Boogaloo’s may close soon

Eater SF talked to general manager Peter Hood on Friday:

According to Hood, the reason for vacating Boogaloo’s primo location is indeed due to their newly raised, “whacked out Valencia Street rent,” which the business wasn’t willing to pay. And while Hood confirms that the search for a tenant is on starting in September, he says “We want to stay as long as we can for our employees. Our main concern is keeping our current staff employed and helping them find new jobs.” Since the restaurant is just now hitting the market (with its whacked out rent), that means it could be a while. Either way Boogaloo’s will have 30 days notice, which means there will be time to snag a last “Temple ‘O Spuds.” And, says Hood, he’s “open to relocating,” if a reasonable rent still exists in this town.

Read on for more info and downer details.

The lease on the St. Francis Fountain space was listed for sale on Craigslist for a while a couple months back, not sure what’s going on with that though. But I’d bet a property like Boogaloo’s, located at 22nd and Valencia, will be snapped up real quick.

Gone are the days when friends could argue St. Francis Fountain vs. Boogaloo’s year after year, never worrying that either one might ever disappear.

;(

[Photo by Google Maps]

Go see some pro improv tonight or tomorrow in the Mission

I haven’t actually seen this show yet, but I know Chris Libby personally and he always cracks me up. Plus it’s at StageWerx, a fun little theater on Valencia near 16th that you’ve probably never been to. Here’s the deal:

HUGE is Chris Libby and Anthony Veneziale – two improvisers, two guitars, infinite possibilities. Join us for our signautre long-form comedy improv show with music! The audience throws out suggestions and we turn those into songs, scenes and laughter. No two shows are ever the same.

Get tickets here.

Google buses are out of control

Our pal Inna saw her life flash before her eyes this morning:

Ok not even funny anymore – I just had a terrifying moment with a Google bus turning from 24th onto valencia that nearly killed me and one other person. We had the green light still – it was very clearly green, and he just plowed into the intersection. Cars stopped and honked, people screamed, and even google’s minions waiting in line to board the thing looked up from their phones.

I don’t even know what to do – who do I complain to? Who will listen or care? It’s simply not safe for these gigantic buses to have complete reign of the streets. It’s a terrible feeling to not feel welcome in your own city- this is the icing on the cake.

I also experienced a harrowing moment last week while biking north on Valencia approaching 25th Street.  One of the behemoth buses pulled up alongside me and then tried to beat me to the stop on the NE corner, almost pinning me to the sidewalk.  Luckily I was able to maintain control of my bike and sprint past it, but damn!

I don’t drive, but if I did I would be livid with these buses.  I routinely see a tech bus chilling at a green light waiting for another tech bus in front of it to finish its business at the stop located across the intersection.  So imagine you’re stopped behind a bus at a green light and it just sits there for a couple minutes while the lights cycle through, and finally when the first bus is finsished unloading or dropping off or whatever does that green-light-chilling bus cross the intersection and awkwardly pull over in just enough of a diagonal to continue blocking the street.

Did we really kill the 26 Valencia Muni just so these giant out of-control buses could run wild?  I know it’s a broken record at this point, but just remember that these buses are another example of something that incoveniences (and sometimes endangers) the public and whose only benefit is increasing profit for private companies (by enhancing their recruiting efforts and employee productivity).

Essentially, all the buses really do is transfer the extra minutes that their employees would have to wait if they took regular public transportation along to everybody else.

Previously:

Flashback Friday: Party in the streets when Obama won the presidency

November 2008. Seems like a lifetime ago.

[Top photo by Brendan O’Connor; Bottom photo by Elly]

The story of Amnesia (and its owner Shawn Magee)

Spoiler alert: they’re parting ways. We assume Shawn is moving on to bigger and better things, and by way of announcing the news, he shared on Facebook the inspiring story of his history with the bar. (And he explains that there’s nothing to worry about — Amnesia will be in good hands.) It’s a great read:

