Letter to the community from District 9 Supervisor Hillary Ronen

Edit: The map I was using prior to the update was the 2012 version that did not include Portola in District 9. The current District 9 map is below.

The city of San Francisco is segmented into 11 districts, and our lovely neighborhood makes up the middle third of district 9 (with the top third being the majority of the Inner Mission and the bottom third being Portola). Each district in the city has an elected supervisor, and we are lucky to have fellow Bernalite Hillary Ronen as our supervisor.

Recently I’ve been working with Hillary and her team to use this platform as a place to update the neighborhood on what’s going on in the district at large and how we fit into the politics and planning of the city at large.

Below is Hillary Ronen’s first note to the hood. If you have additional thoughts about what you’d like to see addressed here, please email me at bernalhype@gmail.com or reach out to her team at RonenStaff@sfgov.org. I also encourage you all to subscribe to her monthly newsletter here.


Congratulations to BernalHype for launching a brand new newsletter for the neighborhood!! I’m so excited to have a new channel to keep in touch!

It’s an especially busy time for our office. The city’s annual budget process kicks off in March, and as a member of the Board’s Budget and Finance Committee, I’ll be digging deep into current departmental spending and looking for savings wherever possible, so we can stretch your dollars to cover our most urgent needs. My priorities this year are housing and homelessness.

The crisis of street homelessness is overwhelming our city and our state in unspeakable ways. Portions of our district have seen an explosion of encampments, with conditions that are unacceptable and unhealthy. I’ve been working every single day to get our city departments to respond, to prioritize the high concentration areas in District 9. Until we see the attention, focus, and accountability that yields results, I will keep fighting.

Without question, in order to make real progress toward addressing this crisis, we have to end the cycle of moving people from street to emergency services, to treatment and back to the streets. 

We desperately need to overhaul our mental and behavioral health system, which is why I worked so hard to pass Mental Health SF at the end of last year. Ensuring that funding is in place to implement it is now at the top of my priority list, both through this year’s annual budget process and future revenue planning. 

Additionally, I am committed to meeting the pledge I made when I ran for office to create 5,000 affordable units in District 9 in 10 years. Three years in, we are on track, with 1,349 apartments purchased, in construction, or soon to break ground. In order to make the goal, we are constantly looking for sites, looking for partners, and looking for revenue sources so we can keep a robust pipeline going. Stay tuned!

Last but not at all least, I’ve been so excited to see Bernal activism kicking up to focus on pedestrian safety and community planning for Cortland Avenue and am happy to have my office team participating in those discussions and bringing in city departments to work with the community.

More soon!
— Hillary

Beer week comes to Bernal

For a relatively small neighborhood, Bernal is overflowing with an amazing selection of beer. Within the confines of BH proper as described here, we’ve got three locations brewing beer (Barebottle, Cellarmaker, and Hop Oast), a number of bars with great tap selections (Holy Water, Old Devil Moon, and Outer Orbit to name a few), and three more breweries just a quick e-bike ride away (Harmonic, Ferment.Drink.Repeat, and Laughing Monk ).

Every year in February, San Francisco celebrates this delectable combo of hops, malt, yeast, and water with a 10-day Bacchanalia known as SF Beer Week. This year, Bernal has come out in full force with no fewer than four events per day through this Sunday.

Instead of hunting and pecking for each event, I’ve put together an Initerary [sic 😊] via the SF Beer Week site of all local events:

Since many of the goings-ons above have relatively inscrutable titles (and the font is pint-sized), follow the links below for more details about each of the above events. Brewnal Heights awaits!

Calendar View

Day Guide View

More pop-ups to love at Heartfelt this February

One of the major personal ramifications of Heartfelt closing was my inability to look like a pro gift-giver after some serious present procrastination. I was thrilled to find the holiday pop-ups last December, and it looks like Darcy is still going strong with getting great female-owned businesses popping up in her establishment. This month, she has five more part-time residents showing off their amazing wares. Below is a list of the businesses with a quick description in their own words:

Pop-up #1: Book Castle

This month, check out Book Castle, which sells new and used books for children, tweens, teens, and adults. Their selections are bilingual and multicultural. They have some comfy seating for adults and a small play and read area for little ones. Follow on their journey to open a community bookstore centered on children’s literature in San Francisco


Pop-up #2: Handsome

Handsome’s zero-waste supply shop has expanded since December, with more shopping totes and mason jar accessories plus new cleaning and personal care items. For Valentine’s gifts, they’re offering bulk teas and Epsom salt soaks, as well as solar-powered mason jar lamps. You’ll find Steph the owner adding the finishing touches to her mason jar-print cotton bulk bags. Follow @handsome_Sf to see where they pop up next.


