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76 station with 7-11 re-opens Wednesday

It’s been 16 months since the 76 station on Geary and Funston closed for a remodel. It will finally re-open this Wednesday, completely remodeled and housing a new 7-11 convenience store.

The remodeled service station has raised the bar for gas station style, sporting slate stones in its facade, a wall fountain, fresh landscaping, and environmentally friendly LED lighting inside and out.

The owners also footed the bill to paint the side of the adjoining building on Geary, which was peeling and cracking.

The station features the latest in gas pump technology, with lighter weight nozzles and ADA compliant controls. The owners also added diesel fuel to the menu.

When we stopped by on Monday afternoon, they were putting the finishing touches on the 7-11 store that is on the property. The franchise’s inclusion is what slowed down the timeline for the station to re-open. 7-11 came to the project late, and then had to go through city channels to get permits and approval to open.

The 7-11 will offer all the usual accoutrements of the franchise, including slurpees and hot dogs. The location just a couple blocks down on 15th & Geary will remain open.

The construction and design at the 76 station were handled by a husband and wife team from Southern California. Luis Herrera of Channel Development has experience with many service station remodels, and his wife, designer Erika Winters, put the final design touches on the corner station.

She also designed the marble tiled his and her restrooms inside the 7-11, and added accents where she could within the 7-11 franchise guidelines.

Herrera and Winters stayed in the Marina District during the remodel, and Herrera says he loved being in the city by the bay. He sounded reluctant to leave it to return to this SoCal homebase. He decided to leave his motorcycle behind with the Piston & Chain motorcycle club that he joined while living here.

“It gives me a good reason to come back for a visit,” Herrera said.

The 76 station officially reopens on Wednesday morning, December 16.

Sarah B.

UPDATE: This article had previously mentioned a promotion for free fill-ups to the first 100 customers, which was confirmed in person to us on Monday by Luis Herrera. This morning we were contacted by John Quintanilla who informed us that was false information. “There must have been a miss understanding. No free gas upon re opening.” Sorry to everyone for the confusion. – Sarah B.

The convenience store on the gas station lot is a 7-11

The wall fountain on the front of the 7-11

5:06 am | Posted under Business | 5 comments

Honors: NEN Award winners, top bakeries in the neighborhood

As we head into the end of 2013, all sorts of awards, top lists, and honorable mentions get handed out for a variety of things in the city.

Last week, two neighborhood organizations received an annual Neighborhood Empowerment Network Award from the city organization of the same name. NEN’s mission is to empower “the neighborhoods of San Francisco with the capacity to steward themselves to a resilient condition”.

Friends of Cabrillo Playground received the 2013 award for Outstanding Park Volunteer Group, and the La Playa Neighborhood Watch group for SAFE received the Outstanding Neighborhood Watch Award.

In food news, three bakeries – one of which will open in the neighborhood nest year – received honorable mentions in SFist’s 12 Best Bakeries of San Francisco list.

Finishing up the roundup are Heartbaker on Clement and 15th Avenue, opened earlier this year by longtime baker Sybil Johnson offering tasty baked goods, a lunch and dinner menu plus nightly happy hours.

Boudin Bakery on 10th Avenue near Geary, founded in the neighborhood and famous for their sourdough, was also mentioned. And Marla Bakery, who will be opening a location at 3619 Balboa next year, also made the list.

Congrats to all of our neighborhood winners and thanks to readers Jean B. and Carl L. for the tips.

Sarah B.

9:30 am | Posted under Business, Community, Food | 1 comment

Shop local & save at the Clement Street Holiday Stroll tonight, 4-9pm

Photo by Tito Perez

Just because it’s Friday the 13th doesn’t mean you won’t have luck finding the perfect gifts!

Tonight, merchants along the early blocks of Clement Street are hosting a “Holiday Stroll” from 4pm until 9pm, featuring special deals, libations and treats for shoppers.

