Foodie-Hating Vandal Damages Small Businesses on Cortland

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Daybreak this morning reveals that a vandal damaged the Epicurean Trader on Cortand overnight by spray-painting political slogans on the store’s facade.

The graffiti says: “Banal Heights” and “Traitor for the 1%.”

A hot-take analysis by the Bernalwood Office of Propaganda Research concluded that the vandal apparently suffers from a narcissistic righteousness disorder, exacerbated by feelings of contempt. Further semiotic inquiry also reveals conspicuously tidy handwriting, rote sloganeering, and an unfortunate weakness for bad puns.

Bernalwood will provide further updates as they become available.

UPDATE: Bernalwood has confirmed that Pinhole Coffee was tagged as well.

PHOTOS: @rallyp

Cortland’s Sandbox Bakery Sold to Pinkie’s from SOMA

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In Japanese literature and art, the concept of  mono no aware (物の哀れ) is often central to the creative aesthetic. Mono no aware is a difficult idea to describe, but basically it represents an intimate emotional awareness of the inherent transience and impermanence of all things. So with apologies for this confessional moment, your Bernalwood editor is today struggling with his own sense of mono no aware, because Neighbor Mutsumi Takehara’s delicious Sandbox Bakery on Cortland is under new ownership.

Confirmed: Sandbox has been sold to Pinkie’s Bakery from SOMA.

In an email to Bernalwood last week, Neighbor Peter provided the tip that something was up:

Sandbox has been closed recently and word is that it has been taken over by “Pinkie’s Bakery” or something like that. At least, several of my friends have reported that the receipts now say Pinkie’s Bakery.

Is the Bernalwood News Team aware of these events?

Last weekend the Bernalwood Action News team deployed to the scene for some hungry-for-breakfast reporting at Sandbox.  The pastry selection was conspicuously meager during our visit, and there were no negi-miso croissants anywhere be seen. Anywhere. Nevertheless, we verified the basic details of Neighbor Peter’s tip: Sandbox Bakery was in fact sold, and Pinkie’s Bakery was in fact the buyer.

Later on Saturday, Bernalwood received a friendly note from the proprietor of Pinkie’s Bakery:

My name is Cheryl Storms and I own Pinkie’s Bakery on Folsom with my business partner Chris Beerman.

I just wanted to drop a line and give you a heads up that we very recently bought Sandbox Bakery.  I know there’s a tiny bit of buzz going around and I wanted to make sure I paid proper respect to the neighborhood and introduce myself before word got out too much.

Generally, we won’t be changing too much about Sandbox, other than the name and some of the products. I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Pinkie’s, but our product line is much more American style; I’ve always made things that I consider comforting and delicious (my dads recipe for carrot cake, banana nut bread, apple turnovers, amazing chocolate chip cookies).

I’d like to bring many of my signature Pinkies pastries over to Cortland, and I’m keeping a lot of Mutsumi’s products as well, but many of the Japanese items are gone because I feel like those were really specific to her and her vision of the bakery.  We are also bringing in artisan breads, cakes, and a lot of afternoon treats.  We do a lot of wholesale bread and are using the kitchen overnight for our production as well.

I’m excited to serve the neighborhood and meet all of our neighbors.  I have a four month old, so I really like the family vibe of Bernal; kid friendliness and family was a big part of Mutsumi’s bakery and I definitely won’t be changing that as it becomes Pinkie’s Bakery.

The Pinkie’s Bakery Instagram account provides a visual overview of the specialties:

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It all looks sprinklicious, so please welcome Cheryl and Pinkie’s Bakery to Cortlandia!

Still, I cannot deny: I will miss those fantastic negi-miso croissants Sandbox used to make; they were a profound and wonderful thing. Yet, like the fallen petals of a cherry blossom, I realize those days have passed. In my heart I feel mono no aware, but in my mouth it tastes like umami memories of a negi-miso croissant.

