New, Hawaiian-Style Brunch Pop-up Coming to 903 Cortland


There’s a new weekend-only brunch pop-up coming to the space at 903 Cortland. The pop-up is called āina, and like the name, the food will be Hawaiian. The restaurant will open up to the public this Saturday, November 22, with plans to serve brunch every weekend,  Saturday and Sunday, 9 am-2 pm.

Team āina tells Bernalwood:

We are excited to provide a new brunch option for the Bernal Heights neighborhood at our new pop-up, called ‘āina (903 Cortland Avenue, CA 94110). ‘āina is from the Hawaiian language, and means land/earth. Jordan Keao, the chef, lives smack in Bernal; Jason Alonzo runs the front of the house, and he lives just down the hill.

Our idea is to incorporate all our past experiences and finally work for ourselves, allowing great creativity and responsible food sourcing. Everything we serve will be from the land or transformed from what the land has given to us. The food will have an Asian or Hawaiian influence with a breath of the classic breakfast dishes. We will cook with the seasons, using local ingredients from the bay area, as well as local ingredients from the chef’s home, the Big Island of Hawai’i. Our Facebook page has more information and a sample of our menu.

From Jordan (the chef) and Jason (front of house).

Here’s a sample menu:


PHOTO: Poached egg, smoked royal king trumpet mushrooms, kabocha squash puree, wild watercress with some Chinese sausage Lap Cheong on top, from āina via Facebook

Neighbor Deanne Explains Why You Should Check Out the Bernal Yoga Open House on Saturday


Neighbor Deanne from Winield Street really likes Bernal Yoga at 908 Cortland (near Folsom).

She doesn’t work at Bernal Yoga, or own the place — she says she just enjoys the yoga and the sense of community. Bernal Yoga has been a part of the neighborhood for many, many moons, and this Saturday, Nov. 15 the studio will host an Open House for the yoga-curious from 2 to 5 pm.

Neighbor Deanne explains why she’s become such a Bernal Yoga fangirl:

For those of you Bernal Yogis who do not often venture to the Eastern side of Cortland, you are missing out on a wonderful community-minded space we know as Bernal Yoga (“BY”). Or maybe you pass the studio all the time thinking that you’d love to try Yoga, but it seems too intimidating to get started.

I used to fall into the latter category until I finally ventured into this studio several years ago to take an intro class. I couldn’t believe what a friendly and nurturing environment it was compared to other studios where I had tried Yoga in the past.

For the record I am not an instructor, nor an employee – I’m simply a student, and from time to time you will find me volunteering at the BY front desk.

BY is a very unique and charming studio that really embraces the first time student (and the inflexible) and has an amazing group of instructors that teach all classes for all levels – from newbies to the very experienced practitioner. There’s a wide variety of classes for all ages and abilities, and if you want to just lay around on props and de-stress from your day, check out one of the restorative classes.

So now I am hooked – not just for the Yoga, but because of all the wonderful friends and neighbors I have met over the years at BY and for the community environment the studio fosters.

I also love that the studio offers much more than Yoga – including lots of different styles of classes (there is now an acroyoga class!), amazing workshops, pilates and bootcamps, but they also host the Bernal Yoga Literary Series, concerts, films, and other events to foster community and support local artists.

If you haven’t checked out the studio, or just want to do something fun this Saturday and meet some new neighbors, BY is hosting a fabulous open house from 2-5pm. They will be doing yoga demos with the lovely Meghan, having a free raffle, free food, drinks and Living Greens juices, offering free acupuncture, Reiki and Chinese healing massage with local expert healer Man Chiu Tam, Tarot readings, and offering special discounts for Yoga classes.

It’s going to be a fun event for Yogis and non-Yogis alike. So drop by to meet some new neighbors and experience the goodness of yoga and community!


PHOTO: Top, via Neighbor Deanne

Saturday: Heartfelt’s Pop-Up Opening Party at 301 Cortland

Pop-Up Invite Sign

Meanwhile, in other Heartfelt news…

Sad tales of plundered ravens aside, Neighbor Darcy Lee is spreading the word about Heartfelt’s seasonal pop-up store that’s opening up a few blocks north, on the fashionable corner of Cortland and Bocana.

Neighbor Darcy shares the scoop (and extends an opening party invite):

Heartfelt’s Pop Up store in the former Deli Pub space at 301 Cortland is opening up this Saturday, November 8th from 1 to 4 pm.  Bubbly will be served!   This is a chance to express my display mojo without the crowded yet magical confines that is Heartfelt.

If you want a holiday shopping experience with air space, good taste, light, a piano and kindness…. stop by 301 Cortland.

Two questions have come up repeatedly:

1. “Is this a holiday store?”

Nope, it is open for the holidays but will have a variety of stuff.

2.” Is it the same stuff?”

Of course it is not the same stuff… that stuff is down at Heartfelt. This is other stuff.

We are also raising dollars for two charities gift drives this year.  We are helping to buy presents for all the residents of Curran House in the Tenderloin and of course the Infamous BHNC Holiday Toy Drive.  Giving=getting!

Raven Theft Highlights Challenges of Being a Bernal Merchant


Over the years, your Bernalwood editor has gradually received an eye-opening education in the challenges faced by many of our neighborhood merchants.

Never mind higher-level stuff like marketing, advertising, parking, margins, and worrying about tectonic shifts in the retail environment triggered by ecommerce and Amazon. No, the matters that impress us most are the day-to-day issues that arise from the fact that when you operate a storefront, you are quite literally opening up your front door to anyone who decides to walk through it — for better or for worse.

