Curry Up Now has been blinding Valencia passersby with their ample lighting for three weeks now, and they've already endured two instances of "drunk fools" making a deconstructed knuckle/glass fusion plate with their front window. The chain restaurant seems satisfied with blaming boozed up hooligans with the destruction, but we can't help but think if they've served one to many vegetarians meat.
[Thanks for the tip, JM!]
Previously on Uptown Almanac
Days after the neighborhood was rocked by news that Mission Beach Cafe's compostable forks have tendency to break, we couldn't help but notice reports that they had shut down "until further notice." Oddly, their pastry case was full and presumably safe for affluent human consumption, and it seems really unlikely that anyone would close a restaurant on account of defective greenwave.
So what was really behind the closure? They told Eater that it was because of a "gas leak", which strikes us as made up, given the lack of Twitter freak-out and the fact they couldn't pin down a reopening date. And there are two neighbors claiming on Twitter that the staff "walked out" because "they didn't get paid."
It's curious that a popular restaurant with near-constant lines out the door and $15 huevos rancheros on the menu would be struggling to pay their kitchen staff (or, worse, deliberately not doing so). Then again, it's all a rumor.
For now, they're back open--their gas leak is 'fixed'. We'll update if we hear more.
Previously on Uptown Almanac
Because I've long aspired to be a 28-year-old man at a Third Eye Blind concert, I attended their semi-secret "urban disruptor mechanism"-transported gig last night at Bottom of the Hill. The show itself was definitely a music concert, and the sea of people who hit puberty around 1997 were thrilled for what seemed to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience to hometown big name perform in a local small venue. But the real hit happened when lead singer Stephan Jenkins--wearing the same flag-patched leather jacket he wore 16 years ago--shared his thoughts on Valencia Street between songs:
"We're right at that moment before Valencia turns to complete shit."
Damn, pretty rough call from the guys that filmed the video for their breakout hit in front of Boogaloo's.
Previously on Uptown Almanac
Purse pups are all the rage these days, but, let's face it, you probably don't have enough money to go to TJ Maxx and buy an appropriately-sized handbag for your totally adorbs new teacup. So why not upcycle that PBR box that's been sitting at the foot of your bed for the last few months and shove your dog into that? Great way to save the planet and meet babes!
When I was up in Seattle for a long weekend recently, I inadvertently squandered far too many hours in a flawlessly shitty dive by the name of Shorty's. For those of you that are unfamiliar, Shorty's has seemed to amass a Zeitgeist-like popularity up there, and for good reason: its walls are lined with arcade games and amusement park oddities, and they have an entire back room dedicated to pinball (15 machines in all). Plus, drinks are priced the way drinks should be priced (cheap) and they serve above gas station-quality hot dogs. You know, the stuff good bars are made of.
So when I say I "squandered" too many hours there, that's not to say that Shorty's wasn't worth the time, because it most certainly was and is. But it was my first time ever in Seattle and I had planned on seeing as much as I could, not blowing the better part of a Friday night feeding quarters to decades-old machines in the mixed company of yuppies and drug addicts. So when I went to cash my second ten dollar bill in for quarters, I couldn't help but feel my attraction to this place was less about what Shorty's does well, but more about what San Francisco doesn't do at all.
For all the things we get right, our bars have become awfully dull and monotonous. The industry spends so much time differentiating between cocktail menus and light fixtures that bar owners seemed to forget how to make their places fun. Besides ordering sillypants drinks like a "gently bound", we're lucky if a bar has anything besides a single pool table/pinball machine, (internet) jukebox, and an occasionally functional ATM. Darts? Hardly. Events? Rarely. Mini-golf course? Forget it.
So as that Friday night in Shorty's grew old and my index fingers tired, I got the most serendipitously perfect text from my friend Erika: the above photo with the message, "Gestalt debuted an arsenal of pinball machines. 5 total."
Now, obviously, Gestalt isn't Shorty's. At least not yet. But, they sell cheap beer and sausages, which is basically an upscale take on the hot dog, and are making a legitimate attempt to open a mini-arcade in a bar. Plus, all their equipment actually works, which is more rare than you'd think in this town.
As the bartender told me on my third visit in two weeks, "We're hoping Gestalt becomes a place people come to play games." Then he got someone to cover the bar so he could indulge in a round on Funhouse.
