Local links: Flower Piano starts Thursday at Botanical Garden, Murder mystery at the Conservatory, Avenue 12’s Summer of Love exhibit, The fate of Aziza, Toy Boat’s 35 years profiled in video, 368 #FewerPotholes

A performer at the Flower Piano event at the SF Botanical Garden. Photo by Natalie Jenks.

Here are some local links to kick off your Wednesday!

  • Thursday marks the beginning of the 3rd annual Flower Piano event at the San Francisco Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park. From July 13 – 24, several pianos will be installed throughout the garden and anyone is welcome to sit down and play (or listen!). The al fresco community concert hall also features special performances with many veteran players and a whole host of new acts and programs on tap this year; view the full schedule.
  • Fancy yourself a Sherlock Holmes? Put your deductive skills to the test with the new “Murder at the Conservatory” event at the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park. “Explore the twists and turns of San Francisco’s beloved Victorian greenhouse as charismatic characters pull you deep into a chilling 19th-century murder mystery.” The self-guided murder mystery tour includes drinks and nibbles, and of course the allure of the Conservatory foliage at night. Tickets start at $75 and take place on 6 different dates from August through January 2018. Tickets are available online
  • The Avenue 12 Gallery located at 12th & Lake Street has a new “Our Summer of Love and Resistance” exhibition that “evolved out of a desire to combine the 50th anniversary of Summer of Love with the current political climate”. The gallery, formerly Table Asia gallery, focuses on contemporary art created by emerging and mid-career Bay Area artists. The Summer of Love exhibit runs through August 26, with a free opening reception on July 15 from 5-8pm.

Some pieces in the “Our Summer of Love and Resistance” show at Avenue 12 Gallery

  • We’ve had few Michelin-star restaurants in the Richmond District – Aziza at 5800 Geary was one of them. After being closed for several months, more has come to light about why and if they can reopen. Owner Mourad Lahlou originally closed to undergo some much-needed renovations, but quickly found the required work was much more expensive than anticipated to make sure they were up to city code. The space needs nearly $3 million in renovations and it’s not looking likely that they will be able to reopen. We heard a rumor that a Sunset District location is being considered. In June, Lahlou told EaterSF “There’s no fucking way I’m not bringing Aziza back.” [EaterSF]
  • The Chronicle published a nice piece on Clement Street’s Toy Boat Dessert Cafe and owner Jesse Fink’s 35 years in business. Watch it here. “People walk in whether they’re 15 years old or 50 years old, they see something that they identify with from their childhood,” says Fink.
  • After receiving reports from residents as part of the #FewerPotholes campaign this Spring, Supervisor Sandra Fewer reported recently that SFDPW repaired 368 of them around the neighborhood in the month of June.


  1. For Aziza, I’m not sure the ADA counts as “city code”. He made a mistake in not realizing that the grandfathered-in status of the restaurant would be lost in his actions..
    It’s unfortunate, and while I understand and agree with the ADA’s intent, it shouldn’t come with the cost of putting small businesses out just because they updated their kitchens.

    There really needs to be some more sanity there, as it’s common to hear stories of local restaurants saying they can’t upgrade things because then they have to do a full ADA-compliant remodel.

  2. The Aziza story matches so many other restaurants in this city. When inspections start, it is normal for one SF inspector to contradict the prior inspector, adding more cost & time, making any renovation go way over budget.

  3. I do believe that Wako on Clement also has a Michelin star.

  4. Walked by Aziza today and noticed people working inside. Does anyone have any new news on what is going on?

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