Here’s a list of what you’ll find on Clement Street stretching from Arguello to 6th Avenue:

Ingenious Organic concept salon (389 Arguello): Buy 1 hair product get one 30% off, Makeup Buy 2 get 1 free, makeup touch ups, 20% off future hair cut appointments, 50% off hair cut with any color service, free deep conditioning with color service. Also Snacks and Drinks.

Covet (391 Arguello): Cupcakes, champagne, & a free jewelry gift with purchase of $30 or more.

Period George (7 Clement Street): Sale on all Christmas and holiday candles, 15% off!

The Mysterious Rack (12 Clement): The Mysterious Rack will be offering 25% off all accessories, jewelry, books, magazines, records, & more! Also featuring vintage by Heidi Spanier. Also libations, and live music by Rick Quisol aka the Dimestore Dandy.

Sparky’s Balloons & Toys (115 Clement): Sparky’s will be offering champagne & chocolate covered strawberries.

STORY SF (202 Clement): Story will be offering free gift wrapping, snacks, & hot apple cider.

Kisha Studio (210 Clement): Kisha Studio is offering 10%, a small gift with purchase over $30, and champagne.

Seedstore (212 Clement): Seedstore will be debuting one of their stylist’s Gene Duven and her boyfriend Michael Mapp’s repurposed vintage clothing line, WRN FRSH. Featuring vintage clothing for men as well, two dj’s and libations.

Raissa Bump Jewelry & Knitwear / Anzfer Farms (248 Clement): 20% off all knitwear

Toy Boat Cafe (401 Clement): Ice cream cones of sea salt caramel truffle for $1 between 5-6pm.

Foggy Notion (275 6th Ave): Foggy Notion will be showcasing vintage from Heritage Mercantile Vintage (Robyn Miller of HM was just featured in Refinery 29!) and Our House Vintage & Design, also refreshments and a free tote bag with any purchase over $20.

5:02 am | Posted under Business, Shopping | 4 comments

ACE Hardware moving into former Citikids location at 3rd & Clement

Longtime tenant Citikids moved out of 144 Clement on the corner of 3rd Avenue this summer, and neighbors were concerned about who would move into the large space that was also the original home of Lombardi’s Sports.

Turns out it will be ACE Hardware, which is currently located at 1019 Clement near 12th Avenue. The store is packed to the gills with over 20,000 hardware and houseware SKU’s that stretch from floor to the ceiling in the packed store. To say they could use more space is an understatement.

ACE has been near 12th Avenue for 28 years, and expects to open at their new 114 Clement Street location in February 2014, as a “Home Improvement Center”.

In addition to more space for nuts, bolts, lightbulbs and the like, ACE will gain parking spaces in front for their customers – a big score.

No word yet on who will take over the 1019 Clement space one ACE departs.

Sarah B.

5:02 am | Posted under Business, Real Estate | 13 comments

Green Apple in parody video about Amazon’s prototype delivery drones

Mark Fiore posted a cartoon last week spoofing the new delivery drones that Amazon is developing. At the :44 mark, the animated cartoon features our very own Green Apple Books with some funny voiceover:

“Imagine the convenience of hundreds of thousands of drones delivering millions of products through the skies of Techopolis… Why, you don’t even have to be driven in your driverless car to a musty old store of books.”

Fiore takes a few stabs at Google in the video as well. In the post he writes, “Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the internet and technology – it’s how I’ve made my living for the past twelve years or so – but I definitely have some luddite-induced skepticism in my bones.”

Thanks to reader Derek for the tip.

Sarah B.

