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.

Sexy Bernal Sweatshirt Hoodies For Sale to Support Final Phase of Library Art Project

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The Bernal Library Art Project is entering its final phase.

After all the controversy, and the delicate mediation, and the hard-earned consensus, and the installation of new artwork on the library’s Cortland and Moultrie facades, work is now underway to complete the art on the rear, playground-facing side of the library. Scaffolding is up, and artist Johanna Poethig is working on her clever tile mosaic/mural, which incorporates vintage photographs shared by Bernal neighbors. (You can see some in-progress snaps above.)

All that remains is just a little more fundraising. And for that, the esteemed Bernalese who have spearheaded the Library Art Project invite you to purchase one of their rather fashionable sweatshirt hoodies, each of which includes a cameo by Bernal’s own celebrity icon, Sutrito Tower:

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Here’s the pitch from the Library Art Project team:

Phase 2 of the Bernal Library Art Project is scheduled for completion this fall. Scaffolding is up on the back of the library to paint and prepare the wall for installation of the amazing glass and ceramic tile mural that Johanna Poethig has designed for this space.

So, even though the mural is going up, the funding is not complete. Our current, and perhaps final, fund raising effort is this terrific Bernal Heights sweatshirt hoodie. Please note:

  • The copyrighted image by Reuben Rude will not be duplicated in the future!
  • Supplies are limited!
  • They are available in sizes from XL to XS.
  • Hoodies are for purchase at Heartfelt for $45
  • All proceeds above cost support Phase 2 of the Bernal Lilbrary Art Project.

Although lightweight, it’s warm and super comfy and looks really cool. Don’t wait or you may miss the opportunity to own this Bernal Heights collectible!

PHOTOS: via the Bernal Library Art Project Facebook page.

Pinhole Coffee on Cortland Aims for Septemberish Opening

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Anticipation has been building in Western Cortlandia as neighbors look forward to the grand opening of Pinhole Coffee at 231 Cortland, on the corner of Bonview. Bernalwood first told you about Pinhole last November, but opening a business in this town is famously non-easy, so things take time.

Lately, however, we’ve seen lots of construction underway in the Pinhole space, and when we poked our head in last weekend we saw lots of great stuff, including a handsome new coffee bar, a cool new mural (which features Sutro Tower for bonus cool credit), and  colorful wood strips on the walls. It’s going to be a beautiful space.

Pinhole founder JoEllen Depakakibo was onsite too, so Bernalwood posed the question everyone’s been asking: When is the opening date?!?!

Miss JoEllen smiled, laughed nervously, and said, “in a few weeks!”

So, end of August?

She scrunched up her face. “More like September,” she said.

Fair enough. Septemberish! Can’t wait. And in the meantime, you’ll find lots of construction photos on the Pinhole Coffee Facebookplatz.

PHOTO: via JoEllen Depakakibo

Zagat Has Discovered Red Hill Station. You Should Too. Quickly.

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It’s been a few months since Red Hill Station opened.

During that time, your Bernalwood editor has dined at Red Hill Station, the new seafood restaurant on Cortland created by Bernal neighbors Taylor Pederson and Amy Reticker, three or four times. Why so many? We’ve eaten at Red Hill Station three or four times because Red Hill Station is good. Really reeeeeeeallly good. Wonderful food, great atmosphere, attentive and neighborly service, and solid value for the hard-earned Bernalese dollar.

That said, Bernalwood has not yet written about Red Hill Station because a) we rather selfishly wanted to get our fill of the place before word got out about just how terrific it is, and b) it was obviously only a matter of time until professional food critics also figured out just how terrific Red Hill Station is, and c) professional food critics get paid to write proper restaurant reviews (so we don’t have to).

Well, that time has now come, because there’s a new review on Zagat that talks about… just how terrific Red Hill Station is:

The Gist: Red Hill Station may just be the next great neighborhood restaurant. Open since mid-June, it certainly is a seafood restaurant, although one of their top dishes is linguine and meatballs — or if you prefer, a meatball appetizer — in a hearty, stewed tomato red sauce. If this seems incongruent, it’s not. Bernal Heights residents and owners, Taylor Pederson and Amy Reticker, came from one of San Francisco’s greatest seafood classics, Anchor Oyster Bar. Red Hill reaches for that level of laid back comfort while attempting more ambitious dishes. And, oh, those sizes! We cannot get over the massive portions of food for around $17-$19 a plate.

