Hunan Chef owners call it quits after 23 years

Strolling down Cortland Ave today, I noticed a new sign up in the window at Hunan Chef with the following message:

Dear Customers,

We are retiring on Sunday, Dec 22 (our last day). We’ve enjoyed serving you for the last 23 years! Thank you for your support. Have a Merry Christmas and a wonderful new year!

THANKS TO ALL

Sam & Susie

At this point I don’t have any additional info on the location or what’s next for Sam & Susie, but here’s wishing them well in their retirement!

Six Shops in One: Holiday Pop-Up at Heartfelt until 12/24

When I saw the letter about Heartfelt calling it quits at the 436 Cortland Ave location, I honestly felt pretty heartbroken. Where would I go should I need a last minute card for a birthday that I definitely did not forget? Sure you could still order things on the Heartfelt website, but nothing beat wandering around the store and convincing yourself that someone in your life absolutely needed a “noveltea” loose-leaf infuser or a break-your-own-geode.

Luckily for us, Heartfelt has thrown open the doors from 11am-7pm daily for six women-owned outlets to host their wares this holiday season (through at least December 24th). Below I’ll be doing a quick rundown of who you’ll find and what they sell:

Store #1: Wink SF

Wink is not dissimilar to Heartfelt itself. You may have heard of them before as they have a brick & mortar in Noe Valley at 4107 24th St. Wink has a bit of everything, and I found that their About section seems to cover it all nice and succinctly:

Think of it as your favorite museum store on overload. Travel gear and messenger bags by Jack Spade and Orla Kiely are mixed in with Malin + Goetz products, kitchen gadgets and a well-selected assortment of greeting cards

Marcy Israel and Teresa Hagiya, Wink SF

Store #2: Crystal & Gold

Crystal & Gold is the creation of Roxanne Miranda, who describes herself as a jewelry artist, mindset coach, and meditation guide.

The collection is handcrafted jewelry centered around natural crystals, with each piece being as unique as the crystals themselves.

Store #3: Handsome

Handsome is all about seeking zero waste. Stephanie Ciancio is the owner and is herself a consultant for getting your own home de-cluttered and on a path to less waste. This shop has products ranging from mason jars and bulk bags to reusable water bottles and coffee mugs.

Store #4: Beijo Brasil

From glass rings to patches to necklaces of enamel and metal, Beijo Brasil has an array of jewelry and other wearables to match your style. Misty Marie is the owner here and has been running this business since 2002.

Store #5: Josie Carter Designs

Josie Carter is a Bernal artist who makes customized art out of transformed objects like furniture, vases, jewelry boxes, and much more. She had a number of custom scarves/shawls at her location as well when I stopped by earlier this week.

Store #6: Recycled Glass Works

Lauren Becker is all about taking existing glass products (mostly window-glass) and transforming them into something special. She uses no brand-new materials, and yet her work looks like it was created from scratch.

She had a variety of bowls, plates, and platters at the pop-up shop, and you could always order more from her website (including setting up a unique wedding registry).

As mentioned above, this pop-up is running through Christmas Eve, so make sure you stop by in the next few days before we return to the world without Heartfelt on Cortland.

Help needed to recover a stolen pup

During a Saturday afternoon stroll with my big puppy pal, I noticed a whole host of flyers posted around the neighborhood with the following message:

It’s obviously incredibly heartbreaking to have your furry best friend go missing, but having them stolen while running a routine errand at a heavily foot-trafficked place like Good Life is a whole other ordeal.

As mentioned on the flyer, Jackson is a 30lb Mini Aussie with blue eyes (as really seen below), and the current reward is offered at $5000 if found. I’ve been following posts on Instagram, Twitter, and Nextdoor, and as of this evening, it doesn’t appear that the dog has been found yet (though I’ll update here if I hear anything).

The owner has created a webpage for the search at bringjacksonhome.com, and has set up a GoFundMe here with proceeds going to Rocket Dog Rescue if Jackson isn’t found.

