Star Sighting: Mayor Lee Visits New “Mission Bernal Merchants Association”

Mayor Lee ICHI

Mayor Lee Secession

Star Sighting!  Earlier this month San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee was seen hobnobbing in the Bernal flatlands to show his support for the “Mission Bernal Merchants Association,” the new group that appears to have deftly navigated their recent naming challenges.

Here’s the mission statement:

The purpose of the Mission Bernal Merchants Association (MBMA) is to facilitate unity of action among the merchants and nonprofits in the MBMA, San Francisco, in order to protect, promote and preserve the business conditions within the Mission Bernal Commercial District. The Mission Bernal Merchants Association is defined as that area inside the following boundaries: Mission Street from Cesar Chavez to Randall Street, 29th Street from San Jose Avenue to Mission Street in San Francisco.

Mayor Lee dropped in as part of his regular Small Business Friday tours to speak with with La Lengua Mission-Bernal merchants about business concerns and neighborhood issues. Neighbor Erin Archuleta (of Ichi Sushi + Ni Bar fame) shares these notes about the MBMA’s most recent meeting, along with details about the next one:

This past meeting resulted in drafting agenda items pertaining to merchants in the neighborhood, such as a visit with our Police Captain; a chance to host a Networking Mixer; and opportunities to participate in planning events that would benefit our community. The group is open to all business owners in our corridor along Mission (and just off Mission) between Cesar Chavez and Randall Streets.

Our next meeting is:
Monday, May 12th
10 AM
at PizzaHacker (3299 Mission Street at 29th Street)

PHOTOS: Mayor Lee at Ichi Sushi and Secession Design, courtesy of MBMA

Posted in Celebrity, Merchants, Politics | 6 Comments

Wednesday: Benefit Dinner at Hillside Supper Club for School of the Arts Instrumental Music Program


Neighbor Julie invites you to a benefit dinner at Bernal’s glamorous Hillside Supper Club tomorrow, Wednesday, April 23 starting at 6 pm:

Hi- I’m a long time Bernal resident, and a community organizer and activist in the public schools here in SF.

A few Bernalwood residents are working with the folks at Hillside Supper Club to host a special evening to benefit the Instrumental Music Dept at the School of the Arts, the public high school devoted to visual, literary and performing arts located at Portola and O’Shaughnessy.

The School of the Arts receives about 30% of its operating costs from the San Francisco Unified School District. It falls to the SOTA community to raise the remaining 70%. This is achieved in a variety of ways, from regular performances on the campus and at different venues around the city, to bake sales, car washes and pancake breakfasts. The Friends of School of the Arts is a non-profit foundation that manages donations and contributions and also engages in targeted campaigns.

Instrumental Music is divided into four strands: Orchestra, Band, Guitar and World Music. The funds we raise go to purchase instruments and equipment and to pay for department Artists-in-Residence– working professionals in the Bay Area who coach and mentor our students.

This year we hope to purchase music stands and three clarinets, among other numerous needs.

There will be a three course meal- the “Seafood Serenade”, wine and dessert are included, and the musical entertainment will be provided by Matt Cmiel, Director of Orchestras and Brad Hogarth Band Director.

A portion of the purchase price ($100 per seat) is tax deductible.

Currently over 50 students in the immediate Bernal Heights neighborhood attend SOTA. It should be a great evening, tasty and fun!

Tickets are limited, so get yours right here. Additional deets

Seafood Serenade- a sublime feast, plus wine and dessert, with musical accompaniment.

One sitting.
Three courses.
Twenty two seats available for purchase.

Culinary genius courtesy of Tony Ferrari and Jonathan Sutton of the local pop-up grown-up, Hillside Supper Club.

Musical genius courtesy of Matthew Cmiel (Guitar) and Brad Hogarth (Horn), Directors of Orchestra and Band at Asawa SOTA.

Internationally acclaimed guitarist Peppino D’Agostino and his daughter, Aleza D’agostino will be surprise featured guests.

Seafood generously provided by Royal Hawaiian Seafood

All proceeds to benefit Instrumental Music at the School of the Arts.


