The limited edition ‘Big Obama Burger,’ only $25

This is available now at the airport in Brisbane, Australia. (Obama was there over the weekend for the G20 Summit.)

(If only it were available in Brisbane, California, we could head down there right now, and maybe stop in super-cool Daly City on the way.)

(Thanks, Jess!)

Climbing bridges

The internet is abuzz with talk of those illegal or dangerous photos someone took atop the Golden Gate Bridge, but get this: in Sydney, you can climb the Harbour Bridge anytime you want! (Granted, it’s no Golden Gate, but it’s a pretty serious bridge and it’s a pretty serious climb, and the views are gorgeous. And there are no earthquakes. Highly recommended.)

Here are some happy climbers on the summit:

Visit BridgeClimb Sydney for more info.

[Bridge photo by the Telegraph]

Get your Jack off

You’ve probably heard that Adobe Books had to leave their 16th Street location recently, and relocated to a new location on 24th Street. You’ve probably also heard that Jack Spade, an upscale retail store that is a spin off of Kate Spade which is a subsidiary of Liz Claiborne, was planning to move into Adobe’s old location well before Adobe had even publicly conceded to leaving. (For reference, check out Kevin’s reporting here)

Well, a bunch of “Valencia Corridor” businesses are opposing Jack Spade as a formula retailer brand from a multinational company, and therefore not a part of the Mission community. The opening of a store like this will pave the way for more companies to take root in the neighborhood, and push out the local businesses. Makes sense to me.

I’d also add that they really only appeal to a certain kind of well moneyed, overly groomed young urban professional scenester, but that’s pretty much the Valencia Corridor in a nutshell.

Anyway, you can sign their petition here, and the event should be fun, with proceeds going to “support the Stop Jack Spade campaign”.

Slow Pour: Barista summit, barista battle

The newly formed Bay Area Coffee Community (BACC) is hosting its first conference, Barista Nation, in the Women’s Building on Saturday January 19.  The event is aimed largely at specialty coffee baristas looking to learn more about the cafe side of the business and sustaining a career in this area.  Talks by roasters Equator, Counter Culture, and Verve as well as several SCAA representatives and other coffee professionals are included in the agenda.

Don’t work in the industry but still want to nerd out with baristas? You’re in luck! The organization is launching a monthly series of Thursday night throwdowns (i.e., latte art competitions) from January 19* through June 13.  The final throwdown will be held right here in the neighborhood at Coffee Bar. Entry is free to the public and there will be food, drinks, and of course some very creatively manipulated steamed milk. See the attached flyer for details.

*The first competition is not on a Thursday.

[via Sprudge]

-Jason Laska

Sitting down at 780 Cafe will cost you $5.00 starting today

780 cafe, san francisco, food, drink, cafe, i/o ventures, valencia street, mission district, coffee shop

780 Valencia has had a rocky couple of years since The Summit opened and closed and 780 Cafe picked up the reins. It’s still a great cafe with a strong coworking community – but starting today if your order consists of a single coffee it’s going to come in a paper cup. That’s because 780 has instituted a new $5 minimum to sit – and if your order doesn’t hit it they’ll send you out the door.


The Summit to close in January

The Summit, that laptop-centric cafe only employed by elite-trained baristas and once thought to be the Mission’s neighborhood game changer, is scheduled to shutter its doors at 780 Valencia on January 28, 2012.

Mission Local has more details, including the following quote from one of the owners of the space:

We at I/O own the building. The Summit was simply our coffee shop vendor. They weren’t able to pay the market rate for rent, so we’re going to have a new vendor in going forward. The incubator is definitely still open and will be having the next group of companies in the new year.

Read on.

Problems with Yelp’s new ‘Hipster’ ambience category?

First of all, is Medjool intimate? I don’t think it is. More importantly, I also don’t think hipsters hang there very often.

Reader Wavvy Gravvy points out some other possible flaws in Yelp’s new “Hipster” tag:

Spork, Beretta, Dalva, Zeitgeist, farm:table, Pop’s, Ikes at Lime, Boogaloos, Medjool, Elbo Room, Red Door Cafe ARE ALL HIPSTER

Four Barrel, Ritual, Dynamo Donuts, Delirium, Bender’s, Humphrey Slocombe, Tartine, Foreign Cinema, Delfina, Range, Amnesia, Revolution Cafe, The Summit ARE NOT HIPSTER


But seriously, we apologize for perpetuating all this “hipster” bullshit. Sometimes it just seems like a good idea.

Casting call for forthcoming Dolores Park carnival sideshow

From the “talent gigs” section on Craigslist:

Starting a carnival: Looking for weird ass people (mission district)

Are you weird?