PHOTO: Telstar Logistics

Thursday: Come Out for Two Glamorous Summer Strolls Along Two Bernal Streets

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As you know, for tens of thousands of years, the ancient druids who once populated our lands gathered each year on Bernal Hill during the longest day of the year to celebrate the arrival of summer and the harvest of the seasonal foodstuffs that brought them joy and sustenance.

This year, for the first time in the history of the galaxy, this ancient Bernal ritual will begin a new chapter, as our two merchant tribes from Cortlandia and La Lengua will each hold a Solstice Celebration on the same night, and in the same spirit, at the same time — on two different streets.

Specifically, on Thursday night, June 18, the shamans from the Bernal Business Alliance will hold the  2015 Summer Solstice Stroll on glamorous Cortland Avenue. Simultaneously, the high priestesses from the Mission Bernal Merchants Association will hold their first-ever Summer Stroll along the bustling flatland sidewalks of Mission Street between Randall and Cesar Chavez.

The MBMA’s Mission Street Summer Stroll happens on Thursday from 4 to 7:30 pm:

Don’t miss this Thursday’s Mission Bernal Merchants Association SUMMER STROLL! Look for food specials, art events and other fun activities up and down the street. Participating businesses include Ichi Sushi, BEL, Secession Art and Design, The Blue Plate SF, Iron & Gold, Virgil’s Sea Room, The Front Porch, Cafe St. Jorge, The Rock Bar, Cole Hardware, The Knockout and more!

Food Specials:
ICHI Kakiya – $1 Oysters; Happy Hour Food & Drink Specials
ICHI Sushi – Izakaya Happy Hour
Bel  Happy Hour Belgian Food & Drink Specials
The Blue Plate — 3 –course prix fixe meatloaf /Fried Chicken /Rose Flight
Iron & Gold — Amelia Ray will be performing 5-7 pm.
– $6 Celery Chavez: Tequila, muddled mint, fresh lemon, simple syrup & celery bitters.
– $6 Manhattan: Bourbon, sweet vermouth & bitters.
– $3 beers on tap. $5 well drinks.
Virgil’s Sea Room — $1 off draft beers and our $5 Mules, Margaritas and Micheladas until 8 PM

Art:
Secession Art and Design — Live Painting/Drawing, TBD; discounting the 94110 shirts
Avenue
– Jaewon Lee, a 10 year old graffiti artist,
– Painting a canvas outside space from 5 PM to 7 PM
– Little Green Cyclo truck in front of our space with a stroll special
– Josh and the Klipptones play from 5 PM to 7 PM
– Henna Tattoos

Fun Events:
The Front Porch — hop scotch and free popcorn on the porch from 4 till 6:30. Fried chicken samples will go on till the end. .
The Rock Bar— Drink Specials
Cafe St. Jorge — Trivia Game
The Knockout — Drunk Bingo Night

Community Info:
Hospital Project by HerreroBoldt
MUNI Forward
Mission-Valencia Plaza Information

On Cortland, the Summer Stroll is on Thursday from 6 to 9 pm. Neighbor Ken from Succulence and Neighbor Darcy from Heartfelt share some of the 2015 highlights:

The Bernal Business Alliance’s annual Summer Stroll is happening Thursday evening, June 18th from 6-9pm. Many businesses up and down Cortland Ave will be taking part in this intimate neighborhood party. This year we are having a “Focus on Food” with yummy bites and drinks offered at many of your favorite shops along with some live music.

Events like the Summer Stroll and December’s Holiday Stroll are part of what makes Bernal Heights such a throwback community, with a strong emphasis on community. These nights are a great opportunity to support your local businesses while being feted by them in a show of gratitude and celebration.

Come stroll along Cortland on the 18th. Taste some treats, sip some beverages, do some summer shopping and say hello to all your favorite neighbors and store peeps as we toss our worries aside for the evening and focus on the bounty of luck that brought us to Bernal Heights in the first place.

12 Small Things
12 Small Things is having a sidewalk summer sale of handmade artisan products at 436 Cortland Ave

Bernal Homeopathy
Bernal Homeopathy and East-West Integrative Clinic will be under one roof starting July 1st at 406 Cortland Avenue, in East-West Bernal! For the stroll Bernal Homeopathy will be at 406 Cortland maybe with one or two other folks who will work at EWB, on the front porch. They will also have appetizers from Little Nepal.