Asparagus, quail egg, and caviar

Raw oysters with a cilantro lime mignonette
Grilled Monterey bay squid, with charred spring onions, basil pesto, and lemon
Pea tendril salad of spring peas, easter egg radish, honey vinaigrette, and pecorino;

Lobster pot pie, king trumpet mushrooms, baby carrots, black truffle veloute.


Buy tickets here.

Posted in Education, Events | Leave a comment

Violent Tales from Pre-Gentrification Bernal Heights During the Eighties


Bernal Heights was a tough place during the Eighties. It was a time of rampant lawlessness, violent crime, substance abuse, and lots of un-neighborly behavior.

Burrito Justice, chief spokesblogger for the La Lenguan separatists, recently posted a series of tales that vividly captures the sordid underbelly of life in Bernal Heights during the dark days of the 1880s. Thus we meet Proto-Neighbor Jeremiah Buckley, who appears to have had some issues:


MEMO TO HOLY WATER: Put “Goat Chasers Great Internal Tonic and Stomach Reviver” on the cocktail menu, please, and make ours a double.

In any event, after concluding that “Twenty-seventh and Alabama” likely refers to the corner of today’s Precita and Alabama, Burrito Justice cites this sordid chapter of Bernal Heights history as justification for the cause of La Lenguan independence. “All La Lenguan residents should consider this fair warning when traversing Precitaville, as Consular services may not be available,” he writes.

Yet this strains credibility. After all, as he himself has documented, one of the most infamous hives of crime and scandal in the Dominion of Bernalwood was the Cable House, which once stood at the corner of Tiffany and Duncan, smack in the middle of the La Lenguan heartland.

The “Railroad Hotel” [was] a 30 room boarding house. Built in the 1880s, it was once known as the “Cable House”, and was torn down in the 1920s… All sorts of crazy-ass things happened at 24 Tiffany. Seriously, they could have made a reality TV show about it. If you ever time travel and stay at the Railroad Hotel, it’s best to not leave your things out:


Likewise, at La Lengua’s Cable House, it was best to avoid the liquor:


IMAGES: 1884 Bernal Heights from the David Rumsey Historical Collection. Press clippings via Burrito Justice.

Posted in History | 10 Comments

Valiant Power Pole Halts Runaway Van Rolling Down Treat Street


Neighbor Rusty reports that a runaway van rolled down the 1600 block of Treat Street, just south of Precita Park. Fortuitously, a heroic PG&E electric pole sacrificed itself by halting the vehicle’s progress moments before it slammed into a house. *whew!* Close call:

PHOTOS: Neighbor Rusty

Posted in Calamity, Cars | 4 Comments

Easter Bunny Leaves Chalk Art Outside Bernal Homes


The Easter Bunny left us a cool present on Sunday morning, sometime between the time when I grabbed the newspaper after waking up and when I walked outside a short while later to run an errand.

The gift arrived in the form of a fun chalk drawing on the street in front of the driveway I share with my next door neighbors. The image showed a secret agent driving a custom Easter Bunny Egg car, and the details were rather wonderful.


Thank you Easter Bunny!! Very much appreciated.

PHOTOS: Telstar Logistics

Posted in Art, Found Things | 2 Comments

Sunday Morning: Renegade Bernal Heights Easter Egg Hunt


Shhhhhhh! There’s word on the street that the Easter Bunny may hide some eggs in Holly Park tomorrow morning:

Bernal’s unofficial, unauthorized, unorganized, nondenominational EGGZELLENT Hide & Hunt in Holly Park

Date Sunday, April 20
9:00 for hiders.
10:00 for hunters.

North steps of Holly Park

9:00 am. Meet at the top of the north steps of Holly Park for the hiding parent. (rules and chatter until around 9:15 and then 30 minutes of hiding. NO Kids until 9:45am please…)

Around 10:00 am we’ll go over the rules (quickly) for the kids and then start. The rules will be made up on the spot. They depend on how many people show up, the age range, and the weather.