As a dog-lover who is particularly haunted by these tales, I’ll happily donate $250 to Rocket Dog Rescue if Jackson is found so that we all root for the win-win scenario here.

Barebottle now offering free co-working space 9am Mon-Fri

Ever find yourself needing a change of scenery from the home office or the office office? Annoyed that some of the 3rd wave coffee shops are anti-wifi and anti-power? **cough** Ritual, I see you with those covered outlets **cough**

Our pals down the hill at Barebottle are now opening every Monday through Friday at 9am with a wonderful co-working environment and brews of a slightly different style (think beans not hops).

I reached out to Lester and Michael, two Barebottle founders, to get more information on just what’s being offered if you spend your mornings working with them: 

– We roast our own coffee (currently a Guatemalan Huehuetenango and and Ethiopian Guji dry process) and do individual pour overs

– Mike constructed three phone booths in the lounge for quiet phone call space (including power outlets)

– We have power outlets in the building, but also power packs you can rent for free

– Free wi-fi 

– Get a lot of natural light coming in from the front of the building 

Lester Koga, Barebottle Co-Founder

– We noticed people piling into coffee shops, and felt like we could help out the Bernal community by opening up our space for people who wanted a place to work.

– It’s totally free! No reservations or membership required, just come on in.

– This is where we work as well, so if you’ve ever wanted to rub elbows with brewers, this is a great chance!

Michael Seitz, Barebottle Co-Founder

I’m a huge fan of multi-use spaces, especially in a city as square-footage challenged as San Francisco, so it’s really nice to see Barebottle taking some of their large warehouse space and opening it up to the community.

Best part of the whole deal? If you need a little break from hunching over your laptop, you can always grab a delicious beer and let off steam with some rousing table tennis, shuffleboard, cornhole, pinball or other arcade games.

Tuesday Taste of the Week #2: Pizzahacker Yo Vinny!

  • Item: Yo Vinny! Pizza
  • Location: Pizzahacker
  • Price: $18 (after tax)

Pizzahacker is one of the best pizza joints in San Francisco, a town with a LOT of good pizza joints. You honestly can’t go wrong with any of their pizzas, but the Yo Vinny! kicks it up another level, showcasing a perfect blend of salty, sweet, spicy, and tangy flavors.

The Yo Vinny! is a standard red pie of tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese topped with Marinated Onions (yum), Mama Lil’s Pickled Goathorn Peppers (double yum), and Pizzahacker’s own House-Made Hot Italian Sausage (yum^2). The sausage and goathorn peppers have just enough heat that the chewy, flaky crust becomes that much more desirable as a pit stop on the road to the next slice.

I’ve also since picked up a jar of those Mama Lil peppers, and they’re a lovely treat on a wide variety of dishes (or eaten straight from the jar as I’m often wont to do).

While it’s tempting (and usually correct) to order the Top Shelf Marg at Pizzahacker, do yourself a favor and add the Yo Vinny! to your order next time you stop in for a pie. It’s a pizza that would make Pesci proud.

Note: Every Tuesday I’ll be highlighting a particularly delectable food or drink item that I had in the neighborhood in the last week. If you have your own recommendation for something I must try, shoot me an email at bernalhype@gmail.com

Weekly Chess Night at Progressive Grounds

Want to proclaim yourself as King or Queen of the Bernal Chess scene? Looking for something fun to do one knight [sic] a week? Consider yourself a chess expert or a rook-ie? (OK I promise I’m done here)

This Wednesday night from 6-8pm at Progressive Grounds, the Bernal Chess group will be hosting their weekly event:

San Francisco chess players, let’s play and learn together! All levels and ages are welcome. Bring a chess set if you have one. There’s no charge to participate, but a purchase of food or drinks helps support our generous venue. Find out about all upcoming game nights: bernalchess.com.

http://bernalchess.com/ & https://nextdoor.com/events/3349916/

This night generally happens weekly, so make sure you sign up for the mailing list if you are interested in getting notified about when the event takes place.

