May 2014

Short Cuts

Steven J. Moss

Buses Rerouted

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency ordered changes to several Potrero Hill bus routes last month. Rather than serving 17th, Connecticut and 18th streets, the 22-Fillmore will continue along 16th Street to Third. The 33-Stanyan will no longer serve Potrero Avenue, instead continuing along 16th to Connecticut Street, where it will complete the route previously supplied by the 22. The 10-Townsend will be renamed the 10-Sansome, and be diverted from Showplace Square, routed instead through Mission Bay. No changes will occur to the 9-San Bruno or the 19-Polk, at least for now. The modified routes were part of SFMTA’s citywide Transit Effectiveness Project, which the agency’s board of directors approved unanimously. An appeal of the decision by developer Joe O’Donoghue will be heard by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in June; depending on the outcome the transit changes could be implemented by the fall… Despite assists from the Potrero Dogpatch Merchants Association, the Potrero Boosters, and District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen, Fei Tian Academy of the Arts California was unable to dissuade its landlord from increasing its rent by 80 percent. The Academy may be evicted as soon as this month; they’re looking for a new location, as well as donations to support their move (see below)…The fire that tore through a huge apartment complex under construction in Mission Bay in March was sparked unintentionally by a “hot or smoldering object,” according to the San Francisco Fire Department. No word on what that object was…

Businesses Changing

Golden Gate Properties is moving into the vacant commercial space left by M + M Market at 1199 De Haro Street. According to owner Ferdinand Piano, the company brokers leases for residential properties, such as single family homes, condominiums, lofts and apartment buildings. Golden Gate Properties works with San Francisco property owners who reside primarily outside the Bay Area, and rent out their City homes. Previously located on Townsend Street, the relocated business will open its doors in about a month, after the building receives window treatments, a fresh coat of paint, and a new front door. Interior remodeling is nearly complete…Renovations of 1303 Utah Street, site of the former Jack’s Club, appear to have stalled. Last month, the building’s entry and windows were boarded up, and the City had posted a notice on the 24th and Utah streets property to remove graffiti. Building owners Jim Saxton and Steve Schefsky didn’t return calls from the View, but according to public documents they plan to open a business registered as Playland, ABC, LLC. A permit issued in June 2013 called for excavation of the basement, which was revised in January 2014 to add steel beams in the basement and first floor. 

Dogpatch has more Puppies

Mary and Gerhard Michler, owners of Dogpatch-based Jolt ‘n Bolt, have partnered with executive chef Allison Owens, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. Owens previously worked at the Waldorf Astoria in New York and the Palm Springs Country Club, among other gigs. She’s revamped the café’s menu to reflect her version of California cuisine, adding more “made from scratch” dishes, salads, and entrees. Even the salad dressing is now homemade. The Illinois Street eatery is open Monday thru Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m….Triple Aught Design, on 22nd Street, now offers wilderness first aid — dislocation reduction, spinal assessment, and epinephrine administration — and CPR courses, along with its cutting edge, locally manufactured, wilderness gear. If you’re going into the wilderness, may as well know how to get back out again…Chocolate Lab has changed its name to “The Lab”

Leo’s Tires is celebrating its 50th year in business…The Bayview Underground Community Pop-Up Market was held last month at Pier 70, a long walk from Bayview. The Market, which features an assortment of Bayview vendors and artisans, apparently needs to travel outside its home neighborhood to attract customers. Does that qualify as buying local?

…And Gets a Map

Included in this issue is ProLocal’s Dogpatch merchant map, designed to fit into your back pocket. The company collaborated with Dogpatch businesses to create the map, which is the first of its kind in terms of content, design, and collaboration with the View. In concert with issuing the map Prolocal produced Taking it to the Streets, to be centered at Rickshaw Bagworks on May 17. The event will include performances by three bands, dancers from Fei Tian Academy of the Arts, pop-ups, Magnolia Beer, Goat Hill Pizza, and other treats from local businesses. It’s a fundraiser for the Academy, which, as noted earlier, is being forced off the Hill by higher rents. 

