Merchant vs. Merchant on Precita Park

Recent visitors to the Harvest Hills Market on the southwest corner of Precita Park may have noticed an odd sign in the window.

The sign shows a picture of Charlie, the vintage tuna mascot, along with Starkist’s venerable motto, “Sorry Charlie.” The text then goes on to explain that Harvest Hills no longer sells produce to “some local cafe owners and store owners,” to ensure that nearby merchants do not buy-out Harvest Hills’s inventory of low-priced produce.

Of course, the Starkist allusion can only be a reference to Charlie’s Cafe, located just a few doors north on Folsom Street. It would appear there are some unresolved issues between the two merchants. We suspect it isn’t only about produce sales.

*Awkward!*

Neighbor Dan wrote to Bernalwood with this comment:

Not sure if you’ve heard about the ongoing feud between Harvest Hills and Charlies, but it appears to have gotten worse, judging from the pictured sign that was posted recently to the store window. It confirms what Charlie has told me, namely that Harvest Hills employees are refusing to sell produce to employees of Charlies Cafe.

I should start off by saying I probably don’t have all the facts. That means it’s possible Harvest Hills has good reasons for turning away Charlies’ employees when they want to purchase bananas or onions. And even if Harvest Hills doesn’t have a good reason, the store owners are probably well within their rights to decide who they do business with. That said, Charlie tells me he’s attempted to buy food fewer than 15 times in the two years that Harvest Hills has been in business, and then only when food he purchased ahead of time has run out or unexpectedly gone bad. If true, that doesn’t sound like Charlie’s is “buying all of one or two produce products that we have.”

Harvest Hills should know that when I (a customer of both establishments) can’t get avocado on my sandwich because the batch Charlie purchased earlier that morning went bad, the refusal to sell Charlie a single avocado affects me negatively. So forgive me if I don’t buy the notion that Harvest Hills is putting its customers first. More to the point, the “Sorry Charlie” title and image seem unnecessarily rude. Is this really the way fellow business people should treat each other?

An Anonymous Bernal Tuna harpooned a metaphor to make a larger point:

I’ve heard it all before.  Chicken of the Sea.  I always wanted to be that; sure, who didn’t?  Have your bulging salmon torso spinning out of control, like a marlin on a can of tuna.  Now I’ve accepted myself for who I am, a scrawny tuna.  I lead a pretty quiet existence now, swimming up a private stream near Precita Park.  While munching on some flies yesterday, I  overhead some humans chatting about the sign at the Harvest Hills Market that said “Sorry Charlie”.   It brought up all that stuff up again – too thin, too small, not pink enough, eyes too wide-set like a halibut.  I pooped so damn much in the stream even the frogs stopped croaking.  So, can I just ask just once, “Can we all try to get along?”

As a factual matter, Bernalwood will merely add that Harvest Hills does indeed have low prices on high-quality produce. Two examples caught our eye last weekend: sugar snap peas for $1.25 a pound, and fresh shitake mushrooms for $2.95 a pound. Get ‘em while they last.

UPDATE: Neighbors report that the Sorry Charlie signs have now been removed from the windows of Harvest Hills

UPDATE 2: In the comments, a reader directs us to some backstory on the controversy, which has also spilled out onto Yelp.

PHOTO: Telstar Logistics

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86 thoughts on “Merchant vs. Merchant on Precita Park

  1. Not to make light of a sitution that is clearly bothering Harvest Hills, but, zowie! That was quite a rant!

  2. Harvest Hills needs to tread carefully. Charlie has been a good vendor here since be bought out Corinne”s a few years ago and he has many supporters. Hey: if you don’t want to sell him your precious produce don’t sell it. But do you have to make such a silly public display out of it?

      • What was silly was his attack one customer at a time on our business. This was such a small issue for his business. He is cutting corners and running out of lettuce, bananas or avocados? Why push it and then have all these other details about him come out? Did he think he could change the neighborhoods buying habits one person at a time? It just didn’t make sense unless he thought there would be no response at all. I believe we did tread lightly. The poster had some humor and explained the reasoning behind what is happening and how our business model works.

        We had a bully on our street when I was a kid. I’d come home with a bloody nose about once a month as did the other kids. Finally after crying to my Mom for the third time she said, you need to turn around next time and hit this kid back as hard as you can. I did, he left with a bloody nose and didn’t hurt the neighborhood kids or me again. People that bully Gina and her brother have learned that it is not a good idea anymore.

        A small poster was a way to communicate to our customers, the humor was really not much of a bloody nose. The blogging and details that have come out probably are, that’s probably why we haven’t heard from him. This person has done good things for the neighborhood children so we’ve been pretty basic about responding.

  3. I would really like to hear the owners of Harvest Hills address this. I buy a lot from their store and am reconsidering going there again. Such a sign posting is remarkably unprofessional.

    • Michael M., I’m confused. In a post further down, which you actually left earlier than the one above, you say the sign was a mistake. In the post above, you compare it to standing up to a bully who physically abused you as a child. How can it be both?

      I think you make a much stronger case when you stick to the facts and leave out the hyperbolic metaphors and 1970s commercial references. The sign made no reference to the real reasons you were banning Charlies employees from your store, and falsely implied this treatment extended to all businesses. How is this standing up for yourself?

      • Dan,
        I understand that you are confused, you have many interesting, obscure, accusatory and incorrect observations. You use great words but just make things up. It doesn’t falsely imply. We told our cashiers to stop anyone that was taking all of a certain product for a cafe or store. We said if Cozzilinos or other trusted local businesses needs one or two of something that is fine but no other companies that want it all. We need to save it for our local individual customers. We have one street vendor that was trying to take it all to go to another part of town and sell it. We had another store that was stopping in to purchase our great deals because they were lower than he’s able to purchase. Grandma’s making pies ok, local customers with a party, etc. but not businesses trying to resell the product or make smoothies…

        The sign was a way of talking to multiple customers that were being told a lie by a vendor down the street. Since so many people didn’t care about the circumstances and only felt it was mean, it was a mistake to communicate that way. It was interesting that some of those people didn’t care about the background. Our intent was not to offend anyone but to communicate. So for that we were sorry that it brought up bad memories or had them concerned. The reality is that someone was attacking us and we responded. Like I stated no one wins these things, but to lay down and take it is wrong. What we could have done is produced a smaller paper to hand to each customer that asked about it when we were not there.

        The sign did make reference to the real reason. We purchase this deals, mark them up with 0 to 5% margin and pass them on to customers to average out the advantage the Walmarts, Whole Foods have in bulk purchases. So stopping people that are buying it all is standing up for our model. Standing up to someone putting out an incorrect story with a sign is standing up for yourself. We responded to a business that was putting out a false narrative over and over and over again.

