Drinks & Laughs

Live Dating Game Comes to PianoFight Tomorrow Night

Tomorrow night brings a live dating game to PianoFight, the bar/restaurant/venue that opened last December in the Tenderloin. The show, titled “A Dating Game,” is a booze soaked and profanity laden version of the 1960’s television show with local twenty and thirty somethings on stage as contestants. 

From the ticketing page:

Bay Area singles compete for dates while hordes of strangers cheer them on in A Dating Game, the groundbreaking and genre-defying show that forever changed the face of comedy-matchmaking. A Dating Game is the show that brings together three eligible singles and one lucky bachelor(ette) and gives him or her a chance to question potential dates, then choose an escort for a great night out at a local hot spot— all in front of a live audience.

The show is Friday, May 29th at 8pm, and is an updated version of Z Dating Game. You can buy tickets here or RSVP/invite your friends here.

Oh, and Prince cover band Purple Heart is playing a free show in the PianoFight bar after A Dating Game. So that’s pretty much your entire night right there.

In full disclosure, the author of this post is a coproducer of A Dating Game.

Internet Helped The Radio Star

BFF.fm Launches Kickstarter Campaign to Build A Second Studio

Bff.fm, the rad Mission-based internet radio station started by Amanda Guest in 2013, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help support its rapid growth in the form of funding a second studio. The station, which endeavors to “support emerging and underground artists and bring the Bay Area music scene to the world through the magic of Internet radio” is currently operated out of one rather small studio located in the Secret Alley.

From the Kickstarter page:

[Our] one tiny studio isn’t quite cutting it anymore. We need more space to expand our independent music and local news programming and to keep the fresh sounds coming. Luckily, the space we need to build a second studio has opened up right across the hall!

Growing the station without packing up and moving from the space we love is a huge opportunity, but one that caught us off guard. We can’t do it alone. 

The campaign has a goal of $15,000—money that will mainly go toward purchasing the equipment needed to run the second studio. And yes, the donor rewards include a tote bag.

[Photo: BFF.fm Kickstarter]

Not Local's Corner Since 2015

Local's Corner Replaced by "NEW OWNER!!" The Spice Jar

Last November saw the closure of the short lived and often troubled Local’s Corner, the restaurant on the corner of 23rd and Bryant owned by Yaron Milgrom that appeared to be the most controversial member of his “Local” business empire.  Milgrom’s businesses, all including some “local” reference in their name, had been on the receiving end of neighborhood frustration for some time. However, when Local’s Corner staff was accused of refusing to seat a Latino family in April of 2013, frustration turned to anger and a series of protests resulted in the repeated vandalizations of both Local’s Corner and Local Mission Market. 

In an open letter published on Inside Scoop in November of 2014, Milgrom explained his decision to close Local’s Corner as mainly a financial one:

When we received our San Francisco Chronicle glowing, three-star review, we felt certain we’d be around for awhile. Yet diners did not come. […]

Before ACCE and vandalism, we were not in good shape. Certainly, neither helped. Though its impact was less financial than emotional. More than the sting, it was the cumulative wear. […]

The operational challenge of hiring, emotional loss of losing key staff, and cumulative financial losses made an easy conclusion of a hard decision.

Well, we now know what is replacing Local’s Corner, and in case anyone was the least bit uncertain about it a sign in the window loudly proclaims that the spot is under the management of a “NEW OWNER!!”

The Spice Jar, which according to their website serves locally sourced comfort Asian food, is set to open early June. In a posted letter addressed to the new restaurant’s neighbors, The Spice Jar’s management assures any would-be customer that they are very much “looking forward to serving you!” 

Time will tell if the neighborhood shares the enthusiasm. 


The PYROflipper App Gets An Update

It seems the group behind the PYROflipper App flyers, which began popping up around the Mission some time last year, has updated their message. Version 2.0 shifts the blame for San Francisco’s housing troubles from landlords to the (presumably wealthy) residents working in the tech sector, demanding that “tech visionarie$$$” give up their homes “or else.”

And although the above flyer definitely comes across as unhinged, it does include a tiny Batman dancing on a crane. So there’s that.

