“PizzaHacker” Opening in Bernal, Ending Our Pizza Deprivation



Citizens of Bernalwood, our long neighborhood nightmare of subpar pizza has come to an end. No longer shall we have to venture beyond the cozy confines of our familiar Bernal terrain to enjoy pizza done right. Destiny and market opportunity have conspired to bring us some very fine pizza. Rejoice!

The PizzaHacker is setting up shop at 3299 Mission Street at 29th, in  the former bank building that was formerly home to Inca’s Peruvian restaurant after it was formerly home to a record store. The PizzaHacker is Jeff Krupman, and he’s not new to the pizza game, having spent the last few years doing pop-ups around town. Foodie critics love love love him, but now he’s planting roots in Bernal Heights, and I’m here to tell you, we are extremely fortunate.

The PizzaHacker will be open for a soft-launch tonight and tomorrow, Friday 12/20 and Saturday 12/21, but we’ll get to that in a moment.

First, let’s talk about the pizza…

Your Bernalwood editor visited the PizzaHacker last night to sample the merchandise. Apart from the installation of a new pizza oven, the old Inca’s space remains largely unchanged for now.

PizzaHacker Jeff was there, so I introduced myself and I ordered a straight-up Marinara pizza to-go. The pie cost $15, and apparently, I was the PizzaHacker’s very first paying customer in the new space. Whoohoo!

Bernalwood’s Cub Reporter was waiting eagerly when I got home, so we quickly began our taste test. The Cub Reporter spent a lot of time studying the pizza arts during summer sojourns on the greasy streets of New York and New Jersey, so her palette in these matters is impeccable. And after just one bite, we both declared our pizza from the PizzaHacker to be “OMG! INCREDIBLE!!”

Here’s the Cub Reporter conducting her taste test:


And here’s why our pizza was excellent:


No joke, that was by far the best pizza I’ve had in San Francisco in recent memory. Rejoice!

PizzaHacker business partner Jimmy explains the restaurant’s plan for the next few weeks:

Right now we are still working on the space and will be serving pizza here and there to test things out.  After the soft-opening on Saturday, we are going to shut down completely to build out the bar and work out any finishing touches. We hope to be fully open and servicing the Bernal Community by January 15th. All in all its going to be a pretty simple restaurant.  A few pizzas, a salad or two, beer and wine on tap.

So there you have it.

Run! — don’t walk! — to the PizzaHacker tonight and tomorrow night on Mission at 29th to taste a preview of the coming attractions. Then rest assured that Bernal will soon be home to a pizza place we can all be proud of… at last.

Thank you, PizzaHacker, and welcome to Bernal Heights.

PHOTOS: Telstar Logistics

Cold-Pressed Raw Juice Pop-Up Opens at Hillside Supper Club



The Hillside Supper Club on the western end of Precita Park began life as a pop-up restaurant, but now it is hosting one of its own. Which is sweet.

Thistle is a weekday cold-pressed juice pop-up operating out of Hillside Supper Club on Monday through Friday from  7 am to 4 pm. Neighbor Ashwin is one of the partners in Thistle, and he tells us:

My partners and I are launching a new health and organic brand called Thistle with our first product being a high quality 100% raw cold-pressed juice. We craft our juice in Berkeley and maintain a commitment to using local, organic and sustainable ingredients. Through farmer’s markets and sourcing with intention, we seek out and develop relationships with only local purveyors who share our commitment to promoting individual health and a healthy environment. We are currently working on developing our branding material but we have a basic website up .

I met Tony and Jonathan [from HSC] through another project on which I am working called WeGoFair, and we wrote a piece about Hillside Supper Club and their commitment to sustainability.

When we started working on Thistle, these guys were on the top of our list to reach out to to discuss partnering. If that wasn’t enough, my wife and I moved to Bernal last month (Folsom + Ripley) and now HSC is a short walk down the hill. (The walk back feels less short.)

It sounds rather awesome.

