Chefs from Hillside Supper Club Join Zagat’s “30 Under 30″ List

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Emerging celebrity chef alert!

Chefs Tony Ferrari and Jonathan Sutton from Hillside Supper Club on Precita Park were just named to  Zagat’s “30 Under 30″ list for San Francisco:

Former Johnson & Wales classmates Ferrari and Sutton collectively toiled away for years at fine-dining spots like Acquerello, Michael Mina and Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s J&G before realizing their restaurant dream the 2.0 way, by way of pop-ups and a Kickstarter campaign. “The transition from being a cook, to running a pop-up, to opening your own restaurant is like learning how to crawl before you walk”, explains Sutton, who along with his partner breaks the mold of the typical millennial chef. “Chefs our age [24 at the time] are really just beginning their career and have no idea even where to start with opening a place, let alone cooking meat to the correct temperature,” points out Ferrari. Not to mention find money in a city as expensive and competitive as San Francisco. Two and a half years later, HSC, built on the principle of simplicity, sustainability and camaraderie, has become an integral part of the emerging Bernal dining scene, and the guys are eyeing to open a second restaurant, providing the right situation arises.

A second restaurant?! Whaaat??  More dish on Team HSC from Zagat right here.

PHOTO: Tony Ferrari and Jonathan Sutton via Zagats

Is Wild Side West Now San Francisco’s Last Lesbian Bar?

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Last week, the operators of the Lexington Club on 19th Street in The Mission announced that the bar will soon shut down. High rents and changing demographics were cited as the causes for the Lexington’s demise.

The announcement triggered some earnest soul-searching around San Francisco, because the Lexigton was, arguably, The City’s last true lesbian bar. Writing for the HuffPo, Jen Jack Gieseking says:

The only bar dedicated to serving lesbians in San Francisco, the Lexington Club, announced that it is closing after 18 years. You may be shocked that the bar is closing and/or that there is only one lesbian bar in that gay metropolis. As a researcher of lesbian-queer spaces and economies, I am not surprised at all.

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But wait! Is that true? Is the Lexington Club San Francisco’s last true lesbian bar? Or, is it the case, as a wise Jedi once said, “No. There is another.”

The Bold Italic points to Bernal Heights:

[The Lexington] has been a Mission staple for almost two decades, and when it goes so goes one of the city’s last lesbian bars in the city (Wild Side West in Bernal still stands, but it’s arguable whether it’s actually a “lesbian bar” anymore)

Journalist-about-town Steve Silverman is on the same page:

SFist replies, Yes but only sort of and not really so much:

Some may argue the case for Wild Side West, which remains a LGBT-friendly neighborhood bar in Bernal Heights, open since 1962, with a historic link to the lesbian community, but anecdotally we understand it is more of a mixed bar these days.

Bernalwood has considered this question of Wild Side West’s sexual credentials before, in the context of a larger discussion of the changing political economy of the Bay Area lesbian community.

Yet with the closure of The Lex, the subcultural role of Wild Side West is now a bit more of an urgent question. Please discuss.

PHOTOS: Wild Side West by Telstar Logistics. Lexington Club sign by Vintageroadtrip on Flickr

Ode to a Basic Donut: Eagle Donuts Will Close on Monday

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The donut days at Eagle Donuts at 3303 Mission (@ 29th Street) are coming to an end.

On Monday, Eagle Donuts will close for good.

The most remarkable thing about Eagle Donuts is that there is nothing remarkable about it. No seasonal ingredients, or delicate toppings, or clever combinations. Nothing involving bacon. Eagle Donuts makes essential donuts: glazed or old-fashioned, with different kinds of frosting-like stuff on top. Yesterday I bought a bag of a half-dozen for $5.50.

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In other words, Eagle Donuts makes the kind of donuts that helped make America.

So when Eagle Donuts disappears, a classic kind of donut shop will disappear with it. After Eagle Donuts, your Bernalwood editor knows of no equivalent in Bernal Heights. (NOTE: The Silver Crest doesn’t count, because they also serve Ouzo.) If current trends continue, it’s a safe prediction that from here on out, Bernal’s donut future will likely be increasingly twee. We are confident it will be delicious, of course, but we also know it just won’t be the same.

It’s no one’s fault; Change is the only constant. Eagle Donuts opened in 1994, and Sherry from behind the counter — that’s Sherry, above — told Bernalwood she’s been here the entire time. She said rising rents weren’t so much of an issue. She said donuts just aren’t a very lucrative product these days, and costs keep going up. Milk prices, sugar prices, the minimum wage… all going up. Basically, Sherry said, after 20 years, it’s time to move on.