      • Michael M.

        Let’s try to keep this civil, shall we. If there’s anything I’ve said that you think is inaccurate, it’s not because I made it up, it’s because I didn’t understand. I assure you I’m trying to be an honest broker of information. I don’t appreciate you saying I’m making things up.

        I don’t understand why your sign said: “We don’t let other businesses buy from us anymore. We are sorry, but our customers come first. We don’t want other corporations wiping out all we have and leaving our store patrons without lettuce, onions or bananas.”

        This seems misleading to me, since at least some of the refusals have involved very small purchases that would in no way exhaust your supply. It also seems misleading since other businesses *have* been allowed to buy from Harvest Hills. It seems even more misleading when we discover later in this thread that a big part of the refusal to sell to Charlies employees stems back to disagreements over the price charged for bananas.

        I’m not trying to make obscure accusatory observations, and you have yet to point out any factual inaccuracies. If Charlies was the only business you were banning, why didn’t your sign say so explicitly instead of implying this was an accross-the-board action (that’s how I read it anyway).

        If Harvest Hills was the subject of any false narratives that disparaged its reputation, you have my sympathy, and I strongly support your right to set the record straight. At the risk of repeating myself (too late, I know), I think your sign failed at this and made a bad situation worse.

      • Dan,
        You make accusations like “PR tactics” and “false statements”, “bit manipulative”, many of which you could not support because you are not me, you’re not in my head and you are not a member of the Harvest Hills team. Your assertions are made as facts and accumulate to an attack or attacks that are not really civil. Had you wanted to keep things civil you may want to see how others have worded their views. Rather than jump to conclusions and label things you really don’t understand it would be best if you simply asked a question and awaited a response. Better yet come in and talk to us in person.

        You are looking for tremendous detail or legal verbiage from a basic sign. To attempt to clarify… We don’t let other businesses buy from us that are trying to buy to resell or to buy cheaper than they can and hence use us as there distributor. Our model doesn’t support that. We can spare an avocado or two. We certainly aren’t going to do it for someone that has the attitude and approach that if our cashiers make a mistake they will not correct it. The result of that mentality is a total ban. In this case this group was banned for both reasons. While we could have explained everything it would have been 9 point font or smaller and simply not something that would be worth reading.

        Rather than continue to answer many questions and assertions let me end this by saying. Thank you for your input, we appreciate you trying to help us see your point of view. We are sorry that our answers seemed like false statements, that you felt were manipulative or that made you feel like they were PR tactics.

        In summary this was an sign that answered a local businesses relentless attacks through common customers. Because we have a new baby we were not there at our store to answer in person that would have been our preferred approach. No one likes to be attacked or to have to respond.

      • Fair enough, Mike.

        And let me sign off this discussion by saying I think Harvest Hills is a tremendous asset to the neighborhood and that I really appreciate all the hard work of you, Gina, Joseph and all your employees for bringing the huge selection of fresh, tasty and healthful products and produce to us on a daily basis.

        I’d also like to reiterate my statements that many of your remarks in this forum have been helpful and clear.

        I appreciate your willingness to openly discuss this topic and am sorry that people from Charlies didn’t follow your example.

  4. Unf***ing believable! How petty can Harvest Bills (pun) be? Precita Park neighbors pride ourselves on how neighborly we are. We have people from all walks of life here and in the true spirit of San Francisco, we all help each other out. So what if Charlie wants to buy a couple of pieces of fruit? I know Charlie sometimes gives more food away than he sells. I also know that Hillside Supper Club buy there on a regular basis. I think Harvest Hills need to apologize to Charlie. If they don’t then we should boycott them.

    • You’re a troll, right? If not, can you name someone who sells organic produce for less?

      Yeah, I was pretty sure you couldn’t.

      • I’m pretty sure you can get less expensive organic produce at Golden Produce on Church & Market. It’s a hike, but well worth it. Regardless of price, they have EVERYTHING! Need a rutabaga…not sure what you do with those…but I’m sure they have it.

  5. Harvest Hills produce is sooooo expensive!! They are delusional. The onions are bland, the broccoli is bendy, the tomatoes are grainy to boot!

    oh and stop moderating comments you fascists

    • Their produce is much better than it used to be with the former owners. It’s a corner store. It’s pretty awesome for a corner store. Also, depending on what produce there are some great deals. Often get really good, cheap blueberries and strawberries there.

    • Dear Bill,
      What is really amazing is that Bernal really likes what you call bland onions, bendy broccoli and grainy tomatoes. How else can you explain a growth of 8 fold from when we took over? The store does more business than many stores that have three times the square footage. I’d like to think it’s because we taste at the three terminals almost everyday, that we switch from farmer to farmer based on taste, growing region and price, that we don’t phone in an order, that we go down and talk with the farmers. Since most of the produce is from the highest quality provider, namely Earl’s Organics, and they have the best quality control team it’s hardly possible to have the three things you describe. We do carry some conventional products at low prices too for people on a tighter budget, but rarely will we bring in anything bland, stringy or bendy. Good luck with your propaganda, it just doesn’t add up when you consider the high growth. In fact this whole blog seems to have raised business about 15% since it started. Many new customers coming in the last few days.

  6. Judging from comments on Yelp, it appears this dispute has been brewing for a while:

    http://www.yelp.com/user_details?userid=OCDtb90zmT32utrrMYskCQ

    I overheard the female owner yell at and banish the owner from CHARLIES CAFE from ever coming in to HARVEST HILLS MKT again one day for selling fruit and veg he bought at her store to occasionally replenish and some times even re-sell at his shop 1/2 a block down the street! Apparently, a customer wanted avo on her bagel but he was out so he bought a few at HARVEST HILLS MKT, he also bought bananas as he ran out of those also. She ripped him a new one in front of us and people on the street heard also. RUDE. UNPROFESSIONAL It’s just something to think about… CHARLIES CAFE helps her business by making purchases there and sends customers over to her that he can’t accommodate, so WHY would she care if he does this. I felt sorry for him and it compelled me to write this review. I don’t think I will shop at Harves Hills anymore. )-

    The owner’s response to that post was:

    Yes, we have no bananas
    We have-a no bananas today. – This is the song we had to sing after a company down the street wiped out all of our bananas. Did you think that I would yell at a company manager because he purchased ten bananas? There is more to this story that you either don’t know or didn’t say. I will answer your question about why the incident happened since you asked in public instead of in person. Had you really been interested in what happened you would have contacted me directly or asked me if you were standing near by us. Here is what happened.