So far, the response to the shift has been so strong that they're already looking for more games to fill the place with. And let's hope it keeps that way, if only so the next time I'm in Seattle I can stand in line for 2 hours at the first ever Starbucks or something.
We're big fans of aging bar memorabilia here at Uptown Almanac. And while we've explored many digital ways to look back, there are still a few resources that have slipped past us. One of those is this thorough and well-preserved archive of 500+ matchbooks from years past. Tuffy, Pop's bar manager, fills us in on the find:
Pop's 10 year anniversary is coming up and I was trying to find some old pics and I came across a Flickr set of old SF matchbooks. Pretty cool to go through. I don't know the exact dates of most of these, but they probably range from the 40's-60's. Here are some other interesting ones I found:
- I found a matchbook for 2830 24th for a bar called "Dante's Inferno" -- that was most recently the World Pioneer Video.
- There used to be a bar at 2830 24th between Bryant and Florida called the Green Lantern - 26oz beer $0.10!
- A little further up in Noe on 24th--The Dubliner used to be the Valley Cavern (Sidenote: the Google Map for that address is pretty good!)
Tuffy's finds sure are choice. Here are a few more:
A matchbook for the long-defunct San Francisco Baseball Club outside of Seals' Stadium and another for the almost equally long-defunct La Rondalla.
Art & Charlie's previously occupied what is now Latin American Club, and Blue Bird Cafe was either at the site of El Trebol or in the row of buildings that burned down in the 60's, making the US Bank Building's parking lot.
You should already be plenty aware of these two bars...
Bernal Club at the foot of Bernal's south slope advised patrons to "have fun while you're still in the pink" and a waffle house in SOMA would turn you into a starved horse, apparently.
Finally, a bunch of fancy (fancy!) places sprung to have art printed right on the matches themselves.
Anyway, take a look at the entire collection yourself. And should you want to celebrate Pop's 10 year anniversary, swing by 24th and York on March 23rd for "free beer and stuff" (including, we're sure, Pop's newest matchbooks).
(Thanks, Tuffy!) [All Scans by ussiwojima]
Previously on Uptown Almanac
Ah yes, the days when wall-to-wall douchebags and girls with neck problems packed Medjool's roof and sipped their $6.50 sample-sized Stellas are long behind us. But after failing to sell the bar and bed bug-infested building for a reported $7.25 million last spring, Medjool is now playing host to a new type of client: homeless veterans. SFGate reports:
This weekend, homeless vets will start moving into 2524 Mission St., the massive structure near 21st Street that is owned by Gus Murad, the politically well-connected real estate developer. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has given approval for 32 housing vouchers for veterans to be tied to the building, which will include 30 studios and two one-bedroom apartments. Another unit will house a resident manager...
This is the latest coup for the city, which last summer launched a campaign to house more homeless veterans using HUD vouchers. Only five or six private landlords agreed to participate, with others likely unswayed that taking a bet on a vet was smarter than leasing to the latest 20ish tech guru.
And the roof? According to the Chron, "1,000 square feet of it will be used as a hangout and community meeting space for the veterans." Nice.
Our pals over at Mission Mission posted this picture of a broken fork last week and we thought it was just too upsetting not to share. We felt the need to repost this for a couple of reasons. First of all, Mission Beach Cafe is goddamn delicious, so we can only imagine the crushing disappointment of a fork breaking mid-meal. Just imagine it - one minute you're standing there shoveling food into your maw and then the next minute, SNAP! Your flimsy environmentally-friendly potato fork has done gone broken in half. What trauma! What grief! How do you even proceed? Look how runny those delicious breakfast eggs are. You can't very well pick up runny yolks with your hands and eat them. You're not an animal! I guess you could try to find another fork, but who even has time for that business when your hot delicious breakfast is cooling before your very eyes? Besides, a metal fork would probably poke straight through the bottom of your yolk-soaked container. And a knife? Forget it.
We hesitated to reach out to your Mission Mission authors for fear of renewing the trauma of a broken fork. It must be hard enough to get over something like that to begin with, without a bunch of bloggers calling you for comment. In any case, we thank Mission Mission for bringing this critical neighborhood news to our attention. View the harrowing details of the original post here.