Don't Call It A Chain...

Philz to Open Coffee Campus in the Dogpatch

Everyone’s favorite coffee startup, Philz, is slated to open a “massive campus” in the Dogpatch sometime in early 2015. The San Francisco Business Times explains:

Landing at 1258 Minnesota Street, the new Philz Coffee will serve as a new training facility, office space and retail locale for the company on the ground floor of a 39-unit condo development, Millwheel North. […]

“The space is massive in size and exquisite in feel,” said Philz Coffee CEO Jacob Jaber. “We plan to build a space that speaks the Philz values while celebrating the craftsmanship, history and authenticity of the very special rapidly growing Dogpatch neighborhood.”

This new multi-use retail space will be the 20th Philz location in California, which means that according to current restrictions on formula retail, Philz should be required to obtain a conditional use permit in order to open the new location. The San Francisco Chronicle predicted this very situation last month when they wrote about potential changes to formula retail restrictions:

Currently, if a business like a restaurant, bar or retail store has 11 locations in the United States, it is considered formula retail under San Francisco’s laws. Over a large swath of the city, such businesses can add a 12th, or additional, location only with special approval from the city, a “conditional use” permit that requires additional cost and effort. To do so, the business must demonstrate that its proposed new store is “necessary and desirable.” […]

Philz has 14 locations, for example, and would need a conditional use permit to add any more locations in San Francisco, which can mean paying rent for months on a yet-to-open location while waiting for approvals.

No word yet on whether Philz has already obtained the required permits to open its 7th location in San Francisco, but with “The Patch” so quickly on the rise, one can only image that Philz won’t be the only company looking to expand in San Francisco’s “hot new neighborhood.”

[Photo: Curbed, via Eater]

Mission Street Changes

Planning Department to Hold Public Meeting on the Future of Mission Street

This Thursday, August 7th, the Planning Department is holding its second public meeting to discuss the Mission Street Public Life Plan. Not familiar with the Mission Street Public Life Plan? The Planning Department provides the following project overview to bring us up to speed:

The Mission Street Public Life Plan is looking at how Mission Street is currently used and is exploring new ideas that can express the needs and identity of its users. […]

The plan will create new opportunities for gathering spaces along the corridor while supporting transit service, and will promote local art and business as expressions of the unique identity of the street. Ideas will be developed for and with the Mission District community and through partnerships newly formed. The Plan will be a resource for community organizations and local stewards to celebrate this iconic street with creative street furnishings, art installations about history and evolving identities, storytelling, and gathering.

It sounds like more local art and new opportunities for gathering spaces (parklets?) along Mission Street are key elements of the plan.

Taking place from 6:00 to 8:00pm at The Women’s Building, this Thursday’s meeting has the following specific agenda:

[We] will explore how street furniture, art, seating and events could create new ways to gather and to celebrate the cultural history of this important street. We will also discuss the latest community conversations on commerce, art and maintenance for the 16th BART plaza.

If the future of Mission Street is important to you (or if you just really want to help secure your future of chilling out on public seating), then this Thursday’s meeting is a great opportunity to make your voice heard.

[Mission Local]

Artisan Liquor Stores

Royal Cuckoo Is Opening a "Hippie Country Store" on 19th

It seems the artisan liquor store trend is starting to take off in the Mission. In March, the “Local” chain of upscale markets and restaurants opened “Local Cellar,” a liquor store at 22nd and Florida that stocks Bay Area beers and wine (along with a few bottles of Jameson and Jägermeister). Now, the family behind the jazz-centric cocktail bar The Royal Cuckoo are opening their own market.

Co-owner Paul Miller tells us what to expect:

The store will have several dimensions: part eclectic liquor store with some basic standards, part Woolworth’s, part hippie country store. Eventually, we would like to make sandwiches and serve espresso, let people sit and hangout. We will carry good breakfast groceries, like bacon, eggs, cheese, baguettes, pastries, and fruit. We’ll also stock random items, like ice cream. We can sell pretty much anything, but unfortunately not everything—it’s a small space, so we’ll see what fits.

Miller tells us the space, located on 19th between Capp and Mission, should be open (albeit not fully stocked) next week.

