Aug 01

Grocery Outlet to Replace Fresh & Easy

The cat is out of the (Grocery Outlet) bag

The cat is out of the (Grocery Outlet) bag.

The cat appears to be out of the bag when it comes to the fate of the now vacant Fresh & Easy space.  A topic that has gripped the Portola with speculation, debate and prayers for a Trader Joe’s on the various online forums.  Noticed by an eagle-eyed resident, a liquor license permit application sign has been spotted on the property.  The application outs the Grocery Outlet as the proposed new tenant for the space ahead of any official announcement from the city or grocer.

Exhibit A.

Exhibit A.

So what exactly is Grocery Outlet?  Rumors are already circulating that they sell merchandise from other markets that is nearing expiration but thankfully this isn’t the case.  According to their website, Grocery Outlet only buys directly from manufacturers.  The products are excess inventory which can result from issues such as production overruns or packaging changes.  Basic items such as milk and eggs are purchased through conventional distribution channels so that they always stock the basics. These items are not as deeply discounted as the overruns but they claim to check local prices to undercut all nearby competitors.  On the management end of the business, each location is independently owned and operated, the company looks for local residents to own, manage and staff each location so that every store has a “local personality”.  I’ve been told by my sources within the PNA (me, I am a PNA board member) that the store is currently looking for someone within the Portola or S/E San Francisco to own and manage this location.  The Portola location would be the 6th on the Peninsula, joining Geary Blvd in the Richmond, Visitacion Valley, Redwood City, South San Francisco and Palo Alto (fancy!).

Architectural Rendering

Unofficial architectural rendering of proposed store

Despite my desperate pleas to Trader Joe’s HQ, I’m pretty satisfied with this news.  We were turned on to Grocery Outlet while shopping for Burning Man supplies last year and we have been relying somewhat on the Bayshore location since the closing of F&E.  Our experience has been overwhelmingly positive which was a surprise to us as admitted Trader Joe’s and Rainbow Grocery fanatics.  At the Bayshore location, there is an entire aisle dedicated to organic products and produce, a large beer & wine section with local brands such as Anchor Steam and Speakeasy Brewery and household items such as 100′ garden hoses for $15, perfect for the Garden District!

This being San Francisco and all, there will be at least one community meeting where we will all have a chance to dust off our pitch forks and light our torches to demand changes to the building and proposed business.  My secret source at the PNA tells me that an official announcement should be expected soon and this will include community meeting dates.  I plan to suggest they plant trees along the backside of the building to soften the large blank wall that runs along Somerset and perhaps add some murals on the blank Somerset and Silver Ave. facades.

What would you like to see with this new store? Once the grief passes for the TJ’s that never was, share with us in comments.

Permanent link to this article: http://portolaplanet.com/2015/08/grocery-outlet-to-replace-fresh-easy/

Jul 31

Weekend Photo Round Up!

Last weekend was an unusually busy one in the Portola.  Starting with the PNA’s Drag Queen Bingo Thursday night, the activities overflowed into Saturday with Palega Park Play Day, Book Mo & Portola Library’s 6th Anniversary and the San Francisco Mime Troupe at Jerry Garcia Amphitheater.  I was too worn out Sunday to attend Fat Beli Deli’s 7th Annual Play Soccer Benefit but luckily Simon mustered up the energy and was rewarded with a great band.  Every event looked to have a strong turn out which is impressive given that three of these events were going on simultaneously Saturday,

Enjoy the pics!

2nd Annual Drag Queen Bingo

Hosted by the Portola Neighborhood Association, visit their Facebook page here

El Toro was transformed into a Castro style drag club

El Toro was transformed into a Castro style drag club

Libations and Games, what else do you need?

Libations and games, what else do you need?

The Drag Kings were out as well!

The Drag Kings were out as well!

The won the prized cheesecake and were nice enough to share.

They won the prized cheesecake and were nice enough to share with everyone.

You gotta move fast Boy Scout!

You gotta move fast Boy Scout!

Don't quit your day jobs Ladies! (I'm on the right)

Don’t quit your day jobs Ladies! (I’m on the right)

She stole the show

She stole the show.

photo 2

The fabulous MC’s for the night

Palega Play Day 

Please take this survey if you would like to share your thoughts on the Play Day with SF Recreation & Parks: here

Gambling for the Kids

Drag racing for the kids

I wish I had time to do this

I wish I had made time to do this.