Bernal Star, Vega, and Vinorosso
Bernal Star & Vega will offer “Bernal Stroll Specials”
Vinorosso will have Summer Stroll happy hour until 9pm ($4 prosecco and Lambrusco!)

Epicurean Trader
Main Event: EPICurean Sandwich Tasting
(taste and vote for our new prepared sandwich range from local Bernal Employee/Chef)
Other Events:
– Llano Seco heirloom beans and sustainably farmed meats tasting event
– Miyoko’s Kitchen Vegan Cheese tasting event
Promo: Win A $50 Gift Voucher raffle!

Heartfelt
Local one-man band cajun musician Brian Belknap will play. Mark will be making a refreshment. The Grommet is hosting a party at the store the same night. And Laura is doing free Tarot readings

Micheal Minson
Climb will have the famous Airstream parked in front of New Wheel with the bluegrass band Windy Bluegrass.

Pinhole Coffee
We have the delicious Burr Eatery on board to serve that night (burritos made in the style of Sonora, Mexico) and treats from Eatwell Farm’s Icebox. Our coffee bar will be open for purchases, too!

Red Hill Station
Red Hill is having an oyster extravaganza!

Sandy Owens Massage and Healing
Sandy Owens Massage and Healing will be at her new location at the Cutting Edge from 6:30-7:30! Eileen Claytor of the Cutting Edge will be there too serving light snacks from 6-9pm, 1000 Cortland Ave.

See you out there!

Bernal Neighbor Creates Clever Cardboard Contour of Cortland Avenue

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During a recent constitutional in Cortlandia, your Bernalwood editor met Neighbor Miles Epstein as he was preparing to photograph his new artwork: a topographically accurate cross-section of Cortland Avenue, created entirely from sheets of cardboard. Neighbor Miles writes:

3D Surface Modeling – The Cortland Map Project
Inspired by finishing an extraordinarily flat cork tabletop, I fell into this idea of modeling our local commercial street. Cortland Avenue runs east/west for 0.9miles. Branching off Mission St at 140 feet above sea level Cortland crests at 240 feet before descending sharply to Bayshore Ave, resting flat at just 20 feet above the waves.

Turns out, Neighbor Miles is friendly with the folks at New Wheel on Cortland, and his 3-D map was assembled from scrap cardboard collected from the store.

He mapped it out based on the amazing 5′ topo map of Bernal Heights created by the legendary Eric Fisher (and shared on Bernalwood a few years ago). Then Neighbor Miles reproduced the contours of Bernal by gluing custom-cut pieces of cardboard together to create the entire length of Cortland from Mission to Bayshore. Take a closer took:

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Neighbor Miles tells Bernalwood he was directly inspired by the work of Neighbor Gregory Gavin, and on his website, Neighbor Miles reveals that he even built a version of his Cardboard Cortland that uses the streets as structural ribs.  Check this out:

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Woa. Mind blown! Amazing! Geektastic! Brilliant! Inspiring!

Well done, Neighbor Miles.

Now… A CARDBOARD CONTOUR OF ALL OF BERNAL HEIGHTS, PLEASE?

PHOTOS: Telstar Logistics (above) and Miles Epstein (below)

Red Hill Station Has Its “Check, Please! Bay Area” Moment

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Red Hill Station is one of Cortlandia’s culinary treasures, and it’s been fun to watch as the rest of San Francisco gradually figures that out.

Bernal neighbors Taylor Pedersen and Amy Reticker create some serious food magic at Red Hill, and last week the wannbe food critics of KQED’s “Check, Please! Bay Area” took Red Hill Station for a televised test drive.

