Valencia business: the new kids on the block
Aww, sisters. They’ve got traveling pants. Perpetual indulgence. And now, on Valencia Street, coffee. Sisters Coffee Shop debuts today, Aug. 13, and the sisters in charge had no time to talk to me as they tended to the bustling cafe.
Karen Ruelas and her sister Melody have taken over the former Javalencia Cafe, whose logo lingers on the shop’s front door. Now, the spot has a new look: electric green and baby pink.
By 10 a.m. today the tables were flooded with Latinx families chatting away, and each barista was all-hands-on-deck to fill orders for smoothies, lattes and sandwiches. When I dropped by, Karen said she’d call me later if she got a chance to breathe. (She didn’t.) The shop runs every day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
HUF is back to the streets
If you haven’t seen the “HUF” posters plastering walls and wooden barricades around the neighborhood, maybe you noticed the stenciled logo on sidewalks or the letters gracing the double doors of Curio. If not, you just might be blind. Whatever the case, the original San Francisco skate store has moved in at 968 Valencia St.
While long ago, the shop attracted the city’s skaters to its first location in the Tenderloin, it departed San Francisco for 10 years and moved on to numerous locations across the country and abroad. It officially returned to Valencia Street the weekend of Aug. 7, and had locals who attended the launch party flipping out, staff said. Even if you don’t shred, there might be some clothes to your liking. I ogled a beanie sporting signature black and orange Giants colors; maybe that’ll finally succeed in keeping me warm during a night game.
A hop and a skip over, at 956 Valencia St., something’s in the works. The space was home to the boutique Azalea for six years before it shuttered in May, 2020. However, a realtor and the contractors working today confirmed a brand-new business is opening up. “What will it be?” I asked the man with a paint roller. He doesn’t know. Something.
What pandemic infrastructure will we keep?
Most are familiar with the process of decluttering a closet. You take a look at all the amalgamated stuff, hold it up to your chest and go, “toss or keep?”
Well, in a way, San Francisco is undergoing some housekeeping of its own post-pandemic mess. City officials are scrutinizing many pandemic-driven, temporary initiatives. Should we toss or keep?
Shared Spaces, which ushered in roughly 2,100 temporary parklets during a fraught time for city eateries and bars, was deemed a keeper last month. We’re also holding on to four of 31 Slow Streets, including Shotwell Street, which enters design review. More of the 31 streets in consideration for permanent slowness are inching along in the process.
Ah, but re: the Twitter-sphere, there is one major, heartbreaking toss: the Great Highway’s 24/7 street closure, which begins Aug. 16. The highway welcomes back cars five days a week, which Mayor London Breed deemed a “compromise” to those who really wanted it closed daily. They’re not going down without a fight. Citizens are filing a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review, and it now looks like a San Francisco-esque protest/bike-ride is scheduled the day before cars return.
Housekeeping: What you missed and what I’m reading
From us, to you, with love
From us, to you, with love
David Mamaril Horowitz alerts us that the Mission library branch may have solidified its stained-glass window design. Additionally, he tuned into a discussion with the city’s head of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, who said she wants to spend $417 million on permanent, supportive shelter for the unhoused.
What I’m reading
An interesting Chron piece reveals how the state and the city’s housing policies are at odds. A California senate bill renders certain housing projects exempt from community or San Francisco Planning Commission review as long as developers promise a specific amount of affordable units for their building. Part of that is to address the housing goals the state outlined in the coming years. While this piece uses 300 De Haro St. as an example, it’s curious to see if this legislation will translate to other controversial projects in the Mission.
Could simple improvements, like visible signs and seats at bus stops, increase Muni ridership? It might, argues a Bloomberg City Lab article that focuses on San Francisco. The enlightening report included fascinating finds to get your wheels turning — like how Census tracts in the north of the city were more likely to have bus amenities and shelter than those in the south. More Census tracts with higher than average numbers of white residents wound up with more benefit-laden bus stops, too.