Passing the Torch: La Terraza to Become Craft Beer Bar and Restaurant

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There’s been lots of transformation on Mission Street in Bernal Heights, along the northern reaches of the La Lengua Autonomous Zone.

Anchoring the party, El Rio has (blessedly) been there since more or less forever, of course. More recently, the arrival of Blue Plate, Emmy’s Spaghetti Shack, Baby Blues BBQ, Iron and Gold,  The Royal Cuckoo, Virgil’s, ICHI Sushi+Ni Bar, the Pizza Hacker, and a few other 21st century foodie/drinkie institutions have steadily transformed the northern half of Bernal’s stretch of Mission into a destination for folks from all over our City.

Yet so far, this transformation has not extended south beyond 30th Street and our Taoist Safeway. By the time you reach the (Bernalistically symbolic) intersection of Cortland and Mission, for example, you’ll notice that the urban fabric today remains pretty much as it has been since the 1980s. Pretty much.

Now, however, comes news that evolution is coming to our southern part of Mission Street. InsideScoop broke the story yesterday, revealing that at 3472 Mission Street, a new bar/restaurant called Old Devil Moon will soon replace La Terraza.

Google recently captured La Terraza for posterity, in first-rate form, looking awesome and adrift in time:

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InsideScoop sez:

Old Devil Moon is in the works at 3472 Mission Street, the location probably best known as La Terraza, which has been owned and operated by brothers Pedro and Isidro Navarette for the last 20 years. La Terraza will remain open for about three to four more months, until the liquor license transfers.

Old Devil Moon will be a craft beer bar, albeit one with a full liquor license and menu of Southern food. The folks behind it are a trio of beer nerds: Chris Cohen (founder-president of the SF Homebrewers Guild), Andrew Kelley and Will Marshall.

That’s Chris, Andrew, and Will in the photo up top (though not necessarily in that order).

At first blush, this probably looks like yet another in a contemporary series of awkward local tales about Old-Timers vs. New People. Gentrification! Hipsters! “Erosion of our San Francisco culture!”

Alas,  this isn’t really one of those kinds of stories. Instead, it’s is a tale of neighborly evolution and passing-of-the-torch.  Old Devil Moon’s Chris Cohen told Bernalwood how the change of ownership went down:

Pedro was my next door neighbor on Tiffany Ave for 5+ years, and I knew he owned la Terraza from talking over the fence over the years.

One day when we were both taking the trash out at the same time I asked him if he knew any bar owners who may want to sell (I’d been looking for a space for months). He said, “I’ve actually been thinking about retiring for a couple years, I’d love to sell you my place.” It took another few months to get the deal done and we finally just posted the ABC notice of license transfer in their window today. Everyone did well and is happy with the results of the deal.

It’s essentially similar to what happened with Emmy’s taking over El Zocalo, and the Nap’s/Virgil’s story. Nap was ready to quit the business, and his bar wasn’t doing as well as it used to because the neighborhood had changed around the business. The process and reason for the changes at our La Terraza location are similar.

Pedro and his brother Isidro have owned La Terraza for about 20 years and are ready to retire. They were happy to sell to a neighbor.

PHOTO: Team Old Devil Moon, via Old Devil Moon

Ye Olde Emmy’s Spaghetti Shack Closes Tonight; New Emmy’s Opens This Weekend

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As you know, Miss Emmy Kaplan from the eponymous Spaghetti Shack recently announced plans to relocate her restaurant to a new location a few blocks north.

Now Emmy has passed word to Bernalwood that Old Emmy’s closes tonight, and New Emmy’s opens this weekend:

Want to let our Bernal neighbors know that Tuesday night will be our last at 18 Virginia St.

We are hoping to open to the public either Friday or Saturday night at our new location, 3230 Mission Street.

We hope to be accepting reservations through our Facebook page as soon as Friday morning and presenting a happy hour and late night menu in a week or two.

Hope to see some regulars and neighbors over there soon!

PHOTO: Emmy Kaplan with actual spaghetti, via Emmy’s Spaghetti Shack

A Few Spaces Left in Little Bee Baking Class This Weekend

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Neighbor Stacie from Little Bee Baking on Cortland tells us she has just a few spaces remaining in her new baking class that gets underway this Sunday, November 9. This is your big chance to learn the ancient secrets of pie dough:

I’ll be starting to teach baking classes at Little Bee in November.

This has been an idea I’ve had since starting the shop – I love teaching and creating a fun and relaxed environment where people aren’t afraid to try baking.

My first class will be about making traditional pie dough and I hope to teach a new class each month or so. I encourage people of all levels to join in. All ingredients and equipment are included. Students will get to take home their doughs at the end of class, and we will enjoy fresh baked pie with coffee or tea at the end over a relaxed Q & A session.

Look for details on cost, timing, and sign-up logistics in the poster below.

In a follow up email earlier today, Stacie said:

I have a four spots left for the first class this Sunday. If there’s a lot of interest, I am able to add a second class if necessary the following Sunday, 11/16 from 6-9. I’m also planning a class for December as well on 12/14.

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PHOTO: Top, Stacie Pierce from Little Bee Baking, by Telstar Logistics

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