In this episode, our discriminating Check, Please! taste-testers were:

  • Jeff, an epidemiologist
  • Jennifer, a belly dancer
  • Christopher, a deputy district attorney

And of course, we were joined by the glamorous host of the show, Leslie Sbrocco:

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Red Hill Station was recommended by Jeff the epidemiologist, and if you want to skip ahead to get to the Bernal part, start watching this video at around the 10:30 mark:

Don’t want to ruin the surprise, but suffice to say… Red Hill Station pretty much blew everyone away. Naturally, we knew that would happen, all along.

IMAGE: Leslie Sbrocco GIF, courtesy of Andy Welfle

New Work by Bernal Artist Charles Bierwirth Now Showing at Pinhole Coffee

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News Flash: JoEllen Depakakibo, the proprietor and caffeinated creator of Pinhole Coffee at 231 Cortland, is officially tired of commuting to work from across town. So later this month, she’s moving to Bernal Heights. Pinhole has done much to create a stronger sense of community in western Cortlandia, so the addition of soon-to-be Neighbor JoEllen to our full-time Bernalese ranks will likely be a victory for the forces of better-togetherness.

Consistent with that, soon-to-be Neighbor JoEllen tells us about a new art installation now showing at Pinhole:

We have new artwork up by Bernal resident Charles Bierwirth. He’s been living in Bernal Heights since the late 1980’s, doing commissions in Fine Art paintings and mural work. He’s been painting on canvas tarpaulins since graduate school in the late 1970’s, when he received his Masters Degree in painting from the San Francisco Art Institute. He recently just finished a piece on the San Francisco icons, The Brown Twins.

Charles Bierwirth’s piece “Blau Haus” will be on display until July at Pinhole Coffee.

PHOTO: Charles Bierwirth installing his work at Pinhole Coffee, via Pinhole Coffee

Epicurean Trader Opening This Morning on Cortland

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This morning, The Epicurean Trader will open for business at 401 Cortland, on the corner of Bennington, for the very first time. Grand Opening! Woo hoo!

That said, when your Bernalwood editor first heard that the business would be called The Epicurean Trader, I was gravely concerned. Sure, the fetishism of San Francisco food aficionados can be a bit obnoxious at times. But a business dedicated entirely to the buying and selling of epicureans? As if they were human chattel? Well, let’s just say that seemed a bit extreme.

Fortunately, co-proprietor Holly McDell helped clear things up. Rest assured, she says, the Epicurean Trader will not engage in the buying and selling of epicureans. Instead, it will facilitate the the buying and selling of artisanal food products to epicureans. Whew! Bernalwood is very relieved.

Here’s what else Neighbor Holly has to say about The Epicurean Trader:

My husband Mat and I moved to Bernal (on Putnam) a few years ago, after having our first child. We fell in love with the neighborhood and the sense of community.

The store is called The Epicurean Trader. Inside the store you’ll find hand-selected small batch artisan products from across America, chosen for their incredible flavors and fusions, natural ingredients, and beautiful packaging.

As you are probably aware, there are many amazing products out there that struggle to get into large wholesale accounts for a number of reasons (reliance on distributors, lack of capital or brand awareness etc). Our goal is to be a brand ambassador for these smaller brands, sharing their unique stories, and bringing many of them to San Francisco for the first time.

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We aim to provide a space for Bernal residents to discover and taste the best artisanal foods from across the country. In addition, we will have a curated selection of wines, craft beers, and small batch distilled spirits. On the wine side we are working with Bernal local Jason Moore of Alluvial Wines, as well as Alex Finberg (former sommelier of Farina, and trusted consultant for some of San Francisco’s top restaurants and markets). They have kindly shared their experience and palates to develop a wine program specifically for the Bernal demographic. We aim to have a selection of amazing wines at every price point, to enjoy both mid week, as well as on special occasions.

By working directly with brands and avoiding distributors wherever possible, we aim to offer these products at affordable prices. We see our product selection as being complementary that of The Good Life and Avedano’s.

We’re also going to have in-store tastings where the artisans and wine makers etc can come and share their stories.

Neighbor Holly says The Epicurean Trader will be open at 11 am today. We say: Welcome!

PHOTOS: Courtesy of The Epicurean Trader