sour cherry comics
Leah Morrett and her dog at Sour Cherry Comics. Photo by Annika Hom, taken February 2021.

There’s been so much change in the Mission, it’s hard to keep track. But with some of these new retail and eating options, you’ll definitely want to be in the know. We got your back.

Aarna Kitchen

A new Nepali-Indian-American fusion restaurant is set to land in the Mission on March 1, taking over Buttermilk Southern Kitchen and El Coreano’s old location at 23rd and Bryant streets. 

Raj Gotame and his partners, including Chef Kashi Kandel, hope to turn the tides with Aarna Kitchen, a name that came from the Sanskrit word for “wave.”  Through the pandemic, Gotame worked at a Nepali restaurant in Oakland that struggled but survived, and Kandel recently closed a restaurant in Lake Tahoe. 

The Aarna team plans to mix things up; there will be the classic Nepali dishes, like momos, fusion dishes, like Indian burritos and omelet parathas, and some classic American fare, like burgers and sandwiches. The restaurant will be open for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. 

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Sour Cherry Comics

Sour Cherry Comics is joining the neighborhood, and it’s looking pretty sweet. A new lesbian-owned queer comic book store hits 3187 16th St., near Guerrero Street, and will offer a mix of alternative and mainstream comic books, graphic novels, workshops and special appearances by owner Leah Morrett’s dog. 

The entire store is a labor of love and community. Other queer entrepreneurs, such as Scoots McKee and Sharon Ratton from Milk SF, helped out, along with Gillian Fitzgerald from Casement’s Bar. A Shark Tank-like queer panel sponsored by Manny’s also gave Morrett tons of ideas. “I got a lot of positive feedback from people, and like everyone was, like, super excited. So I was like, ‘Wow, this is cool.’ And it was just really helpful,” Morrett said.

Other bookish businesspeople in the neighborhood, like Josiah Luis Alderete from Medicine for Nightmares, Mission Comics and Art owner Leef Smith and the gang from Silver Sprocket, gave Morrett bookshelves, advice and encouragement. The storefront will have an official grand opening in May, but promises a soft opening in time for International Women’s Day on March 8.

“I realized, like, I had this dream my whole life,” Morrett said. 

La Snackería de la Mission 

If you love Papalote, you’re going to love this. The Mexican grill and salsa entrepreneur, Victor Escobedo, is expanding his food game with La Snackería de la Mission at 3325 24th St., near Mission Street. Expect tortas, mangonadas, elotes, esquites and “anything and everything Tajín, and anything and everything Chamoy.” He will put in the same careful attention into ingredients as he does with Papalote’s food: “You wouldn’t grill a steak and then cool it off and put it in the fridge. Who would do that?” Escobedo said.  

 It will offer only takeout, delivery and catering, but Escobedo is pleased that the snackería, a name acknowledging his hyphenated Latino-American existence, will contribute and maintain 24th Street’s reputation as a Latino Cultural District. “It’s Mexican ingredients made in an American way,” he added. 

He also plans on starting a pop-up series once a week, where other Latinx chefs can highlight their own dishes and snacks. 

The grand opening occurs on an angel number day (or a series of the same number) on Tuesday (Twosday), Feb. 22, 2022 at 2:22 p.m. 

Zita Wine Bar returns as Limoncello

Zita Wine Bar, at 2862 24th St. near Bryant Street, will reopen March 15 after two years of being mostly closed. This time it will have a new name, Limoncello, and meatier offerings. The wine will still be flowing, but the primary attraction at the 24th Street location will be the deli. It’s second location for Limoncello, an Italian sandwich shop based in Pac Heights.

Jalal Heydari ran Limoncello for six years while his wife, Rozita Shaker, ran Zita, and now they are joining forces after Covid-19 uncertainties made reopening the wine bar difficult. The new, combined iteration will serve at least 20 different deli sandwiches, pizzas and, of course, wine. 

The couple, originally from Iran, lives near their first shop, but holds a fondness for the Mission. “They understand that we are all immigrants here … food brings people together,” Shaker said. After Lucca’s on Valencia Street closed, Heydari said he saw an influx in business to the Limoncello on Sutter Street, and realized the Mission needs its own Italian deli. 

Limoncello’s soft opening in mid-March will include 120 free sandwiches for the community on the first and second days in business. Another 120 free sandwiches will go to SF General Hospital employees on day three. 

Fort Point 

Fort Point is all abuzz again. The beer hall reopened Feb. 9, welcoming all Valencia Street locals and visitors, and it’s definitely a sight for sore eyes. 

For two years, Fort Point had been closed, making piles of refuse outside its 742 Valencia St. location, near 18th Street, a common occurrence. But now, it will be the customers who are trashed. (We kid. Drink responsibly.) 

Follow Fort Point’s neon lights like moths to a flame: current hours of operation are Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Fridays from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

San Ho Won

San Ho Won, a Korean barbecue restaurant, also opened quietly in November, 2021, according to SF Eater. San Ho Won, located at 2170 Bryant St. between 19th and 20th streets, serves up mouth-watering pieces of meat cooked on a charcoal grill. 

If you couldn’t tell from the pristine exterior, San Ho Won isn’t a casual experience. The restaurant is owned by none other than Corey Lee, the chef whose restaurant Benu earned three Michelin stars, and who also owns Monsieur Benjamin. 

San Ho Won’s culinary partner, Jeong In Hwang, told The Chronicle to expect both traditional and innovative Korean dishes. “I want to make the Korean restaurant that I want to eat at,” Hwang said. 

On the other side of the Mission, the Korner Store opened at 736 Valencia St. at the end of last year, serving Korean snacks and soju cocktails at their part-bar, part-convenience store. 

Buddy

Buddy, the bar, opened at 3115 22nd St. in mid-November, and has quickly become a bustling neighborhood hot spot. Its creators have long histories in the bar industry, with experience at institutions like Lolinda, ABV and True Laurel. 

The hip new location offers low-ABV cocktails and unique comfort foods, such as salsa macha mushrooms and anchovy cream cheese crostinis, but their wine selection is where it’s at. 

Ruth’s on Treat Street 

In case you missed it, Ruth’s on Treat Street also opened with little fanfare a few weeks ago. The three musketeers behind the new bar each hold deep ties with each other and the rest of San Francisco’s bar history. Dan Lyons, Kim Cruise and Johanna Luddy, who you may know from Clooney’s, bring a similarly lovely vibe to 3050 24th Street. Read the story here

“We’re really excited to just have a nice, clean, fun atmosphere that’s walking distance for the neighborhood,” Lyons said.

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REPORTER. Annika Hom is our inequality reporter through our partnership with Report for America. Annika was born and raised in the Bay Area. She previously interned at SF Weekly and the Boston Globe where she focused on local news and immigration. She is a proud Chinese and Filipina American. She has a twin brother that (contrary to soap opera tropes) is not evil.

Follow her on Twitter at @AnnikaHom.

REPORTER. Eleni is our reporter focused on policing in San Francisco. She first moved to the city on a whim over eight years ago, and the Mission has become her home. Follow her on Twitter @miss_elenius.

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