Valencia Street

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Healthy Spirits brings craft spirits to Valencia Street

When Rami Barqawi opened his first Healthy Spirits store in the Castro in 1998, he never thought it would transform into a “destination” for high-end spirits. Back then, Healthy Spirits was just a name, and the items on the shelves were pure convenience-store stock. “It was butter and tampons and toilet paper,” he said. But, several years after opening, Barqawi’s...

SF pivots: Costly, time-consuming Muni fix is now being done free

Shift astounds city supervisor: “They don’t know what the fuck is going on with their buses.” In August, Mission Local broke the story that Muni’s New Flyer diesel-electric hybrid buses, which come with a nearly $750,000-a-pop price tag justified by their environmental bona fides, did not have a rudimentary pollution control device installed on them. These buses, Muni yard workers...

SF legislator to Uber, Lyft: Get out of the bike lane

San Francisco District 9 supervisor Hillary Ronen sent a letter to ride-hailing giants Uber and Lyft Tuesday, asking them to use geofencing technology to find safe places for pick-ups and drop-offs — and to test such a system on Valencia Street, notorious for ride-share cars blocking the bike lanes. “At this point, Valencia is completely out of control with bikes,...

Saved by reader sponsors, Borderlands Books now aims to buy a building

When Alan Beatts announced in early 2015 that he would close his science fiction, mystery, and horror bookstore Borderlands, his customers did something extraordinary: They refused to let it happen. At a meeting that packed the Borderlands Cafe next door to the bookstore, they mourned the loss – and then made suggestions ranging from the tame to the bizarre to...

Neighborhood Notes: Hot tub prank, fire aid, and too many birthdays

“Public hot tub” NOT coming to Valencia Street For anyone who wet themselves over a sign outside of Valencia Street’s Betabrand store that reads, “COMING SOON, Betabrand PUBLIC HOT TUB” — sad news: the only thing being installed in front of the store is a sidewalk. The sign, said a Betabrand employee, is a prank — “just one of the...

Weston Wear shutters after 36 years in SF Mission

After 36 years in the Mission, Valencia Street boutique Weston Wear has shut its doors for good. “The last couple years have been really strange for retail,” said Julienne Weston, owner and founder of the boutique. “Everyone is changing habits for what they buy. They love their online.” Though she said e-commerce and consumer habits were partly to blame, Weston...

Cannabus brings weed on wheels to Valencia Street

Think food truck, but for cannabis. That’s the concept behind the CannaBus you may have seen parked on Valencia and 19th streets Tuesday. Cannabus launched just a week ago, and has been parking in various parts of the Bay Area — Telegraph and Durant in Berkeley, 16th and Guerrero and in the Haight in San Francisco — every day, offering...

Bike safety advocates, plus D8 Sup, hit the street for protected bike lanes

The yellow-shirted bicycle-safety activists were back on Valencia Street between 18th and 19th streets Thursday afternoon, carrying signs that read: “Protected lane.” Their aim is to get something built on Valencia that physically separates cyclists and drivers on the road to avoid collisions. As it stands, the street has painted bike lanes, but nothing stops drivers from rolling into them...

Neighborhood Notes: “Candi,” theoretical dentist, possible ramen

Here’s some news about local storefronts you might have wondered about: Also, though it’s very early in the permitting process, it looks like someone is seeking permits to convert at least part of the former Goodwill space into a dental office. According to the application, the work would be to remodel and convert an existing mezzanine and second floor into...

Careful curation proves a strategy for two high-end retail stores

Two high-end retail stores that have opened on and near Valencia within the last three years would seem to go against the grain of market research that says e-commerce has diminished the number of shoppers who walk through the door to buy clothes. While many of the other 667 registered retail stores in the Mission opened long before the threat...

Frida Kahlo’s 110th birthday celebration Sunday

Casa Bonampak at 1051 Valencia St. and Fiestas Fridas will be hosting a Frida Kahlo look-alike contest and birthday celebration Sunday beginning at 11 a.m. It is also Sunday Streets so the whole of Valencia will be a fiesta.  At Bonampak, anyone can participate in the categories of Fridog, Fridrag, Little Frida, Diego and Frida. The winner of the best...

461 Valencia may soon be home to clothing retailer Everlane

The storefront at 461 Valencia Street may not be empty any longer. Everlane, a clothing retailer, has recently shown signs that they may be moving in. On April 19, the company filed an application with the planning department to move in. More recently, in honor of Pride month, they painted a mural on one of the property’s doors to promote...

Bike safety advocates set up human barrier between lanes

Advocates for infrastructure that better separates cyclists from drivers took to Valencia Street Thursday evening, forming a human barrier between bike and auto lanes from 16th and 17th streets. Dozens of cyclists offered high-fives and smiles as they passed through the corridor of roughly 20 yellow-shirted bike lane activists. Most drivers kept silent as they drove by, but a few  voiced their dismay. “Find...

Merchants balk at restaurant addition to retail (updated)

Update: Planning Commissioners approved the addition of a restaurant into the existing events venue and retail space called Amado’s, formerly Viracocha, on 20th and Valencia streets. The commissioners voted unanimously, 5-0, to allow Amado’s to add a restaurant at the back of its street-level commercial space, but also required that it increase the amount of space reserved for retail in the front of...

A new, full-service restaurant planned for Valencia at 21st Street

Plans are afoot to turn nearly 4,000 square feet of retail space on the corner of Valencia and 21st streets into a full service restaurant with some retail. The application for a conditional use permit allowing David Quinby, the owner of Amado’s at 998 Valencia St, to transform the space will be heard by the  San Francisco Planning Commission on...