Still, if you happen to see Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein sipping juice at Thistle, just smile and try not to seem surprised.

PHOTOS: Courtesy of Thistle

Bernal Neighbor Launches Concierge Service for Vacation Rental Hosts


Recently, Neighbor Emily launched Guesthop, a new service for people who host guests via websites like Airbnb and VRBO.  She tells Bernalwood:

From the East Side of Bernal, introducing Guesthop.com.

We created Guesthop to deal with the problems people face when they are hosts on AirBnB. People love to rent their spaces on AirBnB but it’s a lot of work! They have to list the place and handle inquiries, keep it clean, make it guest-ready, plus take care of the guests while they are in town. It’s a lot of management and attention to detail.

Basically, everything a concierge would do in a hotel — that’s what Guesthop does. We handle all the work for people, to make renting out your space hassle free.

Mention Bernalwood and get $10 off your first Guesthop service.

Little Bee Bakery Plans Soft-Launch Opening, Starting Today


Ooh. Tasty.

According to the sign in the window, the new Little Bee Bakery from Bernal neighbor (and Chez Panisse alum) Stacie Pierce is set to open for a soft-launch starting today in the former Rock Candy Shop space at 521 Cortland.

The interior has received a thorough renovation, and a sign in the window says Little Bee will begin flight testing on October 11-13 from noon to 6 pm.

PHOTO: ellagarto75

Tonight: Special Bernal-Only Soft Launch Opening at New “Holy Water” Bar on Cortland




The former Stray Bar is reopening tonight, under new ownership, with an all-new interior, and a brand-new name. Your Bernalwood editor snapped the photos you see above during a speedy drive-by visit last week.

From here on out, the bar shall be known as Holy Water.

Hmm. Yes.

Micheal Goebel, one of the co-owners of the new establishment, has kindly extended an invitation to all Citizens of Bernalwood to stop by this evening for a special Bernal-only soft-launch celebration:

We thought it would be a cool idea to host a neighborhood-only soft opening for everyone. We will do some hosted beer and wine for a couple hours.

For those who are so inclined, you will be pleased to know that Holy Water is already on the Foursquare, for your check-in convenience.

PHOTOS: Telstar Logistics

Little Bee Bake Shop Seeks Crowdsourced Funds for September Opening


Neighbor Stacie is on target to open her Little Bee Bake Shop in the location of the former Rock Candy Snack Shop on Cortland, with a September launch date on the calendar and a crowdsourced fund drive underway via Indiegogo:

Little Bee Baking is the Bernal Heights based baking company started by Stacie Pierce, former pastry chef of Chez Panisse Restaurant in Berkeley, CA.  Since starting in January 2013, Little Bee quickly outgrew its home kitchen and when a shop became available just blocks from home, it was decided that Little Bee should take a leap of faith and sign a lease.

My vision for Little Bee’s shop is that of a family friendly bake shop where everything is made in house with locally sourced and organic ingredients. It will be a place for neighbors to come to enjoy a slice of fruit tart or cake, ice cream, or cookies. The shop will also offer cakes and desserts for birthdays and other special occasions, as well as take home and bake items such as cookie dough and buttery tart dough.

Since this neighborhood has been our home for almost 10 years and is now where we are choosing to raise our daughter, it is very exciting and important for me to have this chance to expand my role as a part of the Bernal Heights community. I intend the shop to contribute to the vibrancy of Cortland Avenue and to grow with the neighborhood.

What Little Bee Needs & How the Money Will Be Spent

Little Bee is starting with a small amount of equipment inherited from the current shop, however in order to fulfill its intended vision there are some additional pieces that are needed to make this a truly successful venture. If we reach our goal, the money will be invested directly into new and improved lighting, tiling, flooring, bathroom and electrical updates, as well as new equipment for the shop. If all goes as planned, we are shooting for the shop to be open in September just after Labor Day.

With 7 days remaining, as of this writing Little Bee has raised $6400 on the way toward its $25,000 goal.

PHOTO: Telstar Logistics