5:01 am | Posted under Business | Comments Off

Local links: Stolen bikes, Anzfer on Clement, new eateries, NEMS clinic & more

At a SFPD evidence site, about 800 stolen and recovered bicycles are stored. Photo: Brant Ward, The Chronicle

Hard to believe that it’s already December! Here are some local links to take you into the final stretch of 2013…

  • A lot of you have read about stolen bike after stolen bike in the weekly police blotter. Ever wondered what happens to them all? The Chronicle paid a visit to a SFPD warehouse, where nearly 800 “mountain bikes, road bikes, rusted clunkers, fat-tired cruisers, fancy carbon fiber, and new and old frames of every color” sit gathering dust. The challenge? Reconnecting the recovered bikes with their owners. If you’ve had a bike stolen, visit the Park Station website, tweet to @sfpdbiketheft, or call 553-0123 to report a stolen bike.
  • The woodworkers Anzfer Farms have opened up a temporary store at 248 Clement Street for the holidays. Stop by on December 7 between 2 and 8pm for a little celebration featuring shopping (furniture and other home accessories), snacks and drinks.
  • The Bold Italic recently went on a very scientific pork bun adventure, tasting and rating the brown pockets of meaty joy at nine different dim sum restaurants in the Inner Richmond, hoping to identify the best one. “After charting out all the nuances of each bun, we had a hard time defining what “best” meant. While we all shared similar rankings for our top three favorites (Clement Restaurant, Wing Sing, and Cherry Blossom), there wasn’t one clear winner.” Nevertheless, their detailed research and photography is definitely worth the read!
  • If you say something egregious about your employer or job on Facebook, could you be fired for it? Two Richmond Village Beacon employees found out the answer to that is yes, and that not every social media post by disgruntled employees is protected by the National Labor Relations Act. A judge ruled that their profanity-laced Facebook posts went too far.
  • A new Japanese and Korean izakaya called Joo Mak has taken over the Sushi Tani space on Geary near Funston. According to their Facebook page, Chefs/Owners Tony Chong and Sam Sohn “always envisioned a place where people could come together and experience authentic street food from Korea and Japan.” They’re open daily from 5pm until 2pm, but closed on Tuesdays. Yelp reviews are very positive so far, and one wrote that “they still use Tani’s menu for the Japanese rolls.”
  • A new sushi place called Yoi opened up in the former Drunken Sushi on Clement and 24th Avenue. The name means “good, pleasing, skilled”, and according to their website, they’re offering sushi, ramen and robatayaki (skewers slow-grilled over hot charcoal). They’re open daily from 5pm until 12midnight, and from Thursday through Saturday, stay open late until 2am. Yelp reviews are mixed so far.
  • North East Medical Services (NEMS) recently celebrated the opening of their new clinic on Clement Street near 12th Avenue. The building was donated to NEMS by Hong Kong entrepreneur Dr. Tihua Koo and his wife, Mrs. Dorothy Shaofen Vee Koo. NEMS is the largest non-profit, federally-qualified community health center in San Francisco, providing health care to over 57,000 patients annually. They have 8 locations in San Francisco and the Bay Area.
  • The OBB recently profiled the owner of Fredy’s Deli out on La Playa near the beach. After a medical struggle that caused him to close for several months this year, he’s decided to sell after 28 years. A former employee, David Nottage, is re-opening the business as Kawika’s Ocean Beach Deli. Nottage plans to close briefly in January for a renovation, and will keep selling many of the favorites that Fredy’s customers like so much.
  • Zephyr Cafe at 3643 Balboa has been renamed to La Promenade Cafe. Ownership changed back in June, but it sounds like they just got around to changing the awning. “We have completely renovated the café with new wooden floors and mural paintings depicting French café scenes which gives it its charm.” One Yelp reviewer reports that a lot of the clutter is gone and all the chairs now match. :)

Photo by @bonanos

5:15 am | Posted under Art, Business, Crime, Food | 5 comments

Photos: Paul’s Hat Works opens a second location in Louisville, Kentucky

The Paul’s Hat Works teams cuts their grand opening ribbon with Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. Photo by David H.

