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Editor’s Note: My apologies for a newsletter that’s noticeably short on substance. Between campaigning for a couple of local offices while also gardening at Splash Pad and in my own yard, time has been severely limited. To further complicate matters, I’ve been experiencing problems this week with my cell phone and computer. Next month, hopefully, we’ll be back up to speed.
The biggest news on Grand Avenue this past month was Camino Restaurant‘s upcoming closure, as reported in this October 5 article in Eater San Francisco – as well as virtually every other media source in the Bay Area. All seemed to agree that Russell and Allison broke new ground when they opened Camino ten years ago and, over time, helped transform the Bay Area restaurant scene. Factors in their decision to close included rising costs, increased staff turnover, and the extent to which restaurant operations hinged on Russell’s presence – which translated into minimal vacation time. Both are apparently looking forward to some leisure time. Meanwhile, The Kebabery on Market Street will continue operating and a second location is in the works.
Our Splash Pad Facebook post (six days later) about Zachary’s leasing the Camino space generated an unprecedented amount of traffic – reaching over 5,000 individuals with 15 shares and nearly 1,400 engagements. There were relatively few comments, but the majority were shocked and/or offended that Zachary’s would open their fifth location in a neighborhood with a super abundance of pizza options – including the Star on Grand, Boot & Shoe, Aisle 5, and Arizmendi – but not including Lanesplitter, which was permanently shuttered in early October. So the question is: “Is there such a thing as too much pizza?” My guess: “There is not – unless, of course, you’re lactose intolerant.”
To last month’s list of Grand Avenue businesses that closed, you can add the Friday Night Boutique which had leased the Margene’s Bridal space very recently. We’re happy, however, to report that the Fog City Bakery space at 3249 Grand has been leased by Souvent Patisserie. They’ll be serving desserts, breakfast pastries, and lunch. Since I can’t decide between the Kouign Amann and the Caramel Beer Mousse, I’ll have to order both on my first visit.
LAKESHORE AND LAKE PARK AVENUE
Kira Pascoe, the Social Media Coordinator for the Lakeshore Business Improvement District (BID), has been working overtime as demonstrated by this month’s Happenings Calendar, which includes news about the Plaid Friday holiday weekend. As we go to press, at least twelve Lakeshore businesses have agreed to participate. Also, do check out the Boudoir Photography Cocktail Party at Good Vibrations on November 9.
Kira has also just posted a blog thanking Steve Kopff and Alex Montgomery Preston for spearheading the campaign to totally revamp the landscaping in the traffic island at the corner of Lakeshore and Trestle Glen. Although that project is nearly complete, they’re talking about expanding their efforts elsewhere on Lakeshore, for which they’d welcome additional volunteers and assistance with funding. All the details are available on THIS LINK.
We’ve been raving, of late, about the quality of music we’ve been hearing at the Grand Lake Farmers Market. This past Saturday was singer/song-writer exemplar Matt Jaffe‘s turn in the plaza stage. Despite the shortcomings of the video I shot on my mobile phone, you’ll be impressed. Even more so after you check out the 191,000+ likes on his Facebook page and then watch his latest video, a song called “Fever.” Matt has a superb voice and stage presence and, almost certainly, a very bright future.
Jerry Barclay, the Chair of the Grand Lake Farmers Market Advisory Committee has scheduled a group meeting (the first in more than two years) for next Wednesday, November 7, in the Family Room at Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church beginning at 7 PM. Jerry notes that the City Administrator’s office is in the process of drafting a new long-term agreement with AIM. Moreover, Councilmember Abel Guillén and his staff have reviewed a preliminary draft and are committed to a transparent process. All interested stakeholders are invited to attend. If you plan on doing so, please take the opportunity to review in advance the meeting agenda, the group’s mission statement, and a lengthy email CEO Andy Naja-Riese just sent regarding the upcoming meeting .
An up-to-date list of all the Grand Lake Farmers Market vendors is available on THIS LINK.
