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Archive for the ‘News’ Category

A new coffee shop, called The Brew, opened today in the former florist’s shop space at 2436 Polk St., between Union and Filbert. The menu is pretty straightforward with the usual cappuccinos, espresso, etc., and the decor is simple; there’s really no angle that sets this place apart. But nevertheless it’s a nice, quiet place to relax and they serve great coffee; I ordered a latte, which I enjoyed. There are several places to sit, including window stools overlooking the sidewalk and comfortable leather chairs. There are even some toys and a play area in the back for kids.

It’s exciting to see a new business open on Polk, especially on that side of Union, which is less commercial. There is no shortage of coffee shops on Polk, but this one in particular seems ideal for those who want to avoid the bustle of Starbuck’s and Peet’s or want more square footage than Royal Ground affords you.

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You know you can trust word on the street when it comes from, well, the street. One Polk Street business owner recently shared on her Facebook page that she’s “really, really excited a salad bar is finally coming to Polk Street . . . Blue Barn.” Apparently a neighboring business owner told her it’s going into the former Jade Snow Wong Travel Space at 2424 Polk St., which would make sense, as the location has had kraft paper covering the windows lately and seems to be under construction. But, the new Blue Barn Gourmet (second to a Marina location) is also rumored to be opening at 2238 Polk St, the former address of that seriously over-priced catering place, Aimee, Andrew & Co., which is already set up for a kitchen — did I mention I’m glad they closed?

I’m excited for the possibility of having more yummy salads on Polk, but wary of the street becoming too franchise-ridden. One commenter wrote, “Now all we need is a Chow and a Plant and we’ll be good.” Eek! Or how about all we need is an adorably cute and delicious café that’s one-of-a-kind and unique to our already unique neighborhood? That sounds better to me.

Anyone got any more scoop on Blue Barn moo-ving in to Russian Hill?

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There are more than 60 properties in Russian Hill on the market, but only one built any time before the 20th century. An expansive Italianate house on Van Ness between Lombard and Chestnut, which was built in 1875, just came on the market Saturday, and it’s a remarkably rare occasion. The 136-year-old house was originally located on Larkin at Broadway (well before the Broadway Tunnel was built in 1950), but it was moved in 1904 to its current location — its saving grace from the 1906 fire.

Another of the mansion’s unusual distinctions is that it has been owned and occupied by the same family who built it — and its fine architectural details, elegant staircase, grand rooms, opulent chandeliers, carved marble fireplaces and polished wood floors — more than a century ago. Which family? Well, I’ve done some digging in public records and come up short. I would be interested to hear their story.As for the interior décor, you have all the staples you’d expect from a home of that era: stained glass windows, ornately carved wood furniture, ceiling medallions, tufted settees, and family portrait oil paintings — all of which, naturally, are just superficial.

Anyone who’s ever taken Real Estate 101 knows that “location, location, location” is key to house-hunting, so let’s talk about the latitude and longitude of this beauty. One of the greatest perks of this palace is that it’s kitty-corner to Black Magic Voodoo Lounge, the best New Orleans bar in the city and one of the few places to find an Abita beer in SF. Meanwhile, if you stick your head out of one of the front windows and to the right, you can see the Bay — score! Another plus: you’re also a step away from the bus stop, whether you ride the 30, the 30x, the 47, or the 49. Unfortunately, the house is on noisy Van Ness — can stained glass be double-paned? — and the house is uncomfortably close to Galileo Academy, the alma mater of none other than O.J. Simpson. Ayeeeeeeeee!

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About a month ago, I swung by Marine Layer‘s former loft space at 1932 Polk (at Pacific) for a happy hour. I drank wine, met some nice people, and played a game of shuffleboard; in other words, it was a wonderful start to my weekend. The t-shirt label has since moved on to a new home on Chestnut Street, leaving the long wooden table behind and me a bit dismayed. But now I’m pleased to hear that another dapper men’s apparel company has taken over the space.

Taylor Stitch produces custom and ready-to-wear men’s cotton “button-up” shirts. Using high-quality cotton; sustainable Corozo buttons; thoughtful details like the lack of superfluous pleats; and sophisticated stripes, plaids, and solids, TS makes a man look good. And the proof is in the pudding . . . local personas (likely friends) like Thrillist SF editor Nick Elliott, the Mariani bros of Scribe Winery, and Four Barrel coffeemaker Jeremy Tooker model the threads on the website, and they certainly all do look handsome. So good work and welcome to the neighborhood, Taylor Stitch. As for the shuffleboard table, TS has already extended an invitation to us all to swing by and play a game if we’re looking to kill time, and you know I don’t need any convincing.

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Neighborhood News

Here’s some neighborhood news that’s come up in the last couple days. Instead of flushing it out in my own fantastic words, I’ll just leave you with these lovely links:

  • Gary Danko’s downscale American brasserie in Ghirardelli Square is set to start building for an early 2011 opening. — Inside Scoop
  • A couple historic properties overlooking the curvy part of Lombard are for sale. — Curbed SF
  • Washington Square Park Bar and Grill owner Ed Moose died early yesterday morning and the Washbag is closed indefinitely. — Inside Scoop
  • You can walk to your kayak from this $1 million + fourth floor walk up on Bay St. — Curbed SF

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The Real World

This story in the Chronicle about a man dying of AIDS on Polk Street tells an all too common tale of homelessness in San Francisco.

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Neighborhood News

Here’s some neighborhood news that’s come up in the last couple days. Instead of flushing it out in my own fantastic words, I’ll just leave you with these lovely links:

  • The Russian Hill garage on Hyde near Union is in danger of condo development! Drivers (and parkers) be warned. — CurbedSF
  • 1550 Hyde is closing as of Aug. 15. Alexander Alioto will replace it with an Italian restau called Seven Hills. — EaterSF
  • Zynga VP of Biz Dev is selling is 2-BR condo on Filbert at a loss. — BlockShopper
  • Someone thinks the intersection of Polk and Greenwich needs more stops signs. — SeeClickFix

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