Crafts + Brew: More than just Craft Brews

Looking for something to do mid-day Saturday that doesn’t involve waiting in line for brunch but still involves some adult beverages? A company called Crafts + Brew is hosting an event called Build + Sip at Barebottle Brew Co from 11am-2pm where you can purchase tickets to build one of three crafts:

  • Beer Caddy – $44 (pictured above)
  • Nail & String Art – $39 (pictured below, though there are more designs than the one below)
  • Industrial Lamp – $49 (pictured below)

From the Crafts + Brew FAQ, the company will provide all tools necessary for construction, and kids are welcome to craft (though of course not welcome to consume Barebottle’s tasty crafts).

Bernal Heights Rec Center November Calendar

Every month the Bernal Rec Center publishes a calendar of events happening at the gym, but as far as I can tell it’s only available as a print-out in the rec center itself. I’m going to reach out to the Rec Center to see if we can digitize and add to the BH calendar, but for now I’ve scanned the document below:

It honestly took me way too long to realize there was a full indoor basketball court by the library and even longer to realize there were structured events that took place inside. Grab a basketball, don your skates, or prep your best Zumba moves and check it out!

331 Marketplace to close shop(s) on 12/23

When I first moved to Bernal, I was enamored with the concept and execution of 331 Marketplace. 3-5 food establishments in one compact storefront? Sign me up for some pickles, waffles, piroshkis, and smoothies please!

Earlier this week I was strolling by when a sign in the window caught my eye:

In what’s sadly becoming a common theme on Cortland, 331 will be shutting its doors for the last time on December 23rd. Apparently Mae Krua has already closed shop, but Paulie’s and Peaches are going strong until the end. While Peaches Patties will continue in a catering capacity after December, Paulie’s will be closing for good. Stock up on those amazing Jalapeño Pickles while you still can.

There will be a new tenant occupying the entire space according to a post from the owner of the building, Debra Resnick, on Nextdoor:

Please people, do not make assumptions. While it is true that the Marketplace as we know it will cease to be, it is not a result of wealthy newcomers. We have had a successful 10 years and change can be good. The storefront has a new tenant who will move in after preparations are made. There will not be an empty storefront! Please support all your local businesses.

Debra Resnick – https://nextdoor.com/news_feed/?post=128825923

The Chronicle also did a full write-up about the change and mentioned that between 11/20 and 12/23 there “will be popups with holiday-themed food and gifts at 331 Cortland Marketplace with former vendor Spice Hound.”

For those of you feeling nostalgic like yours truly, pop on down to 331 Cortland between now and December 23rd, grab a bite to eat, and enjoy this great article about the concept posted almost exactly 7 years ago today: https://thebolditalic.com/bernal-heights-foodie-incubator-the-bold-italic-san-francisco-ec1815cb47ad

Tuesday Taste of the Week #1: Black Jet Lemon Curd Danish

Full disclosure: Black Jet may have cheated a little bit this morning. I popped in for a pre-election latte and noticed that rather than the typical blueberry danish I’d been accustomed to seeing as of late, there stood a flaky pocket of my pastry kryptonite: lemon curd.

Honestly, I’m such a sucker for lemon curd that the bakery could have had a tray with dollops of loose globules of the stuff, and I would have been equally entranced.

The danish itself had a nice crunch to it, but do admirers of fine art expend much poetic waxing on the frame (honestly do they? I’m not much of an art buff)? The curd was the star of the show: light with a nice balance struck between tart and sweet, and the supporting pastry underneath managed to hold its own without becoming soggy.

I’m no sure how much of a regular this particular pastry is at Black Jet, but I recommend if you see it nestled between the pop tarts and the morning buns that you skip the standard fare and learn to love the lemon.

Note: Every Tuesday I’ll be highlighting a particularly delectable food or drink item that I had in the neighborhood in the last week. If you have your own recommendation for something I must try, shoot me an email at bernalhype@gmail.com