Neighbor Darcy Lee from Heartfelt on Cortland is normally unflappable in this regard; She is a pro, so she handles most oddball encounters with the general public in stride. But a shoplifting incident last week really got under her skin. Neighbor Darcy writes:

We have/had a beautiful raven piece that sells for $650. We have sold two over the years. They are one-of-a-kind and the artist does not always make the raven, but recently we got it in again!

And then the other day I noticed it was gone. I had just done a display with it, so I knew it had been stolen very recently. It is big (18″ long) and a focal point in the store. Then I started counting the other hand carved birds that are by the same person. We are missing 5 altogether, which adds up to $2,000 in sales.

I filed a police report.

This part of retail is pretty tough – and I have taken it hard. Part of store ownership is being in denial about theft — if not, one would be constantly worried and or paranoid. That said, one must also be prudent. I will have security cameras installed. Blchhh.

On that last note… Darcy tells Bernalwood she seeks recommendations for a good security camera installation and service provider. Not just a camera, she says; she hopes to find someone who will install and support a new security camera system. So if you have any recommendations, you know where to find her…. as always, the front door at Heartfelt is wide open during normal business hours.

This Is What It Looked Like at Fiesta on the Hill When Bernal Neighbors Discovered Their Inner Race Car Drivers


Sunday’s Fiesta on the Hill was rather exceptionally fantabulous.

For 2014, Bernal’s traditional street fair on Cortland got a thoughtful makeover, with a strong emphasis on local character and creativity. The generic street fair vendors and beleaguered farm animals were gone, and in their place Fiesta 2014 gave our neighborhood fest a more homespun feel, with smiling goats, and historic surrealist Doggie Diner Heads, and happy parents steering happy children on mechanized ponies by remote control:


It was a Main Street USA celebration of 21st century urbanism, and the crowds on Cortland were bustling:


People looked like they were having a good time. There was even dancing in the streets. REPEAT: Confirmed dancing in the streets!


Truth be told, however, your Bernalwood editor was unable to make his usual quasi-journalistic rounds at Fiesta on the Hill, because as part of this new 2014 emphasis on local flavor, I was recruited to babysit the two mutant race cars operated by the Bernal Dads Race Team.

So for most of the day, I was parked on Cortland, right in front of Andi’s Market.


Playing chaperone for America’s Most Badass Volvo Station Wagon and a Alfa Romeo disguised as a cookie was a hindrance to my wanderings. But it turned out to be a great way to meet a lot of awesome Bernal neighbors.

In particular, it was fun to watch Bernalese of all ages as they sat in the Volvo and visualized the adrenalin-fueled excitement of driving the car in wheel-to-wheel combat on a race track.

Here are some of the dashing future racers I met:







Thanks to everyone who made Fiesta on the Hill 2014 so much fun. Bravo, stay sexy, and can’t wait until 2015.

PHOTOS: Telstar Logistics

A Sneak Preview of Sunday’s New 2014 Fiesta on the Hill on Cortland

fiesta11x17poster finalv2

Mark your calendars, planning people. Fiesta on the Hill happens this Sunday, October 26.

Fiesta on the Hill is a Bernal tradition — a bustling Cortland street party that also benefits the intensely important Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center. This year, the organizing committee decided to *cough cough* spice up the marriage a bit by rethinking the standard Fiesta on the Hill format.

Neighbor Genevieve is on the Fiesta organizing team, and she shared this preview of some sexy new attractions for Fiesta 2014:

Fiesta is now in it’s 26th year. 10 am to 5 p.m. Sunday, 10/26/14

The big news is that this year we’re really focusing local makers and movers!

  • On Main Stage we’ll have big time children’s music musician (and SF resident!) Frances England playing from 12:30-1:30
  • Lots of local musical acts: 30th Street Chorus, Manila Slim, Duo Pizzicato (plays regularly at what used to be Liberty Cottage)
  • Salsa band Los Boleros to close out the festival
  • City grazing goats (in lieu of the sometimes un-PC petting zoo)
  • Food trucks from Off the Grid
  • Bernal muralist and celebrity artist Amos Goldbaum will be selling his sexy shirts
  • Bernal Dads Racing will have their race cars on display, including America’s Most Badass Volvo Station Wagon
  • Savor tasty gourmet funnel cakes with bacon in agave syrup, from the folks at Endless Summer Sweets (a graduate of the La Cocina program).
  • Cruise Cortand on a mechanized horse from Mission Ponies

UPDATE, 23 October: Neighbor Genevieve seeks some additional volunteers at Fiesta:

The job: guarding barricades and soliciting for donations for the BH Neighborhood Center
Hours: Flexible. But we are asking for 4 hour shifts, 10 am-2,pm and 2-6 pm
What They Get: Tee shirt, and redeemable tokens for lunch for Pizza Hacker and Frozen Khusterd, and free coffee from Philz!
Must Be: Friendly, able to stand for that amount of time

Tonight: There’s a New Variety Show at the Moonlight Cafe


A “happy pirate team” of Cortland merchants have conspired to create a new, monthly variety show at the Moonlight Cafe, and there’s one happening tonight.

Ms. Monique from Heartfelt shared the news:

Monique from Heartfelt and Aziz from Moonlight have teamed up with local funny gal morgansfunny to host a monthly Variety Show in Bernal at the Moonlight Cafe (634 Cortland).

It happens every 3rd Wednesday of the month (there’s a show tonight, October 15!!!) and the show consists of comedy, spoken word, and music.

There are four acts, and the show begins at 7:30 and runs about 90 minutes with an intermission. Cost is $10, and there is food and drink (modified from Moonlight’s regular menu) available for purchase. 21+ as we hope to make this a regular grown up night in Bernal.

We just started an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds in an attempt to make this show and other entertainment more available more often. Please check it out and spread the word!