[Photo and tip submitted by Capp Street Crap]

Evict Ed

The Word on the Street

The “EVICT ED LEE!” stencils popping up in the Mission Dolores area over the past few weeks appear rather prescient in light of Mayor Ed Lee’s successful effort to gut Supervisor Kim’s affordable housing ballot measure. The San Francisco Bay Guardian explains the original measure, before it was watered down:

[Supervisor Kim’s] originally proposed ballot measure required new housing developments to provide 30 percent affordable housing, with an opt-out mechanism possible through a hearing. […] The 30 percent requirement was a strong, clear ask which may have spurred much-needed housing for middle and lower-income San Franciscans.

The final version of the ballot measure (which we’ll all have the pleasure of voting on this November) does not include the 30% requirement, because, as the San Francisco Bay Guardian put it: “the mayor, frankly, didn’t like it.”

But whatever. Who needs concrete action taken to create more affordable housing when the Mayor’s office has already given us this sweet “housing meter” graphic?


Laughing and Crawling

The 2nd Annual SF Comedy Crawl is Tonight


The Bay Area has some top notch underground comedic talent, and the 2nd Annual SF Comedy Crawl is showcasing a bunch of it tonight. In contrast to your normal open mic rollercoaster of pretty good to so-shitty-it-borders-on-art, the Crawl is going to showcase over 20 seasoned local comics, most of which you probably haven’t seen, and all of them funny. Best of all, all three shows are free.

The whole thing starts at 6:00 PM at The Grotto, which is the fancy name for the actual basement of Sports Basement (on Bryant Street). Big plus: free beer and wine to start the night. At 8:00 PM, it’ll move down the block to the SOMA Streat Food Park at 428 11th street. The night rounds out at Il Pirata, hosted by none other than the Godfather of SF Comedy, Tony Sparks. Check out their facebook page for more info.

Keep an eye out for David Gborie and Kaseem Bentley, among others. These are the type of dudes that could get too big for this town in no time.

True Hustle Producer Anthony Medina will be hosting The Grotto set, and he’s been very busy lately putting up shows like this one. He’s passionate about fostering talent, and making sure people see it. For him, these shows aren’t just about making the audience laugh—they’re about giving local comics another platform.

“In my opinion, the Bay Area comedy scene is as good if not better than any other scene out there. We just want to put [comedians] in the position to get quality stage time, and get paid when they can.”

San Francisco is constantly losing comedians to LA, and The Crawl is one of those shows where you can catch a lot of great talent while it’s still around. Hell, if nothing else, show up for the free booze and see where the night takes you.

[Photo: Jay Austin Graham Photography]

Market Street Mornings

High-Speed Police Chase Leaves Trail of Carnage Along Market

Brian Brophy fills us in on a high-speed police chase that wove through Civic Center and up Market earlier this morning:

I was walking up the north side of Market across from 11th when I heard sirens, coming on very quickly. I then saw a red pick-up truck emerge from 11th and first thought it was an SFFD truck, but I didn’t understand why it was going so fast. As the truck turned right, going east onto Market I realized it was a work truck, and somebody was fleeing the cops. The cop was right behind him. The truck was going so fast, I didn’t think he was going to make the turn, and was scared he was going to end up on the sidewalk where I was. The truck made the turn, looking like he was about to flip over, tools spilling out onto Market Street. He drove on the wrong side of the street and they both somehow made it through the 9th and Market intersection, against the light, without hitting anybody. I couldn’t see past that.

Then I continued on to work and saw glass on the ground in front of the Honda dealership [at the corner of Market and Van Ness], between the Muni stairs and the building. The truck had hit a town car on Market, then went up on the sidewalk and made a right onto S. Van Ness. I heard the cop there say something about a man flipping out of the back of a  truck and hitting his head on a tree (but I’m not sure if it was the red truck, or another truck he hit). I got to Mission and South Van Ness, in front of the car wash and he had hit those trees earlier in the chase.

I couldn’t believe they kept chasing him up Market. They were going so damn fast, seemed like maybe just let him go at that point so nobody in their car or pedestrians get hit. Hopefully no one else got hit. I heard they got him pretty soon after that.

From what we’re seeing on Twitter, the police caught up with suspect around Civic Center.