So on Monday, Eagle Donuts will close forever.

Stop in this weekend to get a final taste, and wish Sherry all the best.

Finally, for the benefit of future bloggers and culinary historians, Bernalwood also provides these supplementary detail photos of Eagle Donuts, as taken on October 16, 2014, which are here intended to illustrate what a typical late twentieth century donut shop looked like during the second decade of the twenty-first century:

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PHOTOS: Telstar Logistics

Wednesday: “Cupcake Happy Hour” at Little Bee Baking’s Anniversary Party

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There’s another one-year anniversary happening on Cortland this week. Bernal Neighbor Stacie Pierce from Little Bee Bakery extends the invite, with an extra pinch of yum:

Our 1 year anniversary is on Wednesday, 10/15!

We have had such a great year and have really felt a lot of love and support from Bernal and beyond. We just want to say thanks to everyone and are excited to be baking in Bernal for many years to come!

There will be cupcake “happy hour” from 4-6pm, with free mini cupcakes (one per customer – until they run out).

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PHOTO: Neighbor Stacie via Little Bee

Saturday: Get Cocktailian at Holy Water’s First Anniversary

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Has it been a year already? My, how time flies…

Holy Water, our tasty refuge for cocktailians in Cortlandia, opened one year ago. Owner John Ottman invites you to come in for the birthday party:

This Saturday is the one year Anniversary party of Holy Water. Everyone is invited!! We want to thank the neighborhood for the continual support throughout this past year and hopefully the years to come. See yall soon!

There will be merriment. There will be a taco truck. PRO TIP: John makes a mean Jungle Bird:

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PHOTO: Jungle Bird at Holy Water, photographed and consumed by Telstar Logistics

Rumor Report: Gourmet Food Store Coming to Former Red Hill Books Space

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A nosy curious Bernal neighbor heard some innnnnnteresting things about what’s planned for the former (and much-lamented) Red Hill/Badger Books space on Cortland at Bennington:

I caught Matt locking up the old Red Hill Books and asked if I could be nosy and ask what he’s planning…

He was sweet, said it’s not a secret. The corner of Cortland and Bennington will become The Epicurean Trader — gourmet and local packaged goods. He’s hoping that locals will tell them what’s missing from the other nearby shops so he can keep us all stocked in fav products (not compete with Good Life or Avedanos). They also plan to invite local purveyors to present and so on and such  I think he also mentioned selling wine and beer too, but not positive.

Hmmmmmm. Bernalwood reached out to the owner of the building for comment, but we have not yet received a response.

Treat this as a rumor for now, although in the last few days several other Cortland merchants and curious neighbors have also told Bernalwood more-or-less the same thing about the plan for this storefront. Stay tuned…

PHOTO: via Google Maps

Pinhole Coffee Has Finally Opened, and It Is Awesome

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It was nine months ago when we first noticed the papered-over windows of 231 Cortland foretelling the coming of an intriguing-sounding cafe. Late last week, Pinhole Coffee’s doors officially opened for business, and by all reports, it is awesome.

Founded by JoEllen Depakakibo, Pinhole carries coffee from Linea Caffe, the baby of coffee-world superstar Andrew Barnett. This reporter was rather enamored of the Piccolo, a 1:1 ratio of milk and espresso in one of these pleasing little glasses.

The new kid on the block is also quite lovely, with stools made of acacia stumps, a mural by JoEllen’s brother Joey D, a wall of colorful stripes by local artist Leah Rosenberg, and a pegboard of succulents by Bernal’s own Succulence.

Speaking of Cortland connections, among the treats on offer at Pinhole is Anna’s Daughters Chocolate Rye Bark (yum!), made by the mother of New Wheel co-owner Karen Weiner.

And for those wondering where the cafe’s name comes from, as JoEllen explained it to coffee blog Sprudge,

Pinhole takes its name from photography, another of my appreciations. My brother Joey D in Chicago created my logo, and his wife Jen designed my business cards out of a thin strip of walnut–they have a pinhole that you can put over your camera or phone and it creates a pinhole image. I individually hole punch the cards each morning before I start my day.

Pinhole is open 6:30 a.m. till 5 p.m. on weekdays; 7:30 a.m. till 5 p.m. on weekends.

PHOTOS: JoEllen, by Telstar Logistics. Piccolo glasses and Leah Rosenberg wall, via Facebook.