Earlier this morning, the ladies of Paul’s Hat Works (6128 Geary) opened their second location. But it’s not in the neighborhood, or even in San Francisco. It’s all the way in Louisville, Kentucky.

Paul’s Hat Works owners Abbie Dwelle, Wendy Hawkins, Olivia Griffin, and Kirsten Hove bought the 95 year old business on Geary back in 2009, and since then have spent time marketing the store and finding new opportunities to put a hat on every head. They even managed to get a fedora on President Obama!

In a blog post last August, the owners wrote about why they decided to expend the business:

Our dream as a team here at Paul’s Hat Works is to be successful and profitable enough so that the four of us, and our current and future employees, can make a healthy enough income to support ourselves and our families. In order to do this, we have to keep growing, taking risks, and expanding.

They launched an indiegogo campaign to raise funds for a new venture and after much research, decided on Louisville as home for their second location:

We have been doing pop up shops in Louisville, Kentucky, for the past two years during the week leading up to the Kentucky Derby; the foremost hat event in the United States. Selling our beautiful straw hats in Louisville has been so successful, and so well received by the folks over there, that we want to explore this option much further.

The store, located at 1319 Story Avenue in Butchertown, opened this morning. Festivities included a visit from Mayor Greg Fischer for a ribbon cutting ceremony.

“Should be a hit at Derby!” Fischer tweeted about the store.

Our cub reporter David H. went east to help open the new store and snapped some pics of the big day.

Congratulations to the women of Paul’s Hat Works and to Lousville residents, who now have a much better chance of being fashionable about town – and for looking spiffy for the Derby in May.

Sarah B.

The exterior of the new Paul’s Hat Works in Louisville, KY located at 1319 Story Avenue. Photo by David H.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer presents the owners of Paul’s Hat Works with a city proclamation. Photo by David H.

11:52 am | Posted under Business | 1 comment

Grocery Outlet opens Thursday, grand opening celebration on Saturday

After laying vacant for nearly three years, Grocery Outlet will open at 6333 Geary at 28th Avenue this Thursday.

This is the first San Francisco location for the Grocery Outlet chain in 12 years, which first began in the city in 1946. The chain has more than 200 locations in Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Pennsylvania

Grocery Outlet refers to itself as an “extreme-value” grocer, offering prices that are typically 40 to 70 percent lower than its competitors.

“Grocery Outlet buys discounted close-outs of excess inventory from national brand-name manufacturers and private-labels, including fresh produce, organic goods, dry groceries, beauty items and beer and wine, passing the savings directly onto their customers,” the company said in a press release.

The new store clocks in at 9,000 square feet, has 40 employees, plus an expanded Natural, Organic, Specialty and Healthy (NOSH) section.

The proprietors of the new Richmond District location are Travis and Rose Dawson, who recently moved into the neighborhood with their young son who attends school near the store. The couple also owns and operates the East San Jose Grocery Outlet location.

“I also grew up just a few miles from our new store, so there is something truly special about now raising my family here and being a local community resource for the tight-knit, multi-cultural Richmond District residents,” Travis said.

There’s even more local flavor on the 28th Avenue side of the store, where a new mural was painted by local artist Bryana Fleming that features neighborhood landmarks like Green Apple Books, the Russian Orthodox Cathedral and the Alexandria Theater.

The store “soft opens” this Thursday at 8am. Saturday will be the official grand opening celebration which will include free coffee and treats for shoppers, activities for kids, and a chance to enter to win a bevy of prizes including an iPad, a 42-inch television, and free groceries for a year. The celebration runs from 8am until 3pm (prize drawing at 12noon).

There will also be a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday at 9am where a $1,000 donation will be made to the Richmond District Neigborhood Center.

Grocery Outlet will be open daily from 8am to 9pm beginning this Thursday.

Sarah B.

The mural on the 28th Avenue side by Bryana Fleming

Crews worked on new landscaping last Thursday in the parking lot

4:35 am | Posted under Business | 17 comments