Gambling for the kids

Some off track betting for the kids

Some sort of blue block game

Some sort of blue block game.

I apparently had just missed the best Michael Jackson cover band.

I apparently had just missed the best Michael Jackson cover band.

Book Mo Block Party & Portola Library’s 6th Anniversary

Hosted and made possible by Book and Wheel Works and Friends of the Library & the Portola Branch

Visit Book and Wheel Work’s Facebook page here

Visit Friends of the Library here

The Moving Art House came to visit

The Moving Art House came to visit again.

Crafternoon!

Crafternoon!

Lots and lots of arts & crafts.

Lots and lots of arts & crafts.

Even sand calligraphy

Even sand calligraphy

Music to inspire the artist's creations

Music to inspire the artist’s creations.

Concert in the street.

Concert in the street.

Keep your eyes peeled for new additions to Goettingen Street.

Keep your eyes peeled for some new additions to Goettingen Street.

Looks like everyone had a great time!

Looks like everyone had a great time!

San Francisco Mime Troupe at Jerry Garcia Amphitheater

Visit SF Mime Troupe’s Facebook page here

Well I guess pictures don’t really do a musical justice but at least you can see what a great day it was for a play in the park.

7th Annual Play Soccer Benefit at Fat Beli Deli

Visit Fat Beli Deli’s Facebook page here

I was told Van Morrison's former basest performed

I was told Van Morrison’s former bassist performed with the band.

Meow

The sun begins to set on a great weekend!

Thanks Belle, Homer, Joan, Jonathan, Simon & Kate for the pictures.  Please send your pics to us after any events and we will share with the neighborhood. Now let’s all rest up for Jerry Day Sunday!

Permanent link to this article: http://portolaplanet.com/2015/07/weekend-photo-round-up/

Jul 29

Bernie Sanders Rally Tonight in McLaren Park

Bernie_Sanders_2016

For the Bernie Sanders fans and those interested to learn more about his Presidential Campaign, there will be a rally tonight at the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater from 7pm-8pm.  Here are some details from the website:

 

McLaren Park/ Jerry Garcia Amphitheater/ Southeastern quadrant patriots purpose is to create further interest and momentum for THEE candidate who doesn’t represent more of the same ol same ol, to discuss & commiserate on topics in common concerning the direction in which the country seems headed, and why it is so important to look for new, real leadership , not platitudes. Last but certainly not least, this will be your opportunity to become a “Volunteer for Amerika” and contribute towards the field campaign. Information will be made available pertaining to bumper stikers and lawn signs, etc.
More information about the event can be found here: Bernie Sanders for President

Permanent link to this article: http://portolaplanet.com/2015/07/bernie-sanders-rally-tonight-in-mclaren-park/

Jul 24

Palega Park Play Day!!

It is late on Friday night and we just found out that tomorrow from 11-3 there is an amazing play day taking place at Palega Park in the Portola. There will be food trucks, slides, arts and crafts for kids as well as mini fun fair rides. All sponsored by Kaiser! Look forward to seeing you all there…

   
   

Permanent link to this article: http://portolaplanet.com/2015/07/palega-park-play-day/

Jul 24

SF Mime Troupe Performing in McLaren Park Saturday

San Francisco Mime Troupe (Actually not a Mime Troupe)

San Francisco Mime Troupe (Actually not a Mime Troupe)

Yet another addition to what is turning out to be a hopping weekend here the Portola.  This Saturday (July 25th) at the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater, the Tony Award winning San Francisco Mime Troupe will perform their latest show  “Freedomland”.  For those of you as uniformed as me, I will clarify that despite what the troupe’s name may suggest, this is not a miming performance.  Quite the opposite, the show is actually a “socially relevant” musical comedy and this is their 56th season performing here in the city,  To better describe what we can expect, here is a synopses pulled from their website:

