created a 25 foot protest-free "bubble" around the city's reproductive clinics--defies our already low opinion of them. The Examiner's Melissa Griffin caught the scene:
At the meeting, a number of anti-abortion activists came to register their opposition to the law, and while I usually listen to the meetings while doing other work, I stopped multitasking when the first activist said, “This is my daughter. She was born on April 22, much to the chagrin of my husband. April 20 — 4/20 — might have been more fun, living in San Francisco.”
So, yes, it started with drug humor and got worse. “I have a question for the supervisors and all the people present here. Have y’all heard of the Emancipation Proclamation?” said the next activist. “There was a time when, if I had the means and the desire, I could own slaves.”Then, pointing to various supervisors, two of whom are black, she said, “I could own you. I could own you. I could — usually the black people — I could own them. Yes I could. You would belong to me.” She went on to say that eventually, we will all view abortion like slavery, as something we can’t believe we tolerated. At least that’s what I think she said. By that point, I had crawled completely under my desk.
Fortunately, the law passed.
Here we go again: another spring, another police crackdown of apparently illegal activities in Dolores Park. Their annual dog and pony show of rounding up dealers and pushers and scolding the citizenry has become predictably routine, sadly. And it clearly accomplishes nothing. Alas, SFPD is busy dropping officers in the park while violent crimes remain unsolved.
But while we're not the least bit surprised SFPD has posted up in Dolores again, we cannot help but laugh at their recent bust of James "The Cold Water Guy" for selling bottled water. That's right, water. Water.
It was silly enough they had him arrested for flipping PBR for stupid prices last year, but come on. Who knew SFPD could be this petty.
[Thanks Jack for the tip!]