So much for keeping this a secret. Check out the Zagat kicker:

The Verdict: As mentioned, in two short months, Red Hill already succeeds at feeling like a destination neighborhood restaurant. But they also deliver seafood in ways you have not seen it before — and portions that more than ensure value. What we’ve tried thus far is delicious. We can’t wait to return.

Hurry, neighbors… get thee to Red Hill Station before all the flatlanders come to crowd out us locals.

PS: Red Hill also pulls down an impressive 4.5 stars from the crankypants commenters on Yelp, including this gush by some guy with a mustache named Jeff B.:

If I was one of the the raters at Michelin, and found myself in the outer limits of downtown San Francisco (ie, Bernal Heights), Red Hill Station and its chef, Taylor Pedersen, would wind up with a star or two. It’s that good.

PHOTOS: Top, exterior photo by Michael C. on Yelp. Food photo by Virginia Miller via Zagat’s

Tonight: Party at The New Wheel to Celebrate a Homegrown Electric Bike

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Miss Karen Wiener, co-founder of the newfangled (and devilishly successful) New Wheel electric bicycle shop on Cortland, shares news that there’s a party at the store beginning at 6 pm tonight to celebrate the release of the Faraday Porteur,  a supersexy new ebike created in San Francisco.

Since you are supersexy and newfangled too, you’re invited to tonight’s party. Plus, FREE CARROTS!  FREE CUCUMBERS! Go crazy!

Miss Karen says:

The New Wheel is throwing a grand party for the Faraday Porteur, a beautiful electric bicycle designed right here in San Francisco. The New Wheel and Faraday have been working together for over two years as Faraday developed their product, ran a successful Kickstarter, and started production.

The party will be the official launch of The New Wheel taking pre-orders for the second production run of Faraday Porteurs, which will be available Spring 2015 in classic white and fabulous British racing green. It will also be an opportunity to enjoy a glass of wine, munch a fresh crispy cucumber and carrot, meet the founder and engineers at Faraday, and take a test ride on the best bicycle for Bernal. So stop by The New Wheel on Thursday, August 7 from 6 to 9pm to experience the future of urban transportation!

PHOTO: A Faraday Porteur climbs Cortland, via The New Wheel

Chuck’s Grocery Closes, But Neighborly Gratitude Remains

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Chuck’s Grocery on the corner of Cortland and Bocana has been an institution since just about forever. Yesterday was Chuck’s last day of operation, though, and Neighbor Michael Nolan shared this lovely appreciation:

Chuck’s Grocery Store, also known as Reliable Grocery, is scheduled to close after 40 years at its Cortland & Bocana location. I’ve known and enjoyed this incredible Palestinian-Chilean-San Francisco family for most of that time. I’d like to thank Chuck for letting me run a tab when money was scarce and I needed milk for the family. And to Vera for the tasty homemade salsa she would give me. And to Antoinette for providing an evening social center when I was feeling lonely and unappreciated. Thank you, Lama Family, for lifting my spirits. Por favor, let’s stay in touch!

Special bonus! Neighbor Michael also snagged this amazing photo of Vera Lama and her children leaving Santiago, Chile for San Francisco in 1973. In birth order: Tony, Antoinette, Claudia, Mauricio, Alejandro and Nadia.

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PHOTOS: Above, Chucks Grocery and the Lama family on July 24, 2014, by Telstar Logistics. Below, courtesy of the Lama family

Cool Old Sign on Cortland Is Actually New, But Still Way Cool

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On a recent evening, your Bernalwood editor was strolling in downtown Cortlandia, near the glamorous northeast corner of Cortland and Ellsworth. I looked up as I passed the corner store, and noticed a rather beautiful, retrolicious neon sign that  declared “Pay Little.”

“Words to live by!” I thought. “A credo for the Bernal tribe!”

It was right there — in gorgeous glowing neon. Yet why hadn’t I noticed this gem before?

From the style and the typeface, the sign looked midcentury, circa 1940s. But it was also pristine, and as I looked more closely, I realized that it wasn’t old at all. It was a new sign, extremely well executed. Bravo!

A quick chat with the gentleman behind the counter at the Pay Little confirmed my hypothesis: The sign is new, although it does look old.  And it’s classically cool, regardless.

PHOTO: Telstar Logistics