Dear Lovelies, I am writing with some news: I am leaving Amnesia. Obviously, this has not been an easy decision for me to make, and has been lingering in my mind for the past few years. It feels like breaking up with someone I’m still in love with. It’s not you, it’s me, honest. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love this community, and it pains me to mess with something that is so loved, especially when things are changing so drastically all around us. But don’t fret! AMNESIA IS NOT GOING ANYWHERE. It is being passed into capable hands, people who I believe will try their best to keep the integrity of this place and enhance it in ways that I never could. They are real people who work hard and care about what they do. They may not run around the stage in a diaper as much as I do, but, honestly, that’s no way to run a fucking business, now is it? The bar will be passed to Beth and Craig Wathen, who currently own the great SOMA hang, City Beer Store. They are solid, community-oriented people who I have had the pleasure to work with over the past 4 years. They are coming in with two partners, good friends who were some of their original customers at City Beer. Let me be very clear: I hand-picked Craig and his crew to take over because he knows Amnesia and values its place in the community. Everyone should congratulate them. It is a big deal for them and they deserve absolute kindness and respect. Truthfully, I never thought I’d do any one thing for 15 years, but Amnesia has been an unexpected and amazing surprise. Some of you who are reading this may have never met me, and others don’t know how this place came to be. So, here is a short tale about that: I came to San Francisco 15 years ago on a plane from Connecticut. I had come on a 3-day vacation to visit some friends from high school who were living in the Mission. I was 23 years old, stranded and broke, and living with my parents. I was depressed and directionless. I didn’t like San Francisco. It was too dirty, with too many homeless people, and a cold, hard rain poured from the sky every day of my trip. Despite all that, it was better than where I had come from, and I never took that return flight back to the east coast. Instead, I hung up a hammock in the kitchen of my friend’s 1-bedroom apartment at 21st and San Carlos, and got a job at Dolores Park Café, where I was worked to the bone for $10/hr. (It is very clean at Dolores Park Café). Another high school friend was bartending at a new beer and wine bar on Valencia St. called Amnesia. She told me she could give me a Sunday shift over there and I showed up that next Sunday and just started working, having never met my actual boss. The owner was a laid-back Belgian guy named Jean-Paul. He was a restaurateur, had two little girls, and a lovely, intense wife. He was pretty hands-off at the bar and let his employees run the place. I had never bartended before, hardly drank at all, and couldn’t pour a beer. But, I learned to do all those things. And, surprisingly to me, I loved coming to work for the first time in my life. I loved my regular customers (who are all still friends today). I loved making connections in my new community, helping people find work, or roommates, or just putting interesting people together. So, when the friend who hired me decided to get a day job, I quit Dolores Park Café, worked the bar every night I could, and couldn’t get enough. About 6-months or so into working at Amnesia, Jean-Paul announced that he was going to sell and move his family off to Europe. As soon as he told me, wheels started turning in my head. I made a phone call to my dad, and then my aunt, and a few other family friends. I basically pleaded with them to take a chance on me. Some did, some didn’t, but with a good amount of persuading, I got some promises. Jean-Paul wasn’t about to cut me any deals, though. He got the best offer he could and said that if I could match it, the place was mine, and he gave me 10 days to do it. Now, asking people for money and getting them to put it into your bank account are two different things. So, I had longer phone conversations with all my would-be investors. I sent them photos and sales predictions, development plans, and a whole bunch of other stuff I didn’t know anything about. After all that, I lost a couple investors, but managed to convince 5 brave and trusting people to put their money into my bank account. Personally, I invested all I had: $300. I had to have a lawyer write up loan documents for everyone, signed my financial life away, and told Jean Paul I was in. In the end, I was $15,000 short, and Jean Paul took pity on me and loaned me the money himself, with a clause that if I missed a payment by more than 10 days, the bar would be returned to him. I did not tell this to any of my other investors. The first couple of years were stressful, terrifying and glorious. I had to fire some people, which is still the worst thing I ever have to do. I worked too much. I even passed out from exhaustion during a shift at the bar, had to kick everyone out and close early. I didn’t sleep. Chicken John stopped me on the street and told me I was going to fail because I wasn’t an asshole, and I was worried he was right. I lived off tips and managed things from my hammock in the kitchen. I sent my checks in dutifully every week and kept my fingers crossed. I managed to get an entertainment permit and legitimately start booking bands. I met the wonderful human being, Sol Crawford, and was smart enough to give him full reign whenever he asked. Sol could take an ordinary night of music and with a well-placed shout, the pop of a cork, and a nice tie, make it extraordinary. There was a lot of bar-top dancing in those days. Mostly, I just made it my job to make sure everyone always had the best time possible when they came through Amnesia’s door. I’ve always felt proud of everything that has happened over here, and am still proud. I tell this story not to self-aggrandize, because in the end, it’s just a little bar and I am a speck on a speck of sand in this universe. I just wanted to remember a little bit and, speck or not, this bar has been the best thing that ever happened to me. I feel more at home at Amnesia than where I sleep. I know every loose board and leaky pipe. I have scrubbed piss and vomit from the floors and came up smiling. It was my clubhouse, and everyone with a good heart and open mind was invited. And it doesn’t have to end. Amnesia is really about you: The people who love and support it. It is about musicians, poets, comedians, actors and imbeciles, and the fans that support them all. I was only ever a small part in what this place has become. During the last few months of my reign as king toilet-scrubber, I plan to put on some special shows. I will post about these shows under the heading: “NOTHING’S HAPPENING.” Some performers are veterans of the Amnesia stage who have grown too big to play on a regular basis, and some are personal favorites. So, if you see me post something about a secret guest, or a special show, you better do yourself a favor and get your ass down to the bar. I’d like to go out with a bang, and you could help me in that goal by supporting this music, respecting the performers, screaming appropriately, and dancing your pants off.