Development Proceeds

Formerly known as Daggett Place, or 1000 16th Street, permits for the 493-unit development to rise on vacant lots bordered by 16th, 7th, and Hubbell Streets have been issued and site preparation is underway for “EQR Potrero.” The development includes 453 apartments—20 percent of which will be below market rate— 39 commercial units, with more than 10,000 square feet of pedestrian oriented retail space, and a one-acre urban park and public open space. Daggett Park will feature a dog walk, event lawn and soft play surfaces for kids, owned by the City of San Francisco but permanently maintained by EQR Potrero. There’ll be spaces for 307 cars and 470 bikes. And at the corner of 16th and 7th Streets, a “Flatiron” building will rise.

Potrero Hill in the News

Speaking of luxury housing growth and higher rents, protesters shook signs and distributed flyers outside Kevin Rose’s Potrero Hill home last month. Rose founded Digg and several other web companies before joining Google Ventures; more recently he’s invested in Foursquare, Twitter, Formspring, and numerous other companies. The demonstrators were unhappy with his role in accelerating the growth of technology wealth in the City. “As a partner venture capitalist at Google Ventures, Kevin directs the flow of capital from Google into the tech startup bubble that is destroying San Francisco,” a flyer said. “The start-ups that he funds bring the swarms of young entrepreneurs that have ravaged the landscapes of San Francisco and Oakland.” Demonstrators may also have been unhappy about Rose’s role in helping Google acquire Nextdoor. The protest appeared to be organized by Counterforce, which staged a similar event in January outside the Berkeley home of Anthony Levandowski, who works on Google’s self-driving car project. Protesters objected to what they saw as Levandowski’s role in a surveillance state. The protesters had one simple, but significant, demand: $3 billion to solve the region’s housing crisis. “We demand that Google give three billion dollars to an anarchist organization of our choosing. This money will then be used to create autonomous, anti-capitalist, and anti-racist communities throughout the Bay Area and Northern California. In these communities, whether in San Francisco or in the woods, no one will ever have to pay rent and housing will be free.”…Until recently, Raymond Chow, a central figure in the federal government’s corruption case against State Senator Leland Lee, lived in Potrero Hill with his girlfriend Alicia Lo.


Munchery, a dinner delivery service based on Alabama Street, has secured $32 million in total funding. The takeout venture is the first investment of Sherpa Ventures, a new firm founded by former Menlo Ventures partner Shervin Pishevar and former Goldman Sachs banker Scott Stanford. Munchery, which employs eight chefs, now delivers 5,000 meals daily throughout the Bay Area. “We’re officially the largest takeout restaurant in all of America,” said chief technology officer Conrad Chu. According to Chu, Munchery differs from other takeout services, like GrubHub and Blue Apron. “Restaurants primarily make high-heat food that’s cooked at 500 degrees. It’s food that when it comes to you, is a little wet, a little soggy. Instead, we looked at companies like Whole Foods. The whole prepared-food industry is optimized for shelf life, and prepared that morning.” This approach requires some adjustment for chefs who are used to cooking at restaurants, but it also opens them to the options to change up what they make each night. It plans to launch in Seattle at the end of this summer.

Bad Apple

Three readers pointed out that last month’s article, “Ample Grocery Store Choices on the Hill,” did not do the View proud. The piece repeatedly asserts that Safeway doesn’t have organic offerings, which isn’t accurate. That grocery store has an array of organic cereal, granola bars, sugar, crackers, and frozen pizza, and a section of clearly marked organic produce and fruit. This in contrast to Whole Foods, where unsuspecting shoppers might assume all items offered are organic, though they’re not, even while the store’s prices suggest they are. Recently one of the readers was at Whole Foods, where conventional asparagus imported from Mexico was on sale for $3.99 a pound; the same asparagus from Safeway was $1.99, with an organic option for $3.99. Another of the readers found organic Fuji apples, which the article said weren’t available at Safeway, for around $3 a pound; two weeks ago they were on sale — through a Safeway club card discount— for $1.50 a pound. In any event, better to shop at employee-owned The Good Life Grocery.

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