[Photos: Brian Brophy]


The Tradesman: Meeting All Your $16.00 Peanut Butter Burger Needs

Putting their “gorgeous wood” front and center, Zarin Gollogly and Spencer Lafrenz of Harrison Woodworking + Design have joined the ever increasing number of trailblazing entrepreneurs to open a bar/restaurant on the now-definitely-a-real-thing-and-not-the-creation-of-a-restaurant-group “20th Street Corridor.”

According to SF Eater:

The smoking-hot 20th Street corridor has yet another new stunner to add to its arsenal in the form of The Tradesman, which opens today in the same complex that houses Central Kitchen, Trick Dog, Salumeria, and Sightglass.

In addition to serving beer and wine, The Tradesman, which opened this past Friday, sports a diverse menu. Offerings include:

  • goat tartare cured yolk, watercress, horseradish, country bread ($6.00)
  • birria goat stew cilantro, fresh made corn tortillas ($13.00)
  • chicken and waffle ($14.00)
  • burger cheddar, peanut butter, sesame brioch bun ($16.00)

So the next time you find yourself staring at the precious landmark-themed menu at Trick Dog wondering what’s a guy/gal got to do to just get a goddamn Dogfish Head Sixty-One and some goat tartare, The Tradesman’s got you covered.

[Photo: Patricia Chang via SF Eater]

Coffee Saved the Video Store?

Lost Weekend Video Serving As Ritual Roaster's Temporary New Home

As we reported earlier this month, Lost Weekend Video has been suffering an “immediate crisis” as rental revenues have sharply declined. They’ve explored a few different revised business models, including expanding their famed Cinecave upstairs, but “Valencia Street business restrictions” has made those plans impossible.

Lost Weekend then put out a call for “anyone with an actual solid business plan interested in sharing the upstairs space with us.” And then today, Matt Graves alerted us to a Ritual Roasters pop-up in the video store. Hmm.

We reached out to Ritual’s Eileen Rinaldi to see if Lost Weekend was exploring a partnership with the neighoring coffee shop—a situation that could be similar to Borderland’s bookstore-cum-coffeeshop setup. However, Rinaldi tells us that Lost Weekend is just helping Ritual out while the coffee shop undergoes renovations:

They’re just being great neighbors. We’ve always had a good relationship with the folks at Lost Weekend. We used to joke about putting a little pass-through cabinet between our businesses so the folks working the video store could get coffees delivered to them behind the counter without having to go outside. I think this is one step better than that!

Neighborly love! How about that?

Anyway, should you want your Ritual fix, they’ll be operating out of Lost Weekend from 7am to 2pm daily until their remodel is complete. Rinaldi tells us they hope to reopen in three weeks.

[Photo: Matt Graves]

Pinball Party Time

New Legislation Means More Arcade Games For San Francisco

Working to shed the title of San Francisco’s Top Buzzkill, Supervisor Scott Wiener has taken a moment out of his normally busy schedule outlawing public nudity and crusading to restrict the public’s use of city parks to remind us that, hey kids!, he’s still hip to the needs/passions of the youth vote.

I refer, of course, to the legislation he co-sponsored with Supervisor London Breed, which the Board of Supervisors is expected to approve today, modifying restrictions on pinball machines and arcade games inside city businesses. The San Francisco Chronicle did us the favor of explaining the clearly onerous existing regulations, which were passed way back in 1982 when the questionable morals of Mrs. Pacman seemed a very real threat:

The law currently requires a business to secure a city permit to have any arcade game on its premises; it also prohibits the games within 300 feet of a public playground or school or within 1,500 feet of another business with arcade games, and in any neighborhood zoned for residential use; and limits the number depending on square footage of a business, with a maximum of 10.

Well pop the champagne and take a hammer to your piggy bank, because under the new law bars can have four machines and non-bars can have up to ten without securing a permit.

Shit just got real.

Of course, lest shit get too real, the revised regulations on “mechanical amusement devices” do not completely roll back restrictions. Rather, Supervisors Wiener and Breed have made it easier for establishments to carry a limited quantity of arcade machines without going through the Entertainment Commission. For previously illegal arcades such as Free Gold Watch, this paves a pathway towards legitimacy that wasn’t previously available.

So the next time you’re cited for having the audacity to be in Dolores Park past what Supervisor Wiener considers to be an acceptable hour, just remember, Wiener has your best interests at heart.