Were you born with webbed toes? do you eat fire? are you a midget with a strange skill? Are you a man with a normal sized body and one huge bicep? are you a 7 foot tall woman with gigantic boobies? do you have two noses?

If any of the things mentioned above ring a bell, or if you’re just plain weird…then we want you!

Why? Because we’re starting a carnival. In the Mission. Preferably at Dolores park.

We need performers! Look, the economy sucks, so if you’re not up on the modern man’s hustle (aka startups, aka taking money from rich people to sit in the Summit all day and look for yourself on missed connections) then you’re probably sitting in Dolores Park doing nothing but drinking PBR and smoking weed. So why not get paid in PBR and weed for what you’re already doing for free?

Here’s your chance. Be weird.

  • it’s NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
  • Compensation: PBR, weed, grilled cheese, or whatever else the citizens of Dolores park decide to pay us in.

PostingID: 2259197128

Talent is an asset! As is having deformities!

I would definitely pay somebody a grilled cheese for the chance to regard their pair of noses.


Dolores Park Community Winter Wine Mixer 2011 This Thursday

Always wanted to get together with your neighbors and some “Dolores Park community leaders” over wine and snacks to see some presentations and mingle? Dolores Park Works has just the event for you:

Please join Dolores Park Works and five Dolores Park community leaders for a causal, friendly mix of Dolores Park talk, wine and hors d’oeuvres this Thursday, February 24th from 7 to 9pm at The Summit 780 Valencia Street.

Our event features five high-speed presentations by charismatic Dolores Park heavy hitters who will inform, dispel and entertain in five minute bursts as 20 slides auto-advance every 15 seconds. Our Ignite-inspired presentation format is proven to be exhilarating for the audience and speaker.

- Scott Wiener, San Francisco District 8 Supervisor
- Eric Andersen, San Francisco Recreation and Parks Area Manager
- Nancy Madynski, Friends of Dolores Park Playground Chair
- Meredith Thomas, Neighborhood Parks Council Chair
- Peter Lewis, Mission Dolores Neighborhood Association Director
- Rob Lord, Dolores Park Works Chair

Sounds dynamic! Full details are here.

RSVP and invite your friends via the event’s official Facebook page.


Do Not Apply If You Have Not Been Trained By Blue Bottle, Ritual or Four Barrel

“The Summit is hiring Blue Bottle, Ritual, or Four Barrel trained Baristas ONLY,” reads this Craigslist ad, “DO NOT APPLY IF YOU HAVE NOT BEEN TRAINED BY EITHER COMPANY.”

So angry! Why exclude people AND be so mean about it?

Well, reader Meredith Scheff wanted some answers too, so she replied to the ad:

I was really excited when you opened. I love the idea and spirit behind the café and your business, I love your welcoming atmosphere, I love the aesthetics and the food. I also was excited to see your ad posted on Craigslist. I would love to work with you! I’m a long time foodie, a pretty damn good cook, and I’ve worked as a barista and view it as an art. I geek out on it, is what I’m saying. Then I read this:

[Here she quotes the line quoted above.]

WHOA there Summit. This is totally un-excellent. You mean to tell me that my love of food and coffee only counts if I have been employed by one of a few select places? I’m pretty sure I’ve run across some pretty-damn-crapy baristas at those places- and some pretty damn good ones at ‘lesser’ cafés. These places hire a handful of people at most, and that means there are plenty of us food-loving coffee-nerds that would be a great fit for you.

I look forward to hearing your reply, as this has put a terrible taste in my mouth about your business.

Blam! I was like,”Suck it, Summit! No WAY you’ll recover from THEM APPLES!!” But then their Managing Director replied with a perfectly understandable explanation of the situation:

we’re in a bind where we need to plug in baristas quickly. we prefer blue bottle trained baristas because our contract with them specifies that anyone that makes their coffee must be trained by them. the training takes 2 weeks! it shortens if you’re trained by ritual or 4 barrel.

as a side note: if we had the time, we’d open up the applicant pool to everyone. when we opened we didn’t make this same requirement. in fact none of our opening baristas were from blue bottle, ritual, etc. we looked for people exactly like you and we invested over 40hrs of coffee training with our staff.

sucks that time is not on my side this time around.

Bummer indeed! Anyway, if you, like Meredith, were put off by this ad, don’t blame the Summit. They seem well intentioned and all… Okay, here comes the punch line. Say it with me, as it is such a popular mantra lately: BLAME BLUE BOTTLE. (Just kidding, mostly.)

[Photo by Everett Bogue]

Full text of the ad after the jump, in case it expires: