Il Pollaio owner Maria Castellucci Bautista and her husband Alejandro stand in front of the new restaurant on Mission Street. Photo by Juan Carlos Lara.

The grilled chicken has arrived!  

Il Pollaio, a North Beach staple, opened its second location at 2859 Mission St. (between 24th and 25th streets) on Friday, and owner Maria Castellucci Bautista and her husband, Alejandro, are ecstatic. 

“Even in these times, it’s utter happiness,” Bautista said. “We woke today with smiles on our faces.” 

Bautista, who runs the Il Pollaio restaurant in North Beach that her parents opened in 1984, announced plans to open her own location on Mission Street a year ago. Il Pollaio has become known for the grilled, dry-rubbed chicken that the Chronicle’s erstwhile food critic, Michael Bauer, has deemed “exceptional.” Grilled lamb and rabbit are also on the menu. 

Although it may seem crazy to open a restaurant in the middle of a pandemic, Bautista said “we’re not going to put our lives on hold — and we’re going to have faith that things are going to come together.” 

Having already signed a lease, and put her life savings toward opening a store on Mission Street, Bautista said “you have to keep going forward.”

For now, Il Pollaio will only be serving takeout, but Bautista said a parklet in front of the restaurant is likely on its way. 

And opening during these uncertain times reminds Bautista of the stories her parents told her about opening in North Beach almost three decades ago. “They had no idea what they were doing,” she said. “It was a day by day kind of thing.” 

The same applies today. 

On Thursday night, her mother told her that opening felt like an adventure and she knew they would have to adapt. And Bautista said if there is one word that now applies to businesses in San Francisco, throughout the country, and even around the globe, that word is, indeed: “Adapt.” 

Outdoor adult dance classes

Dance Mission Theater will continue to host outdoor dance classes for adults of all levels looking to get moving, with several of the upcoming classes taking place in the Mission. 

Upcoming Classes:

Saturday, August 22 1-2:15 p.m.: Cuban Folkloric with Susana Arenas (West Oakland)

Saturday, August 22 5-6:30 p.m.: Hip Hop with Allan Frias (Oakland)

Sunday, August 23 5-6:30 p.m.: Hip Hop with Allan Frias (San Francisco-TBD)

Tuesday, August 25 6-7p.m.: Beginning Hip Hop with David Schrag (Mission District)

Thursday, August 27 5:30-6:30 p.m.: Beginning Tap with Vanessa Sanchez (Mission District)

Dance Mission Theater also offers virtual classes. Sign up for classes here, and check the website for future classes. Participants of outdoor classes are required to wear a facemask for the duration of the class. 

Creating in Place

For the next four Saturdays, starting tomorrow, August 22 until Sept. 12, the an.ä.log gallery on 866 Capp St. will be showing the works of 20 artists completed since the beginning of the city’s shelter in place order in March. The gallery will be open from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. 

“It’s a timely attempt to offer artists much needed relief from the difficulty of canceled shows, lost sales, lost exposure, and generally the challenges that come with lock down,” said Guy Campbell, the gallery’s producer. 

The collection holds a variety of mediums and styles, from the self-portrait photography series by Karan Rinaldo to the surreal acrylic paintings of Angie Allen. 

Ruth Asawa stamps

The United States Postal Service launched a collection of stamps to honor San Francisco artist Ruth Asawa last week. The collection, two sets of 10 stamps displaying various sculptures by the late Asawa, was revealed during a virtual event hosted by the USPS featuring Paul Lanier, Ruth Asawa’s son, and Japanese American actor George Takei. The collection can be picked up at a USPS office or ordered online here.

Ruth’s table, an arts nonprofit that serves older adults and adults with disabilities, was named in her honor and happens to sit on the same street as Mission Local’s own office. Marilyn Chase, a former editor for Mission Local, published a biography of Asawa in April titled Everything She Touched, detailing the sculptor’s life from her teenage confinement in a Japanese American internment camp to her work advocating for a public school focused on the arts. 

You can pick up or order Chase’s book at Dog Eared Books. 

The link for Chase’s book on Bookshop  

Organic food

Oya Organics, a small farm that serves the Bay Area, is offering weekly boxes of fresh produce for $24 that can be picked up at Reem’s on the corner of Mission Street and 25th Street on Wednesdays from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.. Oya is run by “young farmers from different cultural backgrounds, mother tongues and farming traditions,” according to their website.

Return of The Morris

The Morris, located on the corner of Mariposa Street and Hampshire Street, will be reopening outdoor dining on August 26 with a new schedule of 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. from Wednesday to Sunday. If you can’t wait until the 26, The Morris will be hosting a Socially Distanced Sidewalk Seafood Party with Stephanie Mutz, coowner of the seafood business Sea Stephanie Fish, tomorrow, August 22 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. 

Tomorrow night, The Morris will also serve as a pick up location for the East Bay’s Japanese-inspired Basuku Cheesecakes starting at 5 p.m.. Customers can order the cheesecakes in advance here.

The Morris is also offering Labor Day BBQ kits for two at $80, prepared by Chef Gavin Schmidt. Take away or delivery orders are currently available as well. 

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Juan Carlos Lara covers business and development in the Mission. Juan Carlos, a San Francisco State alum, is as much a photographer as he is a writer and previously worked as the campus news editor at Golden Gate Xpress, SF State’s student paper.

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Tweets can be found at @jcl_scoop

Julian grew up in the East Bay and moved to San Francisco in 2014. Before joining Mission Local, he wrote for the East Bay Express, the SF Bay Guardian, and the San Francisco Business Times.

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1 Comment

  1. Super excited about the new Il Pollaio!! The Mission just leveled up on delicious!

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