    The manager came to the register and purchased a bunch of #1 organic bananas, when the new cashier put in the wrong price, the sale price of the smoothie (day old) bananas, he ran back and purchase all the number 1 bananas remaining, leaving us with none. He got a great deal even though he knew they were the $1.19 organic bananas he got them for .29 cents a pound. That’s why he ran back to get more I think. Once the cashier explained to me her mistake I went over and told the manager what had happened. Charlie was not there or I think he would have fixed the problem. Rather than just fix the issue the manager said it is tough, your cashier made a mistake. It is not my problem… He knew that he was getting a steal and didn’t want to fix the situation when I explained what had happened. He told me this was my problem and raised his voice. He was very rude and essentially stole from our store. This did make me upset. So I came up with a solution, that his store could no longer buy from us. If a company wants to come in and buy ALL our bananas or avocados so our customers don’t have any when they get home then we don’t allow it anymore. He was not happy about this and got upset. When the owner of Park Bench asked me about what had happened he told me the same manager had taken their pastries one morning before they opened and sold them all. Same response from the manager, too bad, except he offered to refund the cost of the pastries. So it looks like the manager is only interested in helping his store and not being nice to the neighboring businesses.

    We don’t think that people should stop eating at Charlies. He’s done a lot of good for kids in the neighborhood. If he had trouble with a manager then those things happen. It is easy to fix issues and apologize. For us we need to stop other companies from taking all our produce that we purchase at good low prices. Other companies need to go down and negotiate their own deals. It takes a lot of time.

    I invite anyone really interested in our business to come ask us. You did not, you wanted to attack me personally in public. We have three staging coolers, and an ice machine that we have in the back. If a rat ever made it into our store they couldn’t get into the coolers where the produce is held. Bananas, tomatoes and peppers don’t go in the coolers and need to be uncovered so they don’t over ripen or get frozen. We hired a service before we owned the store to keep rodents out. If one would make it in they would be trapped fairly quickly.

    So I find your review as suspicious. I wish you would have came and talked to me if you had any concerns.
    You didn’t do your research at all because you came up with a very interesting and scary comment. We purchase four types of bananas, #1 best looking organic fair trade bananas, #1 organic non Fair Trade bananas, #2 organic smoothie bananas and conventional bananas. The #2 bananas are ones that are usually packed on the outside or inside of the pallet. If they get too much cold air they can grey early, if they get too warm on the inside of the pallet they can spot early. In both cases the banana is still great on the inside but not as pretty on the outside. I bring these in because there are many people in the neighborhood that are on a budget or EBT. This allows them to have fruit. We would never purchase another markets unhealthy food. Your example seems contrived because if the market can’t sell it for legal reasons then they can’t sell it. It looks like you just made this up. What would be your reason to attack us with lies instead of coming to us and asking?

  7. I wonder if the stress between the two businesses is because Harvest Hills wanted to take over the old Park Bench Cafe space which Charlie bought out.

  8. In all fairness to Harvest Hills, the sign was removed before this post was published on Bernalwood.

  9. Upon further inspection, the Sorry Charlie sign has *not* been removed. It’s just been moved to the inside of the store, and is still very prominent to anyone exiting the premises.

  10. Bernal Journal (if that is Bernal Journal) seems to be adding gasoline by taking sides. Disappointing. Harvest Hills owner made sense, and offered a way out of it.

  11. This is ridicules and totally disrespectful of someone that has been a part of our Bernal/Precita community for so long. This is a smear campaign and the reality is, Charlie would still give them the shirt of his back if they asked him.. I’m don’t think I will continue to shop at Harvest.
    Thanks a lot.

    • If I read the Yelp posting correctly, Charlie himself was not involved in this. His manager was. Charlie should pay back the 90 cent a pound difference on the banana purchase as an olive branch, and the merchants should put this behind them.

      I do agree that the sign is a bad idea and only serves to inflame matters.

    • Stop making Charlie out to be a matyr. He should be respectful enough of Harvest Hills to order enough fruit for his entire day or at least be the bigger person and apologize for his managers poor behavior. It seems as though he relies heavily on another small neighboring business to do all the hard work in getting the goods. Where is the disconnect here

  12. Gina and I wanted to respond to an issue that had been brewing so we made a poster. A story had been put out that we wouldn’t sell an avocado or cucumber to a business down the street. Many good customers had come in asking if this was true, how could we be so mean, it just didn’t sound like us. When we explained all that had happened then they understood and were forgiving. There seemed like no easy way to respond to each customer that had been given a fabricated story that we were being mean to a local vendor. With our new baby we are not at the store all the time now, so we put up a sign that shed some light on why we were not allowing a few companies to buy from us. We did always allow Park Bench to purchase the few onions or other things he ran short on. Jimmy and his cousin were always friendly and helped as he had owned our store a few years prior to us. He too had troubles with his neighbor but those facts are his to tell.

    Our facts are clear. Last week a customer came to the store and purchased all our remaining heads of lettuce. I asked her if these were for her or for the cafe she was helping. She said they are for me. When asked what do you do with seven heads of lettuce she didn’t know. This seemed a bit fishy. She then took them next door to the other company, a local cafe. When she returned the next day she was turned away, because our customers had no lettuce the night before. So a good deal didn’t go to seven families that wanted organic lettuce at half price, it went to someone making sandwiches. Maybe those sandwiches were discounted in price and maybe we were given credit on the napkin for helping save the day. The same had happened with bananas before and a few other items, but of course this was not the whole story from the beginning.

    The owner then came in the store the next day and made a big scene while I was not there and had to be asked to go outside and calm down. Had he really wanted to talk to me he sees me drive in each morning around 7 or 8 with a truck full of produce. He wanted to make a scene not fix the situation he and his staff had created.

    While it is true that we want more space in the neighborhood for a butcher shop and a few other products, the issues we have with a local vendor go back to when the current Precita Park cafe space came available. We were asked to present at a neighborhood meeting at a local sandwich shop. The owner of the shop watched our presentation, we were then asked to leave so that a second company could present their plan. We had not been told that there was a second presenter or that he would be watching our presentation. The second presenter was allowed to watch our presentation but we were not allowed to see their details. This did not seem like the gentlemanly thing to do, nor did it seem right to not correct the issue with the bananas. But business is business and if that is the how this person wanted to work with the locals then those were the new ground rules. When the banana issue came to light (referenced above) Gina went to inform them what had happened and give them a chance to fix it. She was told it’s your people’s mistake not ours, get lost. Gina came back in tears after attempting to correct the problem. It became evident that our neighbor just didn’t care. So instead of having any more issues with young cashiers being taken advantage of we just refused to allow this company to purchase at our store. So if our refusal to get wiped out by a for profit company on a produce item seems mean then we are sorry. We can spare a bunch of bananas, a head of lettuce or a couple avocados for someone like Jimmy with a big heart but not for someone that has not been the least bit empathetic to our customers or Jimmy’s.