FIRST THURSDAYS ON GRAND
This month’s First Thursday’s on Grand takes place on November 1. Hours are 6 – 8 PM unless otherwise noted.
Panorama Framing is proudly hosting an Opening Night Reception for a new exhibit entitled, “Bay Area Big Shots”. This is the East Bay Photo Collective’s first-ever, juried exhibition celebrating the work of 40 San Francisco Bay-Area photographers – who are jointly launching a campaign for an East Bay Center of Photography. Complimentary wine and cheese and live music.
Urban Furniture and Boutique is hosting an Opening Night Artist’s Reception featuring portraits by Christina Xu from her “Faces in June” series. Christina is a native of Guam who moved to San Francisco at the age of 17 with the intention of pursuing a medical career – but a strong urge to become a painter prevailed. Complimentary wine and cheese. 6:30 – 9 PM
Jau Jou Studio is also hosting an Opening Night Reception for a show of work by Joanna Ruckman that perfectly fits the venue. “Hair Stories is an ongoing interactive portraiture and oral history project. It is a platform for women and gender non-conformers to share individual hair experiences and perspectives. Slowing down to listen and create this archive, intentionally and methodically, has become a foundational part of my art practice.”
Bay-Made (at 3295 LAKESHORE) is showcasing “Ruff Draft”, the photographic works of Brandon Ruffin.
The walls at 510 Brand are brimming with new works by Steven Haman, Viktor Castro, Aaron Mountain, Natalina Simi, Jeremy Reule, Loren Fizer, Thndur 1 Benny Muir, Eugene Spinks, and photographer Kris Fernald, who also works at Walden Pond Books. The artists’ reception on November 1 also features DJ Pauley Tek – as well as free drinks and free snacks. 6 PM – 10 PM.
The Libertine has an ongoing show of nude photographs printed on aluminum by Josh Stevenson.
Alchemy Bottle Shop‘s second-floor gallery will be wrapping up its exhibit of photographs by Amelia Berumen and Vanessa Rodriguez entitled, “Talk of the Town” and opening a new show on Sunday, November 4.
SPLASH PAD PARK
As part of the rat-eradication campaign at Splash Pad, the ferns in the two beds that parallel the freeway were removed a couple of weeks ago. I won’t go into the nitty-gritty, but the ferns were party-central for the rat population and they posed insurmountable hurdles for Pestec, the pest control company working under contract to the city to minimize (if not totally eliminate) the infestation using non-toxic measures. Plans are in the works for the Splash Pad Grand Crew volunteer team to further expand the California Native landscape into these two spaces which are a total of 280 square feet. If you’d like to participate, please email team leader and gardener-extraordinaire Mary Jo Sutton at email@example.com.
This month’s regular 4th Sunday work day has been moved up one week to November 18. As always, hours are 9 – Noon. Tools and gloves are provided.
ODDS & ENDS
When I did a Google search for background info about Camino, I happened upon a 2014 article in Nosh by Alix Wall about chefs (Russell Moore, for one) who love to engage in bartering. Alix’s focus was mainly on Russell Moore’s relationship with Tim Drew and Chris Hwang (the Walk Oakland Bike Oakland Chair) who live up the hill from me just off Lakeshore. For several years, they’ve been trading meals for exotic herbs that they cultivate in a neighbor’s yard. They will continue supplying The Kebabery with the fresh herbs that are an essential component on their menu.
The list of restaurant closures on Grand now also includes High Peaks Kitchen, which LZ profiled in her Grand Avenue West of 580 January 2017 blog. It’s a reminder that her presence in these pages is sorely missed. We’d love to hear from anybody in the Adams Point neighborhood who can help fill that vacuum.
Here are a few highlights from this month’s Event Calendar:
- November 1 – Grand Avenue First Thursdays art walk
- Tuesday, November 6 – ELECTION DAY. Please be sure to vote!
- Splash Pad Work Day, Sunday, November 18, from 9 – noon
- Sunday, Nov 18 – TEDxOakland for a full day of inspiring presentations and discussions
- Plaid Friday, November 23