Happy trails, Shawn!

[via Capp Street Crap] [Photo by Google Maps]

Steph Curry shirt by Amos Goldbaum (Go Warriors!)

If you’re confused, maybe this will help:

Or maybe it won’t.

In any case, score one of your own (in unisex or womens’ sizes) by looking for Amos Goldbaum out by Rhea’s on Valencia, or by visiting the Amos Goldbaum website.

Warriors!

This year’s SF Documentary Festival kicks off with a ‘Free’ screening at McCoppin Plaza

The screening is of a movie called Free, and it is free, and it’s this Thursday, and there will be food trucks and stuff. Here’s a blurb about the movie:

Academy Award-nominated filmmaker David Collier and co-director Suzanne LaFetra have crafted a stirring, up-close documentary that follows a group of Oakland teens who find personal liberation and mutual support through dance. These dynamic young people face the very real challenges of poverty, alienation, HIV, sexual abuse, and gang violence but are dedicated to telling the truth— even if it hurts. Because the truth will, to some degree, set them free. FREE captures their struggles as they turn the courage, determination, and stamina required in their daily lives into a contagious joy.

McCoppin Plaza, as you know, is that plaza on the north end of Valencia Street next to the U-Haul place.

More info (on this event and on the rest of DocFest).

If these people can go to all the trouble of looking like this, surely you can do better than that grey hoodie

(I’m talking to myself, but probably also to you.)

[via Fashionist]

A little part of Valencia goes to the Tenderloin

826 Valencia, to be precise. SF Weekly reports:

When a real estate broker told Tenderloin landlord Paul Boschetti that a nonprofit was interested in leasing his 172 Golden Gate Avenue property, he told the San Francisco Chronicle Thursday, Boschetti said, “No way. I’ve had it up to here with nonprofits.” But the landlord had a change of heart when he visited the original 826 Valencia. “When I saw what they were doing for the young people of the neighborhood, how much fun the kids were having, I immediately changed my mind,” Boschetti told the Chron. “If I was a kid I would like this kind of stuff myself.”

Aww. Read on for more of the story.

Help keep Lost Weekend Video in the Mission!

It’ll come as no surprise that Lost Weekend Video has long been in danger of having to close up shop. Netflix, HBO Go, Popcorn Time, etc. But they’ve been on Valencia Street since the late ’90s, they’re a living relic of the Mission’s storied past, AND they’re continually taking cool steps toward remaining relevant and exciting.

Firstly, they started up the basement Cinecave performance space where they’ve been doing all kinds of cutting-edge comedy the last couple years. More recently, they’ve welcomed 1-2-3-4 Go! Records in to share the space, and hopefully that’s revving up business a little.

But also, with the help of some crowdfunding, they’d like to do all of this:

We will enhance & expand our video & retail services to better serve the needs of the 21st Century film enthusiast, including:

  1. A fully searchable online catalog, with IMDB links & weekly updates of new acquisitions.
  2. Rental delivery service for when you can’t get down to the store.
  3. Buying & selling of DVD/VHS collections, including new releases, collectibles & special orders.
  4. A continuously stocked collection of our own signature tees, totes & hoodies as well as related local & custom merchandise.
  5. Affordable video transfer services on-site.
  6. Continuing operation of our overwhelmingly popular Cinecave comedy shows.

On their crowdfunding page, for different donation levels you get all sorts of perks, like free video rentals and cool shirts and stuff. 32 hours left to donate! Check it out.

[Photo by 1-2-3-4 Go! Records SF on Instagram]