    A woman that works for another produce company came in to our store last week. She said it’s not possible to sell organic strawberries at 95 cents a pound. It is possible if you watch the weather, the market and when the truck runs late to market. The fact that we didn’t mark them up because we wanted to share a little with those that had been kind to us may go unnoticed. We feel it is the kind thing to do.

    We will put this behind us if someone can say they are sorry to Gina. We can spare a couple items for Dan’s lunch, no problem, but we are not set up to supply other corner stores or cafes. Our low priced produce averages out the bigger store’s buying power on canned and bottled items. It’s close to an even wash if you buy and equal amount of produce and hard goods. For local families we have organic milk in gallon sizes with only a 10 cent mark up.

    We apologize to anyone that has been upset by this. It was our intention to answer a false story being repeated to us by customers. We agree, it’s better if everyone can get along. Maybe Gina can sit down for a Tuna sandwich and work this out. Many vendors have tried to run over Gina, I’ve been there to protect her, fight for better deals for our customers and the store. One time I found out that a large beer distributor was not passing on sales to Gina because she was a woman and probably wouldn’t notice. When the representative admitted it we removed half his beers for one month and replaced them with craft beers from smaller breweries.

    She built this store after her husband died suddenly. It was all she had. She’d like the tension to end too. She has a new family and a new baby. Hannah is learning to crawl and Gina has bigger things to worry about than a Tuna T-shirt poster that made it’s way all the way to the top of Bernalwood’s wonderful pages.

      • No body wins these things. When I met Gina I asked what she wanted for the store. She said, I want pregnant moms lined up in the store. She had been told she could not have a baby. About 8 months after her comment to me I looked over at the produce cooler and 4 pregnant moms were buying produce. I asked is that what you wanted? She said yes with a big smile. A couple months after that Gina got word that she too was pregnant. Four other costumers that had the same wish as Gina but no luck got pregnant. Maybe it’s the water, maybe it is good karma for selling organic asparagus at our cost to help moms. All we know is that Hannah is the result of more organic peaches than we can count and she is beautiful. A true blessing. Gina and her brother took no salary nor did I for two years. It is now to the point that we offer full benefits and employ several people. After having been a high end software entrepreneur most of that stock options and going public craziness doesn’t compare to watching little kids come in the store and munch on an organic peach, then smile at you.

      • Is it crazy to say that it sounds like both businesses are being petty?
        1) If the cashier at Harvest Hills rang up a product at the wrong price then this is a training issue. Had it been some random customer who had gotten the crazy good deal on bananas, would Harvest Hills tracked him/her down and tried to get the rest of their money? Probably not.
        2) What’s up with the cafés not doing some planning? First off, fruit & vegetables don’t spontaneously go bad. How about a little bit of planning?

        I don’t see why Harvest Hills can’t simply put a limit on the amount they sell to any individual customer? The locals aren’t going to buy 10 heads of lettuce. If a café is out of lettuce, why not let them buy a couple heads to get them by while one of their workers runs over to Safeway?

        Common everyone. This is a solvable problem. Do you really need to let it escalate? How about you hug & make up?

    • You guys have a great store and are a true asset to the neighborhood. My only suggestion is to avoid the sign-posting — stuff best left to adolescents.

      • Bobdonlon,
        maybe we should leave this to the grand parents next time. :) They know how to deal with childish people and posts. I’ll probably never grow up… :) Thank you for the compliment.

  13. I find it highly disappointing that Michael should bring his child into this in order to gain our sympathy. Should we add that Charlie, also, is struggling to support his two small children with his cafe? And that he, also, has bigger things to worry about, like getting them through school, that strange fish posters about his actions?

    Let’s call this poster what it is: Slander. You can’t publicly make claims in print against a person if you can’t prove those accusations with evidence other than hearsay. That’s why the neighbors are angry. It’s not the overpriced soup or the fact that Harvest Hills has sold beer to minors. (I myself, witnessed that one.) It’s your lack of sense of community, and the fact that your poster insults someone we’ve grown to love in this neighborhood.

    Work it out on your own. Charlie is an extremely reasonable person and frankly, he was here first. If he can let Stephen, our dearly departed homeless park mayor, use his restroom for years out of the kindness of his heart, I’m sure he can work this out with you even though you’ve been aggressive.

    Why not schedule a softball game in the Park – Harvest Hills vs. Charlie’s? I’ll bring the sodas. You’ll get press and both of you will benefit. Use the opportunity to build the neighborhood. Because we on Precita have bigger things to worry about, too.

    Katie C.

    • Katie,
      Did you call the police or inform the manager on duty? We check ID on everyone that looks under 40. We have never had a violation with the ABC board. We would not condone this activity from any of our staff.

      Again the poster was a response to an initiative from our neighbor. Had he kept this issue to himself and not involved his customers it would not have been explained to our customers that wondered what was happening.

      • Hi, so you know, the situation was: I was standing behind my neighbor, the father of the child who your store sold beer to. He came in and said to Ginas brother: “i love your store, glad you are here, but you cannot sell to minors again. My son is 15, you are lucky he wasn’t in an accident, next time I will call the police.” Ginas brother shrugged and ignored him. So no, the police were not called out of courtesy, but there certainly was no thanks for that kindness. I know it’s tough to keep everyone in line. (sounds like Charlie has the same problem!) good luck with solving this all…

    • C’mon now. Do you want Michael M. to have the cashiers come here and post about their experiences so there is no hearsay involved? I accept his account of what he was told by his employees. Plus, neither Charlie or anyone else has come here to tell a contrary story, other than to assure us that Charlie is saintlike and would never do such things. That’s certainly as potentially manipulative as any tales of pregnant mothers and growing kids.
      I like the idea of a softball game, but what would really be fun is the dunking booth that they used to have at the Festival on the Hill…

    • The Charlie’s “was here first” excuse is pretty lame. I don’t have a side in this issue, but just want to say, if Charlie’s was here first, what did they do when they ran out of produce before Harvest Hills came along?