Food Stuff

A Look at The Menu Replacing Hapa Ramen

Much was written about the unexpected March closure of Richie Nakano’s Hapa Ramen, with the story of a messy fallout between the cook and the investor to whom he sold an ownership share of the business taking front and center in the cautionary tale.

But up until this point, we’ve heard little specifics about the intentions of Owen Van Natta—the tech investor and owner of the now-shuttered Hapa Ramen spot on Mission Street. Well, our first hint as to what will replace the ramen spot comes in the form of the above pictured menu posted outside the restaurant.

And while the name of the new restaurant remains unknown, a logo calling to mind some sort of Guy Fieri tattoo suggests we can expect great things.

[Photo: Doctor Popular]

Rage Make Shredded Paper

Street Sign Art Project Attempts to Warn You Of Angry Birds

A series of enigmatic signs popped up around the Mission this week, carrying warnings of “angry alba tross” and dangerous air molecule crossings.

The notices, which appear to be an art project, are made of metal and are bolted to various telephone poles and streetlamps. The work spans a range of emotions, veering from a plaintive request of Mother Nature to “rain now please” to the wonderfully confusing “rage make paper.”

The top pictured sign is on the corner of Florida and Mariposa Street, while the bottom photo was taken at Alabama and Mariposa Street.

Hot Hot Celeb News

Jay Leno Spotted Filming the San Francisco Motorcycle Club on Folsom

Jay Leno is in the Mission today filming a segment for his show “Jay Leno’s Garage” in front of the San Francisco Motorcycle Club on Folsom at 18th.

A crew member confirmed that the show runs on CNBC, and that Leno is not in fact here to audition for a guest starring role on 94110.

100% Cacao With Only A Hint Of Parking Space

Dandelion Chocolate Plans to Bring Another Parklet to Valencia

Dandelion Chocolate, the self-described “bean-to-bar chocolate factory” on Valencia between 18th and 19th Street, has just successfully completed a Kickstarter campaign to fund the creation of a parklet in front of their store. From the Kickstarter page:

As part of the San Francisco “Pavement-to-Parks” program, we are transforming two parking spaces into a beautiful seating area where all can enjoy Valencia Street and linger outdoors. […]

We have spent a long time visioning, designing and submitting proposals to the City of San Francisco in order to develop a safe and intimate space for pedestrians to socialize, relax and appreciate their city from an alternate perspective.

The campaign, which surpassed its original goal of $13,000 by several thousand dollars, ended this past Wednesday. And as the project page lists a July completion date for the parklet, we may soon have abeautiful and functional community space” in which to lounge while we eat our $12 chocolate bars.

[Photo: Dandelion Chocolate / Kickstarter]

Drinks Drinks Drinks

Owner of 24th Street Bar Set on "Not Creating Another Hipster Bar In the Mission"

Last year’s closure of The Attic, an unabashedly no-frills bar located on 24th just west of Mission Street, was met by many with what has become an all-too-common lament—there goes another Mission dive bar.

And while the death of The Attic was certain, the future of the location was not. The owners had not sold the business (and attendant liquor license) to a budding cocktail artist—rather, they had packed up and taken the license with them. And so the neighborhood was left wondering what would replace The Attic.

A sign affixed to the exterior of the building, revealing the name of the new bar to be 24th Street Bar, was not much to go on.

However, a few hints about the future of the space can be gleaned from the transcript of a February 5th Board of Supervisors meeting that, among other agenda items, approved the transfer of a liquor license to 24th Street Bar (The Attic’s liquor license was transferred to Gashead Tavern). In the meeting, 24th Street Bar’s owner Caroline Brown explained that she is “very passionate about keeping a local neighborhood bar and not creating another yet hipster bar in the Mission.”

In response to concerns about potential noise emanating from the bar (one neighbor’s complaints about which plagued The Attic for years), Brown stated that “I’m not concerned […] because it’s not going to to be that kind of bar with a dj or live music it’s going to be fairly reasonable and moderately low so I’m not afraid of noise coming out into the street.”

The transcript from the Board of Supervisors meeting leaves the distinct impression that Brown just wants to run a low-key neighborhood bar in a neighborhood she loves.

“When the space came up I thought that this was perfect for me because I know the neighborhood the good, the bad, the ugly, and I love it.”

The BOS meeting did reveal one additional interesting bit about the latest addition to the Mission drinking scene—Supervisor Campos is “excited” about it.

[Photo: Capp Street Crap]


Eviction Dispute Spills Onto The Street at 24th & Folsom

A dispute over eviction proceedings moved into the court of public opinion last week, with one party publicly accusing the other of wrongfully evicting an elderly tenant, only to then be accused of taking advantage of the same elderly tenant in response. The battle over the unit, located within the same building as the W-K Market at 24th and Folsom, has been going on for over a year. However, the parties involved changed when the family that runs W-K Market bought the building from the previous owner in February.

The dispute now lies between the new owners of the building and the unit’s master tenant—Ron Wander. Wander, an artist who has lived in the rent controlled unit since the 1960’s, shares the large space with five subtenants and is fighting the eviction with the assistance of the Eviction Defense Collaborative.

According to Ali Alomari, who manages the W-K Market and is one of the new owners of the building, the trouble started last year when the previous owner attempted to evict Wander, and by extension his subtenants, for what the owner deemed to be illegal renovations to the unit.

Uptown Almanac was unable to reach Wander for comment, but we were able to speak with two of his subtenants—Nick Hage and Jon Chaney—who explained that “last year our previous landlords tried to evict us. We took them to court for illegally raising the rent and we won.” It was shortly after this that the previous owner decided to sell the building.

Alomari told Uptown Almanac that when the previous owner notified him of her intention to sell the building, he was immediately concerned about the implications the sale would have on his family’s business.

“A building at 24th and Folsom? If we didn’t buy it, we would be evicted [by whoever the new owner would be.]”

And so, his family worked with a bank and were able to finalize the purchase in February of this year. It was almost immediately thereafter that they began eviction proceedings against Wander.

Then flyers started to appear around the neighborhood, urging locals to boycott the market:

Hage explained by phone that the intention behind their flyering is to make the new owners “aware that the neighborhood doesn’t agree with these type of actions,” adding that there were “one hundred better ways to address this.” In response to a series of written questions from Uptown Almanac, Hage and Chaney clarified that while “Ron did not assist in creating the flyers or website, […] we ran all ideas through him first.”

The flyer, which claims that W-K Market is wrongfully evicting an 82-year old veteran, prompted the following response from the downstairs market:

When asked about the claim that the subtenants are “taking advantage of an elderly man and paying [Wander] only $144 in rent each month,” Hage and Chaney replied that the “unit is rent controlled and we were court ordered to split the rent evenly. We consider Ron a friend and roommate.” In conversation, Hage continued that “anyone who knows us knows that claim is untrue. Ron’s an artist, and we’re all artists and musicians. […] If he didn’t have people living here to help him fight the eviction, he’d be in serious trouble.” Wander’s only living family member is a niece in Alaska.

When asked about the intention behind the eviction proceedings, Alomari stated that “we’re not trying to get rid of him so we can re-rent the unit out for more.” Alomari went on to say that all the unpermitted work in the unit is a fire hazard—a concern that cannot easily be written off in light of the recent fire above a corner store at 24th and Treat that resulted in several deaths.

However, Hage countered that the renovations in question had been done over the course of the past forty years—long before any of the current subtenants moved in—and pose no fire risk. In contrast to Alomari’s claim, Hage stated that the work was done with the permission of the previous owner, and that aside from one concern over wiring (which Hage said was addressed by the previous landlord), there have not been any specific code violations cited by either the old owner or the new one.

According to the SF Assessor’s database for the property, the only building permit issued for the unit was in 2005 for work to “remove illegal (sic) built kitchen, bath, [and] partition.”

Hage claims that immediately after the new owners finalized the purchase of the space, they gave Wander three days to fix unspecified safety violations or face eviction.

“Three days to fix it or get out? Three days to take forty years of lofts out is just not realistic. They want to move in, fix it up, and then rent it out for more money.”

The eviction will ultimately be decided by the courts, but both the tenants and new owners hope the community will make a judgement of its own.