Pop-ups #3 & 4: Foreignspell & PapaLlama

Foreignspell & Papallama crafted the giant pop up art in the window, and the fun, creative flair doesn’t stop there. Foreignspell’s Niki Baker hand-carves whimsical designs inspired by song lyrics on rubber stamps & block prints on various surfaces. Papallama’s Risa Culbertson screen- & letterpress prints all her witty & vibrant goods. Here til Feb 14th, pop by to shop greetings cards for Gal/Pal/Valentine’s Day & all of life’s other momentous occasions. They also offer original fine art, art prints, pom pom crowns, journals, onesies, totes, pouches, & aprons. Follow @foreignspell and @papallama to see the printmaking in action

@foreignspell and @papallama

Pop-up #5: Seven Sundays Studios

Seven Sundays Studios offers a collection of handmade decorative pillows, sheepskin rugs and leather planters. Anya’s sunny shop space is set up for cellphone photoshoots of canine companions and she’s hosting a make your own leather planter workshop on Feb 12th, 6:30-8:30. Follow @sevensundaysstudios to catch some featured photoshoots and the handcrafting of home goods.


Compete with your neighbors at Barebottle this winter

Want to participate in a battle of wits or a battle of bags this winter? Barebottle is your place to do either one or both!

Cornhole league:

First off is the next season of cornhole with registration and open board nights tonight, Jan 29th and next Wednesday, Feb 5th. What’s cornhole you ask? It’s everyone’s favorite tailgating game where the goal is to throw some beanbags onto a board (1 point) or through a hole (3 points). It’s perfect for a brewery because you only need one arm to toss, so the other one can easily hold a pint of beer. More details below:

Every Wednesday evening 6-9:30pm, from February 12 – April 22
2-4 players per team
$25 entry fee per player
Each player will receive a league t-shirt
And to top it off we’re going to have a pizza night near the end of the season!
Be sure to stop by and register on Wednesday January 29 or February 5, from 6-9pm!

Barebottle Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Barebottle/photos/a.849531328468061/2720936901327485/?type=3&theater

So maybe physical sports aren’t your thing? Lucky for you Barebottle is starting up trivia as well!

Trivia Night:

Fourth Tuesday of every month starting January 28th.

6-8pm in the lounge

Hosted by Lei Guigayoma

Teams of 3-5 people

Multiple rounds of 8 questions

Prizes for winning teams

Barebottle Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Barebottle/photos/a.849531328468061/2745426308878544/?type=3&theater

OK, so let’s say friendly competition is still too intense for you. There’s still a wealth of great events coming this February to Barebottle as seen in the flyer below:

Ladies Paint Night Pop Up at Heartfelt on Monday (1/13)

Looking for something to do Monday night? Want to get your creative juices flowing? Interested in meeting some other women who feel the same way?

If any of the above interests to you, then swing by Heartfelt from 7:30pm to 9:00pm on Monday night for a Ladies Paint Night Pop Up provided by Jen Bloomer of Radici Studios. The cost is $15 for pre-registration (sign-up here) or $20 at the door. All materials are provided, and all skill levels are welcome.

For more information, check out the flyer below:

Have an event that you think your fellow Bernal neighbors might be interested in? Shot me an email at bernalhype@gmail.com to let me know!

Shish Ke Baba makes the Yelp Top 100 of 2020 list (#12)

Every year, Yelp puts out a list of the top restaurants of the year based on the following criteria:

To determine Yelp’s Top Places to Eat in 2020, Yelp’s data science team pulled the top restaurants by ratings and number of reviews in 2019 across the U.S., with representation based on each place’s share of top-rated restaurants nationally, then curated the list with the expertise of our Community Managers around the country to finalize the rankings.

Brenae Leary, https://blog.yelp.com/2020/01/yelps-top-100-places-to-eat-2020

This heavy dependence on high Yelp reviews ends up making for a pretty unique list that tends to favor more casual neighborhood faves.

Yelp just released their 2020 list earlier today, and Bernal Heights’s own Shish Ke Baba was the lone San Francisco restaurant clocking in at #12!

The mustachioed Turkish Grill still maintains a 5-star average on Yelp even after over 200 reviews (in fact at the time of writing, 92% of the reviews were perfect scores).

I’ve personally been derelict in my dolma duties and haven’t stopped by yet, but believe you me that’s gonna change. Yelpers seem to love the friendly owners and service, the delectable dips, and the moist meats, and there are plenty of claims that it’s the best Turkish food around.

I honestly thought that the 30th and San Jose corner was cursed to forever be the home of a pizza places whose names changed with the seasons, but it appears we have a kebab-filled fan-favorite that’s hopefully here for the long haul.

Another Cortland Closure: Bernalese heading to retirement

For us Cortland dwellers, it’s been a bit of a tough year for businesses on the avenue (RIP Heartfelt, Hunan Chef, 331, Discount Club, etc). Sadly, as announced on Instagram Saturday, Bernalese will be the latest store to shutter.

While there’s no official end date yet, the following note was posted to the shop window:

There was a great deep dive on Bernalese posted to bernalheights.com over a year ago, and in the article the owners Matt and Sean talked about how they wanted to take their love of antiques and turn it into a retirement gig. It appears now that the true retirement bug has bit them, and thus Bernalese goes as they go.

Personally, I’ll be there this weekend to pick up some of the killer barware (hello coupe glasses and tiki mugs) at 50% off, and I’ll also be wishing Matt and Sean best of luck with whatever the future holds.

Hear about a closure or opening in Bernal Heights? Please email bernalhype@gmail.com so that I can follow-up and write a post. Thanks to neighbor Julie for the tip here!