      Just sayin’

      • OK Newbies
        looong before charlies was corrinnes and the cancillas- they would run their goods back and forth to whomever needed whatever they needed. The family that ran cancillas bought park bench and then charlie bought corrinnes who had had her years of hard work. WHAT THEY DID BEFORE HARVEST HILLS WAS WORKED TOGETHER!!!! when charlie needed bananas he either went to canicillas or park bench , when park bench needed bagels they went to charlies and when the cashier needed coffee both places brought it to them When any of the stores needed quarters they went to the laundry mat.
        (and no i don’t want to capitalize or punctuate)

      • Tiffany that is what we did too and still do for Cozillinos and did for Park Bench. It was just one person that abused the situation that lost his privilege. Smart thing to do would have been correct it, or correct it and apologize, hot head thing to do was just what the manager did, argue with Gina and tell her to get lost. It’s ok because once you hear about a mistake from one of your staff, you walk over and fix it, but that didn’t happen either. You can apologize, but that didn’t happen. Or you can suffer and drag your customers into your suffrage and try to reduce business to the market. That’s what happened, not too neighborly.

        And when the laundry mat is out of quarters we help if we have a bunch on a weekday, on weekends we usually don’t because banks are closed and we can’t run out of quarters.

    • So you did not witness someone selling beer to a minor? That is what you said. Now you are saying that someone said that we sold beer to a minor. We would never sell beer or any alcohol to a minor. When we took over the store it had drinks aimed at younger people, we removed those products. Joseph told me no such person ever came to him with this story.

      I can tell you that we have had instances of teens trying to steal beers. We added security cameras to catch them and extra undercover people to catch them. A 15 year old could only have stolen a beer not been sold one. Anyone that shops at our store knows that even 35 year olds are carded and asked if they are over 21. We would never want a minor to get drunk, it’s not healthy for them or our neighborhood and it is illegal. The fine is over $5000 if we are wrong in not checking ID so Joseph has no interest in giving away that kind of money just to make 25 cents on a single beer. The police check us constantly as they do all stores by sending in minors undercover. The only way this story you are telling would make sense is if the beer was stolen and a child said he got it from us. We have banned all teens from the store that we have caught stealing. If we catch them back in the store then we turn over the original saved video to the police.

      Last year three teens tried to steal a can of beer each. A customer saw it and reported it to Gina. She was pregnant at the time and told them to put it back, they said no. Three customers came to her defense, asked her to get behind the counter and surrounded the kids. The teens tried to fight their way out of the store. An undercover policeman showed up and got one of them the other two got away. The customers said to the teens, this is our store in our neighborhood and you don’t steal from it, don’t come here anymore.

      I encourage anyone that hears of an incident to contact me right away. We keep security video from 4 visual cameras and some not seen for 2 months. We can rewind the video and get pictures of those involved. Any cashier would be terminated if they were found to be involved in selling to a minor. They would also be turned over to police to be prosecuted. Our cashiers sign a document that lets them know they will face punishments and fines personally as well as the company if they sell to minors. If anyone believes this story to be true or knows of this story and knows the person please have them contact me. We can search the video if it is recent enough.

  14. Aside from the cashier’s mishap on price, if things are being purchased at full price I would think that the store would welcome selling their goods and the relationship would be good for business.

    Instead of reactionary separatism, how about symbiotic neighborism?

    This could be a postiive business opportunity for Harvest Hills to meet increasing demand and grow their business. I’d rather that they sell out of fresh goods to underscore the feeling that things are, in fact, fresh and in demand, than have a bunch of leftover not so fresh goods.

    • Catherine the produce is not marked up full price. We keep a very low mark up to help balance the difference in canned goods from bug chain stores. If it were then the only problem would be that customers couldn’t get what they want because someone else got it all. A solution could be to raise all the produce prices so that this isn’t as big of an issue, but why do this because of a few businesses that want to get the great deals. If they need a head of lettuce to get through lunch hour that’s one thing. Seven or eight means they don’t want to drive a half mile to restaurant warehouse to restock.

      Leftover not so fresh items are donated to Food not Bombs or the catholic church.

  15. Michael M. makes a lot of good points, but like katie, I find the number of references to baby Hannah and Gina’s personal tragedies a bit manipulative. The same goes for the oblique references to Charlies as a “corporation” and a “company.”

    Please drop the PR tactics. Just like Harvest hills, Charlie’s Cafe is small business — and an important part of this neighborhood.

    • Dan,
      Do you think putting this issue out to his customers was manipulative? What was the benefit in telling anyone about his troubles with us not selling to him? We would never had posted a sign had the issue not been broadcast over and over to shared customers. You can ignore a bully and hope he goes away. It rarely happens that way.

      • Michael M.,

        I don’t know what Charlie told anyone else, but so far nothing he has told me has been shown to be incorrect or disparaging of your business. The sign, on the other hand, was needlessly rude and falsely claimed this is how Harvest Hills was treating all businesses.

        Standing up for yourself is great, but please, just stick to the facts.

  16. Wow, Harvest Hills makes me sad. That sign is sad and so are Michael M.’s manipulative comments here. Trying to insinuate that Charlie is running something other than a local business is just sad.

    Bernalwood, if the neighborhood only has pettiness like this to offer, perhaps there’s no need to post that day.

    • Here I would beg to differ. This is Bernal (and Bernalwood) at its best.

      We have strong opinions. We are active and engaged. We speak to each other with neighborliness — even if we don’t agree. And sometimes, maybe, we arrive at a rough consensus.

      I’m very grateful to Michael M. for joining the conversation, and I’m grateful to you for doing so as well. Apart from Bernalwood’s ongoing mission to report on the latest fashion trends and celebrity sightings, this is what the blog is about: Telling stories, and providing a forum for neighborhood discussion about them. Everyone here has risen to the challenge magnificently. Bravo.

      • I agree with Todd. This is exactly the kind of dialogue that can take place in that space. Many Bernalwood posts are whimsical and light and probably attract a few random chuckles, but they are merely leaves being blown down the street. This discussion is a very rare one that invites conversation that can teach, demonstrate, and inspire the neighborhood to be even better.

        No sense in not posting something merely if it offends those who may be on one side and not the other, especially if comments are made sensibly and thoughtfully. If you want to live in that kind of community, you can move to Pyongyang.

  17. I’m a regular customer at Harvest Hills because the store is convenient, not because the prices are any good. On the contrary. Often, the place is laughably expensive. Anyone who lives around here knows this. I agree with Todd, Bernalwood’s a great neighborhood forum. But lets not confuse the issue here. The poster and Michael’s response were completely uncalled for, and to my mind, borderline irrational. If anybody deserves an apology here, its Charlie, who would not only do pretty much anything to help his friends and customers, but strangers as well. Few people around here are more community minded. Seems to me this is the spirit of Bernalwood. How about thinking less about the fruits and vegetables and more about people? You got a problem, talk it out, quit with the posters and the public relations speak. I’m through with Harvest Hills. You all can keep your organic peaches. The walk to 24th Street will do me good.

  18. One issue that started the whole Banana War–that morphed into a much messier situation–is that some Harvest Hills employees don’t know the price of their goods. This is especially true of the tallest lad who works there (not sure where he is from, though I know he is foreign-born). Nice enough fellow but I don’t trust that he pays close enough attention to prices.

    Michael & Gina, I am sure you have impressed upon employees to be aware of prices, which often change, which is understandable. Make sure that they are very well-trained and vigilant so that no one–neither the store nor customers–get a short end of the stick. Just because one works in blue jeans, is 22 years old, and can snack on lunch in a lovely park across the street doesn’t mean they don’t have to be professional, aware, and careful.

    • Having 15 types of stone fruit that can change prices daily is difficult. I complicate things for the cashiers by changing prices during the day based on what is coming available that night or what hasn’t sold as fast as expected. Our goal is to sell things at a great deal instead of holding a price and watching it get thrown away in a day or two. If we only purchased one brand and size it would be easier on our people but we have a diverse community from those on EBT to those that are fortunate. We do our best to serve all and move the prices as the day and week demand. Cherries will go from $145 a ten pound box to $18 for a 20 pound box in a short amount of time. Because we don’t want to put stickers on fruit that people want to put right in their mouths we have to use signs and cashiers need to identify the prices. This month is the hardest because spring brings the greatest swings in prices based on the weather and the most varieties. We will be trying to utilize an automated system but even automation can be a hinderance with 15 people in line and an incorrect input. We’ve passed each test of the city inspectors when they come in and buy multiple items then weigh them on their own. With a new crop of students for the summer it is a training challenge. They are doing well under the pressure. We will continue to improve and do our best to move patrons home as fast as we can. Our direction is if unsure ask them where they got it and what the price was, 99% of people are helpful and tell you exactly the correct price they saw when they picked it out. Produce is a fast paced business of good today, gone tomorrow. Mother nature dictates most of the daily prices. Our prices try to track her changes. Some stores have set prices but I think it favors the store not the customer.

      • Michael – Thanks a lot for this reply, and for others that have explained details of the challenges of running the business. I think, on the whole, the workers do a very good job at the store, and often under the complicated conditions you talk about (like constantly changing prices that, as you suggest, favor customers more than the store).

        I hope, at some point soon, we can all get back to the demands (and wonders) of our lives so we don’t have to write and respond to posts about a contentious neighborhood situation that should have a neighborly solution.

  19. Also, as other responders have noted, just “enter into a dialogue” and be civil. No one lives forever, no one’s business is eternal, and life is too darn short to argue over fixable problems.

    I like the idea of a softball game–maybe soccer is better. Fewer broken windows that way.

  20. And Michael: Take down the sign. If people ask your workers about the situation, they can just give a brief response, a smile, and direct them to this blog so they can learn (too) many sides of the story. The sign is antagonistic and problematic in any case, whether you have been here for a decade or if Charlie has been, which he has.

      • Michael, you and Gina are petty humans. If Jimmy talked so much crap about Charlie then why did he sell him the business and not you? The fact that Charlie hasn’t come here to say anything just means that he isn’t responding to YOUR ongoing tactics of bullying!

      • Common Sense,
        Jimmy really didn’t talk much crap about Charlie. Jimmy didn’t sell to Charlie. Jimmy sold to his cousin. His cousin did not know we were interested when he sold it. What Jimmy wanted was not a sum that could be justified, to my knowledge it wasn’t sold but rather leased.

  21. And Charlie…you may have an issue with a hothead “store manager” of some sort. (Your brother?) Whoever it is, please tell them to cool it.

      • I don’t know what sort. It’s a figure of speech, which anyone should be able to recognize. I’m not going to explain in great detail for no reason.

        The “cool it” refers to the raised-voice conflict–which has never been denied–between Charlie’s “manager,” who has never been identified here–who reportedly had a hot head in talking to the co-owner of the other store.

        Lest I seem biased, I am a very neutral party, and I go to both establishments, with both the good they bring and despite some shortcomings (since no business is perfect). I don’t feel the need to stick up for a store just because I know the owner. I know no one who owns these places and am simply a faithful customer.

  22. Harvest Hills have done more for the neighborhood than Charlie’s ever has… unless there’s some secret demand for frozen bagels I’m unaware of.

  23. Michael,
    Dont curse at neighborhood members and tell them rudely to get out of your store. Are you the produce nazi? “No lettuce for you.”

    Dont sabotage Charlies Yelp review.

    Dont be petty, and I tell him the same thing. Get over the crock story about keeping the deals for your customer, and admit you wont sell him produce out of spite?

    • Never cursed at anyone, never told anyone to get out of the store, didn’t sabotage Charlies yelp reviews, these things are all made up. It’s not a crock Charlie, I mean Henry. If the guy wants to keep a few extra bucks because a cashier made a mistake he can. The easiest way for us to keep it from happening again is not allow him to shop again. You think it’s spite.

      The same is true with kids that shoplift, we don’t allow them in the store again either. Is that spiteful to them too? Is there a major difference here? He knew the cashier made a mistake and that’s why he came back a second time to take everything at that price… When Gina went over to point it out and give them a chance to correct it they didn’t. It’s an easy call. How many business owners would allow this type of person or persons to continue to test their young cashiers and get deals or steals…?

  24. The owner of Harvest Hills wakes before dawn to go to the market in an effort to select the highest quality in freshness for the produce they put in their market. I appreciate this effort to make sure we get only the best. If Charlie did the same, this would not be an issue. I am grateful that the market takes care of the neighbors. Charlie needs to improve his inventory skills. He has been in the business for some time now. Why is this a problem? He should have this down by now. That is unless he has become dependent on Harvest Hills for his business. And we all know that Charlie would “never” do something like that. Perhaps Charlie needs to get up before Harvest Hills. Where there is a will there is a way. One head of lettuce vs wiping out the shelf. I don’t think so. Charlie nows this as a business man. Sounds like Wall Street mentality to me -maximize profits at all costs. You are causing friction by your greed and acting selfish by not considering the needs of the neighborhood who enjoy Harvest Hills affordable prices. This sage is probably not going to be very good for Charlies business.

  25. “Jimmy and his cousin were always friendly and helped as he had owned our store a few years prior to us. He too had troubles with his neighbor but those facts are his to tell.”

    Then why did he sell Charlie the Park Bench lease, and not Harvest Hills? I think this started with bananas, and all parties involved should have nipped it in the bud before any neighborhood hearsay mounted. Then it spoiled further, with bad grapes over the Park Bench lease. (And rumor has it Harvest Hills wanted to open another redundant cafe in there? How would that have helped the neighborhood in any way, shape, or form? We’re totally cafe saturated in the area as is.) Also, Charlie’s “manager” is his brother, Nadim, and the guy is a nice guy who was on great terms with the Park Bench guys. Proof is in the pudding …. Park Bench sold Charlie the lease. Anyway, I think you all should put it behind you. Break some bread together. Perhaps fruit bread.

    Lastly, I like all parties, and I like their establishments too. But Harvest Hills’ parklet idea was a lead balloon too. Like parking isn’t already tough around here? And, um, a parklet across from a city park? Really? Charlie is understandably the one getting the bulk of favorable public opinion here, and it’s not without reason. The idea to put another cafe into Park Bench, the parklet idea, and the Charlie Tuna sign were all floated or put into place without considering the neighborhood. And the banana thing? Y’all could have solved it, seems like, with a second effort by either side. Here’s hoping you do just that. It’s not too late. You’re all nice, reasonable people.

    • A parklet? What? That is absolutely thrilling if Harvest Hills is planning that. Im sure Charlie would find that as threatening as he did with the Precita Park Cafe. I like Harvest Hills and although its not a Bi-Rite or Canyon Market they have provided us with quality stuff and convenience. Its time to move move up and onward and stop living in the past on how one party borrowed from another. Why not bring up the invention of the wheel while you are at it. Precita Park wants new and refreshing businesses to come in. Charlies brother and Charlie should apologize and order their own products if they are going next door on a regular basis. Im sure its not cheap to open and run a business for anyone involved. Charlies has done lot for the community and he has also started a lot of rumors on the other hand getting us stirred up. Harvest Hills is pricey but they are adding much needed value to our neighborly space

  26. We never wanted to put a cafe in at Park Bench. That would be silly. The reason Park Bench went under is because of too many cafes. We wanted to put in a butcher shop and we also needed more space to process food. There used to be a butcher shop where Charlies is. We still hope to get that space or others in the neighborhood to add more selection.

    The city came to us and asked us to put in a parklet. They gave us all the forms. They want to reduce parking and encourage bicycling and public transit. Army St will soon have much less traffic and a set of bike lanes. If you don’t like the city’s strategies talk to them.

    The parklet information was posted and it was 20 to 1 in favor of it. That’s not really lead balloon territory… We pulled the plans at the last minute because of a neighbor that started a lawsuit against the city to stop it. She felt someone would be run over that was sitting there. While we disagreed, because the city required extra heavy barriers on the outside, we didn’t see the need to spend $10,000 on a parklet and the money to defend the lawsuit… probably double that amount.

    I believe they didn’t sell us the space because they didn’t get their price of double what we offered, but you never know why. The reality is that Jimmy’s father has more money than he needs and could do whatever he wants. He wanted Charlie to have it and that’s what happened. Now we all wait for a bar to open in the neighborhood and see how that helps make it a better place to live. I assume the people in the neighborhood will have a chance to comment once the liquor permit sign posting goes up.

    • I’m glad somebody stopped the parklet, and I don’t find it all thrilling. Just another example of the yuppie bullshit that is pricing people out of the neighborhood left and right. Desirable Precita Park! say the real estate people. While people who have been here decades can no longer afford to stay because the super wealthy are buying up the houses around here and evicting our neighbors. Harvest Hills, and this idiocy is another example of what’s gone so wrong in this neighborhood.

      In post after post, Michael is defensive and nasty. This has also been my experience in a store that caters exclusively to the affluent. And what’s the deal with the incredibly obnoxious flat screen tv’? Do some people find this tv thrilling as well? I only go to Harvest Hills when I absolutely need to. The store is vastly over-priced (check out the cheese and meat, even the toilet paper is marked up 200 percent), everybody in the immediate neighborhood knows they sell alcohol to minors (my neighbor did them a favor by not busting them, he said as much, saying that he liked the store and didn’t want to hurt it, thereby showing the generosity of spirit lacking in the store’s ethos; they should say look, we made a mistake, and it won’t happen again, instead of denying it and calling other people liars), and this whole deal with Charlie’s shows not only terrible judgment but again – a mean spirit. Those of you who keep thanking Michael for his input should realize that he seems to have only one thing on his mind, his business. Very tech savvy, lightening quick responses, but this doesn’t overcome the mean spirit. He had a chance to do something constructive here, and actually speak to his neighbor down the way. Charlie is not a saint but he’s certainly a man you can talk to, and when the chips are down, I’d call Charlie over this Michael any day. Try it yourself, Michael, go and actually talk to Charlie. You’ll find in him someone who will help you out one day when you need it. None of this was necessary. The original event happened many months ago. The entire neighborhood had forgotten about it. Why the sign now? What was it you all were after? If this was truly about some banana incident, why not walk down the street and talk it out? Charlie is three doors down. It seems to me that when whatever you all had in mind didn’t pan out, you then used this website to continue to attack a neighbor and good business, and some people around here are eating it up, along with your over-priced produce. We deserve better around here. Harvest Hills will continue to make a ton of money, I’m sure, with the support of the one percent and their ilk (including the dude in the BMW who almost ran be down on the other day on Precita), but I’ll never shop there again after this debacle.

      • Dearest Doug,
        Thank you for your kind embrace of the situation. If I could in a nice and gentle way share with you some details that might or might not help with your point of view.

        City’s go through a growth process, people move further out to the suburbs to get newer houses, schools etc. Eventually the city gets too large and the drive too long. What was inner city blight then gets rebuilt by those seeking a shorter drive and less of an suburb setting. Some may be yuppies, some retires but they don’t price people out of the market, the natural cycle of things does (the circle of life music is playing softly in the background). There may be some that lived here and move that sell for half market value to keep the neighborhood the same but most are told by the real estate agent to maximize their value and price near market value.

        As to the market catering to the affluent. We have cards that ask our clients what they want in the store. We purchase those items. While twinkles and ding dongs do sell, the other specialty chocolates sell much better because they are made better and have great taste.

        We carry grass fed beef and it does cost a bit more than corn fed cows that don’t get to walk around and stand in the same sludge all day. We don’t mark it up more than 10% so on average we lose money on that item. While it may seem pricey to you maybe if you watch the move Food Inc. you’ll see why the big store chains with the pink slime additive and growth hormones can seem much cheaper. If you child is 50% bigger than you at age 12 then maybe you want to cut back on that type of cheaper beef. Again this is what our customers said they wanted, beef with less fat in it grown locally.

        Is the TV thrilling, yes! During the Giants world series run, folks from all over without a TV came to the store to watch and celebrate. I’m sure the upcoming olympics will be the same. Why is the TV there? to help customers that are waiting in a line that can get long at peak times. Listening to the hum of a cooler may be preferable but most appreciate the food channel during the day and sports at night while their items are added up and bagged.