- at least 12 nicely colored eggs; chocolate or plastic. Also, there have been multiple requests for more stickers/plastic dinosaurs/ikea finger puppets/whathaveyou and less candy!
- a basket for your kid to carry eggs.

- eggs with candy, crackers, tattoos, toys, confetti– what ever you like as long as its safe.
- there will be separate areas designated for toddlers and bigger kids so hide eggs accordingly.
- In previous years the outer areas were for the older hunters and the baseball field was reserved for the younger hunters (toddlers, babies,etc).

- watch your kids when they open the eggs. Make sure what is inside them is appropriate for your kid.
- If hiding eggs in the baseball field, please try to make sure they are more age appropriate
- ***please do not take more eggs than you came with***

- Light rain or shine… we hide and hunt…. same time same place.
Downpour, forget about it.

This is a word of mouth event that is open to the community, but at risk of losing it’s charm and appeal if it gets too big. All welcome, but it doesn’t need to be majorly publicized. Thank you.

PHOTO: Hunting for eggs in 2012, by Bronwyn Ximm

Posted in Children and Parenting, Events | 2 Comments

It’s Official: Ichi Sushi + Ni Bar Is One of the Hottest Sushi Restaurants in the Galaxy Right Now


Bernal Heights is already, and officially, the hottest neighborhood in the entire solar system. Now we are an order of magnitude more hot, because Eater National just anointed the tasty new Ichi Sushi + Ni Bar on Mission Street as one of the Hottest Sushi Restaurants in America.


Truth be told, this comes as no surprise. Your Bernalwood editor has eaten at the new Ichi Sushi + Ni Bar many times since we first announced its glamorous re-opening in the new space in February. We haven’t written about it since, however, because (shameful confession) we didn’t want to have to compete with you for a table. In true Samuel Brannan style, the hypertastiness of the new Ichi+Ni is just a little something we’ve been keeping to ourselves.

Well, now the word is getting out.

Anna Roth at SFWeekly said:

The new [izakaya] space is still coming into its own, but once it establishes its own identity, Ni Bar is bound to become not only a staging ground for the sushi bar’s omakase, but a destination in its own right.

Critic Jonathan Kaufman reported that the sushi remains amazing as always, while the new izakaya-style zone in the back of the new space takes things in a rather delicious new direction:

Your resolve to hold out for sushi may be whittled away by the sanbaizu sunomono ($7.50)–pink commas of shrimp with pickled cucumber and frilly, crunchy tremella (white fungus)–and crisp-skinned fried chicken wings ($9.50), first cooked sous-vide with yuzu juice until the flesh is as tender as a ripe peach.

If you want to preserve your omakase aspirations, don’t order the clams ($8.50), which come with ground pork in a ridiculously savory miso broth swirled with black garlic oil.

Because you may have to order seconds.

I’ll second that. The Miso Asari Clams & Pork are mind-blowing. In fact, yes, I actually do get two orders of it, because it’s just that insanely good.

We’re in good company, because the Michael Bauer says the miso clams are one of his favorite dishes as well.


More of this sort of gush is likely to follow, because this week Eater National added Ichi Sushi + Ni Bar to their list of The 19 Hottest Sushi Restaurants In the US Right Now:

Already a favorite on San Francisco’s sushi scene, ICHI Sushi only got better earlier this year when it reopened in a new, bigger space. Eater SF took a look inside the new 30-seat sushi bar with an omakase counter, table seating, and an izakaya named Ni Bar serving booze and other izakaya-style plates.

Big congratulations to Ichi owners (and Bernal neighbors) Tim and Erin Archuleta.

If you haven’t already eaten at Ichi Sushi + Ni Bar, get thyself there quickly, because it won’t be long before you’ll have to compete with every foodie in the United States to get a table. You have been warned.

PHOTOS: Top, Neighbor Chef Tim, by Telstar Logistics. Below, Miso Asari Clams & Pork at Ichi Sushi + Ni Bar; photo by Inside Scoop

Posted in Food and Drink | 11 Comments