Dispute Unsettled, but Bocana Neighbor Departs Home After Huge Rent Increase



Yesterday was a sad moving day for Neighbor Deb Follingstad, who had to leave her home at 355 Bocana after receiving a now-infamous 315% rent increase notice from the landlord, Neighbor Nadia Llama.

ABC7 updated the story last Friday:

Follingstad’s home is understandably a mess since the May 5 deadline to move is just days away. She says leaving her home of 10 years hurts. She explained to 7 On Your Side, “It’s so painful and I’ve had to uproot my life in a month.”

A move out sale Follingstad held attracted a steady stream of people. Until she finds a place to live, she plans to couch surf and house sit. Beyond that, her future is murky.

“I don’t know anymore. I can’t afford to live here. A lot of my friends can’t afford to live here and it’s pretty heartbreaking the way the city’s changing,” Follingstad said.

The home is registered as a single family home and the landlord believes it’s not covered by rent control laws.

Tenants rights attorney Joe Tobener calls this eviction by rent increase. He said, “It’s an easy way for landlords to try to get tenants out, to increase the rent.”

Tobener plans to file a lawsuit on Follingstad’s behalf. He is charging landlord Nadia Llama with wrongful eviction.

PHOTO: Top, Telstar Logistics. Below, Neighbor Deb Follingstad via ABC7

Lost Bernal Dog Navigates to Familiar Mission District Bar


If you were tuned in to Bernalwood’s social media channels yesterday, you may have seen the appeal to help find Luna, a Bernal Heights dog who escaped from a caregiver’s yard in the Panhandle while her owner was out of town traveling. A frantic search effort was undertaken, and there were reports that Luna had been seen along the Embarcadero and in the Mission.

Happily, Luna was found late yesterday afternoon after wandering in to a familiar watering hole. Cassie tells Bernalwood:

Thanks so much for posting about the dog. Luna was found yesterday evening at a bar in the Mission called The Sycamore that her owners frequent. Smart pup. She was reunited with her owner last night. We can’t believe it and are so relieved.

Clever drinky doggy indeed. Whew!

PHOTO: Luna, once lost, now found

Tonight: Earth Day Party and Benefit at Succulence


Let’s take a moment to marvel at the shrewd foresight of Succulence, the plant and lifestyle-decor store at 402 Cortland opened by Ken and Amy Shelf after they rather gracefully transitioned from running Four Star Video.

Today, Succulence specializes in selling lovely, low-water succulents and mysterious air plants that seem to survive on little more than sunlight and unicorn vapor. Which is to say, Succulence made drought-tolerant gardening look sexy long before it was cool (and state-mandated).

Now, to celebrate Earth Day, Ken says Succulence will host a special celebration at the store tonight… and you’re a guest of honor. Ken says:

We are having an Earth Day party at Succulence on April 23 from 6-9 pm. The entire day will also be a benefit for the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center – 10% of all proceeds will be donated to them.

We are having a special night at the shop. We will be serving free drinks and food (mojitos, pork sliders from Cathead’s BBQ , pastries from Little Bee Bakery, cheese & crackers) and providing live entertainment with three bands playing (including mine at 8:30pm).

It is a free event to thank everyone for the patronage of our business.

Here is a link to our invite and email. Please come if you are free! I’d love to get a chance to drink a toast to our marvelous planet together.

PHOTO: Courtesy of Succulence

Laptop Stolen While Owner Was Using It at Cortland Coffee Shop


Ugh. There was some unpleasantness yesterday at Progressive Grounds coffee shop on Cortland. Neighbor Davis reports:

My roommate’s laptop was stolen out of her hands on Sunday while she was working out of Progressive Grounds. It happened at 1:30PM; the two people (young African-American men) came into the coffee shop and one man grabbed it from her table and ran out of the coffee shop while the other man followed him. My rooomate pursued the two people heading south on Bennington Street, where the two men eventually headed east around Ellert or Newman Street and jumped into a grey SUV that was waiting for them and sped away.

Various people in the cafe proceeded to help her figure out how to catch them. The police were called and she filed a report with them. The cops later contacted her with possible leads on cars around the area.

We are currently trying to figure out if there is some kind of surveillance footage on cortland street or adjacent streets that might have captured any video footage of the criminals.

Have footage? Bernalwood will be glad to pass it on. In the meantime, please be careful out there.

Ichi Kakiya Is Now Open and Now Oysterlicious



ICHI Kakiya.Oyster

It finally happened! Bernal neighbors Tim and Erin Archuleta, the glamorous celebrity duo who created the intergalactically famous Ichi Sushi+Ni Bar, have officially opened their new oyster bar. It’s called Ichi Kakiya, and you’ll find it in their ancestral storefront at 3369 Mission, across the street from Safeway in Bernal’s burgeoning NanoTokyo district.

If you remember the ancestral Ichi storefront, you’ll recall that was a small space. It remains so to this day, with seating for just 21 cozy Ichinauts inside. The interior has received a nice freshening up, however, along with some sexy new wall murals.

But why oysters? Inside Scoop tells a cute part of the tale:

As Jonathan Kauffman reported last fall, [… ] Erin Archuleta and her husband had a very sweet and romantic reason for turning the original restaurant space into an oyster shop: They fell in love eating oysters.

When Tim was a sushi chef at Tokyo Go-Go, he convinced his new girlfriend, who was born in Michigan, to try oysters: First tiny kumamotos, then larger varieties, then trips to local oyster bars. “On Sundays we would go have glasses of champagne and oysters, and that was our courtship,” she says.

You can peruse Ichi Kakiya’s full menu here. Meanwhile, the Bernalwood Action News Cuisine Team’s undercover reporting has revealed that the oysters are highly delicious.

Indeed, your Bernalwood editor managed to infiltrate an exclusive, celebrity-filled pre-opening party at Ichi Kakiya last week by by cleverly disguising myself as (… wait for it…) the editor of “a fashion-obsessed Bernal Heights news magazine.” This ruse worked like a charm, and before long Bernalwood was sampling more than a few of Ichi Kakiya’s delicious ponzu-dressed oysters while sipping a very large glass of very delicious cold sake. #winning!

Chef Tim was in fine spirits (as you might have noticed in the image above), and it was great to see him behind the counter again in Ichi’s ancestral restaurant space. Also, we can confirm that he has mad oyster-shucking skillz.

Ichi Kakiya is highly recommended if you are bivalve-inclined, and big congrats and best wishes to Chef Tim and Neighbor Erin.

PHOTOS: Exterior and Chef Tim by Telstar Logistics. Oysters by Anna Hale courtesy of Ichi Kakiya

Saturday Morning: Clean Up Precita Park, Plant Things, Meet Sexy Neighbors


Neighbor Demece, queen bee of the impressively effective Precita Valley Neighbors, invites all Bernalese to join in for a Precita Park Cleanup and flower planting, tomorrow, Saturday, April 4 at 9 am:

The Ultimate Spring Precita Park Clean Up and Get To Know Your Neighbor Fest happens on Saturday, April 4th from 9am – noon!!!

We’ll be gardening, chatting, digging, and chatting. Volunteers are needed. If you can stay an hour or however long you can, we’d love to have you!!!

The Recreation and Parks Department will bring tools, trucks, and our incredible gardening staff to help us! Captains are:

9-10am: Neighbor Demece
10-11am:Neighbor Charles
11-noon: Neighbor Jessica

There are crazy surprises in store for volunteers and captains! Sign up by sending an email t0 precitavalleyneighbors@gmail.com