        As to the necessity to respond to the likes of our Northern business owner, that has been covered. He had every chance to correct his issues and instead tried rumor, false statements and other interesting tactics. He still didn’t respond here under his own name and didn’t take any effort to fix his situation. Why now, as stated before, he was sending customers in to wipe us out and continuing to produce a false store about an avocado that was turned away. When in reality she took all our lettuce… So while these wild stories keep popping up in post after post they are about the same storyline that really doesn’t match up with reality. It’s called a smear campaign and it’s being given a response.

        As to the story that we sold to a minor that has no merit since no one has talked to me about this. I would take action at once and review the video. It’s not hard encourage them to give me the details. We would never sell to a minor, our customers know that.

        And if a watermelon is over priced at 15 cents a pound then….all I can say is there wasn’t a watermelon for sale on the corner before or in the neighborhood. If you don’t mind the four block walk you can have one for 45 cents a pound at the big store. Some people find it hard to understand why a store could grow 40% with high priced produce but it might be the TV, the friendly responsive service, who can know for sure.

        As to that ton of money you spoke of and the 1%… I don’t think 1% of the population would even cover our $3000 electric bill. We have retires that get great produce and don’t have to hop a bus anymore, we have EBT customers that get organic almost the same price as conventional on some days. We did invest a fair amount of money in big Betty Lou our 1952 produce truck, but she’s still 1/4 the price of one of those ugly box trucks. I think you’d be a bit defensive too if you worked 7 days a week, didn’t take pay, lifted 180 heavy boxes of bananas and wine, had your hip going out and then some local bully put out a line of bs deeper than row behind the corn fed cows. The Chu’s are kind hard working people that grew up on a small farm. I’ll defend them and they work they have done. Feeding people is a low margin business with lots of competition. Safeway, Walmart and Whole Food shareholders may be getting rich but we are certainly not. We do however thank you for your kind, however wildly inaccurate statement.

        P.S. I don’t know about the BMW you had a run in with. I think Charlie has a Mercedes and a Volvo. We are trying to purchase only American made cars that are built by union craftsman whom are not yet part of the 1%. :) Being a former American car maker myself I want to support them.

  27. Fair enough. I “heard” that you wanted yet another cafe. My bad for listening to rumors. A butcher shop would have been great. A bar? Nothing with a liquor license is likely to go in there. More like a family friendly beer + wine pub that serves food is what’s going to happen. And yeah, IMO the neighborhood would go for that in a big way. The Precita Park area lacks that very thing, and people have to walk to Mission st in order to get it. (And they do, a lot.) Done well the concept would flourish, IMO. As to the parklet, OK, I’ll take your word that the city brought it to you. But losing several parking spots … for a “parklet” … across from a great little park? wow. It boggles the mind how silly that would be. Now that you say the City came to you with the idea, I believe it.

    • People wanted a place to sit and talk. Some said the park was not comfortable because a person lived there on this end. Lots of people meet up at the store and want a place to sit and chat, for that reason I agreed. We recently doubled our door opening because the number of folks coming and going has grown. We will be installing a custom screen roll down to let cold air flow through at night and save energy. I couldn’t put in an ugly steel roll down door so I paid extra for a custom screen. The electric savings should pay for it.

  28. In a perfect world, Michael would have let go of the money he lost, AND IN DOING THIS, Charlie would have somehow found out about his good faith in letting it go, and would have come in and apologized for his employee getting a bit out of hand, and then given Michael back the money that was rightfully his. It was an honest mistake that could have been easily rectified. Actually, still can, on both sides of the coin.

    The whole thing should have never been an issue with the whole community getting involved, even though I do applaud Bernalwood’s forum for people’s thoughts, etcetera; this should have only been known to the two businesses themselves, working it out, and helping to keep our neighborhood a great place to live without drama. (It still is a great place by the way.) Leaking any information through neighbors whomever spread the rumors, (sounds like many people were at fault here), just makes what could have been a very small problem fester and become bigger than it ever had to be. Gossip is usually never a good idea either. Ever heard of the game ,”Telephone?”

    In a perfect world, people would try to help each other; but also not take advantage of a good thing either. (A while back in one of the comments, someone suggested a cap on how many of one item a local business can buy at a time. That is a great idea, and pretty fair too.) It’s really not too late to offer that up for negotiation. It’s never too late.

    In a perfect world, if someone had a problem with someone or something, it would be better handled delicately, and with an open and honest, and positive dialog between each other, working together to solve the issue in private, and with a fair result for both sides. Maybe now a little friendly mediation is in order? Maybe there’s more here they need to work out that meets our eyes and ears?

    In a perfect world, EVERY business on Precita Park would have a “get together” meeting that welcomes each others businesses to the neighborhood, (actually meet each other, get to know each other, form a group), a group that some how creates a space that shows how together, they can ALL bring more people in to the neighborhood to enjoy our park and what each business has to offer to the community. There’s really enough money to go around for everyone if the businesses are worthy of it. Why not create an event together that features each businesses strengths in a fun way? In the park this summer maybe? How about a BBQ?

    In a REALLY perfect world, half joking, half serious: Maybe Charlie and Michael could make up, become the best of friends, put this behind them, and open up something really great and exciting together that the whole neighborhood could enjoy! I see neighbors sharing good food and drink, and each others company, ALL of Bernal living together in peace, happily frolicking around in the street! The rolled down doors once shut, the depressing closed store front so sad,… GONE! Replaced instead with a place that people come from miles away to see and enjoy! Yes, this scenario is a feel-good-made-for-TV movie in the making; but something there, please, and quick! We need something to brighten up a really dull spot on that side of the street. So many possibilities! There are so many more possibilities, so many more than “nothingness, nil, nada.”

    In a (just one more), perfect world idea, they’d ALL work it out and create some good will that would be greatly welcomed by everyone I’m sure. Bernalwood, not Bernalwars!

    All I’m really asking for, and dare I say, others might too be asking for, is a “close” to perfect world. It takes some getting use to; but I’m sure by now, everyone has seen the bumper sticker, “COEXIST?” Sure I’m an optimist, but how else can we move forward from this situation?

    There is so much potential here for good things on OUR block, not more good things around the corner! Let’s make it happen!

    Rewind, make up, let go, move on, and feel good about yourself and your role in our community who ever you are. Have a great day and get out there with a smile on your face and make it a good game!

  29. I just ran across this thread again searching for some updates on the former Park Bench Cafe location which has been a blight on Folsom street for 2 years or more now.

    But I also realize that I don’t shop at HH much anymore, but I did when it first opened. I think this whole neighborhood feud subconsciously made me stop patronizing both businesses.

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