A door is blown off its hinges! Into a blasted room of scarred walls and shattered windows, armed with M-16’s, America’s bravest duck and dodge for cover, finally training their deadly gunsights on… an old black man watching TV on his couch? This isn’t Baghdad or Kandahar – its home, and for ex-Black Panther Malcolm Haywood it’s just another wrong door police raid in the War on Drugs. So of course Malcolm is horrified when the grandson he’s tried to protect, Nathaniel, returns from serving in Afghanistan only to find another war zone at home – and one where young Black men like Nathaniel are in the crosshairs! Meanwhile the Mayor and the Police Chief – one desperate for votes, the other desperate to fund his militarized police force – ramp up the fear (and their shiny new tank) to fight the newest, drug threat to America… worse than weed, meth, coke, crack, or crank, it’s… SNORF!! And, of course, the SNORF trade is centered in the.. darkest… part of town… Poster
Photographer:DavidAllenStudio.com
Poster Design: Lawton Lovely

Are the police out of control? What happened to “innocent until proven guilty”? Is Malcolm’s neighbor Lluis (an undocumented immigrant,) actually a SNORF-lord? And can Malcolm convince his grandson that it is safer to re-up and fight overseas than to try to survive here at home, in Freedomland?

 

Sounds pretty interesting and a great opportunity to catch a show and have a lovely Saturday picnic in our beautiful park.

Admission is free (donations welcome of course), the music starts at 1:30pm and the show opens at 2pm.  More information can be found on their website: www.sfmt.org

Hope to see many neighbors there and don’t forget about the other great events happening this weekend as well!

Cheers!

-Alex

Permanent link to this article: http://portolaplanet.com/2015/07/sf-mime-troupe-performing-in-mclaren-park-saturday/

Jul 21

7th Annual Project Play Soccer Benefit this Sunday!

Project-Play-Soccer-One-World-Futbol-Libore-2014-14

Getting tired of us telling you things to do in the Portola this summer? Tough. Now you’ve got to choose between a block party at the library, or going down to Fat Deli Beli taking part in a soccer fund raiser for a worthy cause. Heck, be bold, do both!

So what’s Project Play Soccer?

Project Play Soccer was inspired by Mike Mitchell, Founder and President, while he was a Peace Corp volunteer in Niger, West Africa from 1983 to 1985. There he saw first hand the poverty and despair in the communities he visited. A collegiate soccer player, Mike found a common ground with the people of Niger – the love of soccer.

Coaching youth soccer and playing as the only non-national on the local men’s soccer team, he experienced how a soccer ball was a tool against violence and poverty and brought hope and happiness, especially to children. Over twenty years later in 2006 Project Play Soccer was incorporated as a non-profit organization.

And this Sunday, between 3pm and 8pm, they are blocking off the street next to Fat Beli Deli for live music by Kevin Brennan (formally with Van Morrison), Steve Cook (Spark N Cinder from Chico)) and The Mystic Trubadoors from Santa Cruz, food galore, raffles, celebs if possible will help for sure, spread the word and come yourself, why not you might even meet an elf!!!! (Ed: Really not sure about an elf playing soccer…)

For a bit more information on this wonderful organization, check out the following video. Oh, and if you don’t know what Fat Beli Deli is, then checkout Yelp for information on one of the best sandwiches places in the Portola.

Permanent link to this article: http://portolaplanet.com/2015/07/7th-annual-project-play-soccer-benefit-this-saturday/

Jul 21

Come celebrate the Portola Library’s 6th anniversary!

Book Mo Block Party
Heck, the Planet was quietly ticking away on the internet, just waiting for some summer fun to kick in. Now we’ve an event overload going down! Next up, the Portola public library is celebrating it’s 6th anniversary. There will be a block party this Saturday at 1-4pm at the Portola library, corner of Bacon and Goettingen St.

Joining the celebration is going to be the creation of a new art movement called Moving Art House, featuring artists of Southeast San Francisco.

Celebrate the Portola Branch Library’s 6th anniversary with BookMo and the Moving Art House. After 80 years located in rented storefronts, the Portola Branch Library found a home with plenty of space for patrons, a community room, and a garden tended by students from nearby schools.

Moving Art House is a mobile cultural space created by Kate Connell and Oscar Melara (Book and Wheel Works) in collaboration with Richard Talavera and The Mexican Bus. The Mexican Bus is a vibrantly painted popular culture icon, filled with small sculpture, decals, Mexican movie posters of the 40s and 50s. The Moving Art House series includes three events and a culminating exhibition at the Portola Branch Library opening in December. Moving Art House is Book and Wheel Works’ third public art project in the Portola District.

This party will be followed by two more events,

  • The Nite Life. Friday, August 21st between 6:00-10:00 pm at the El Toro Nightclub
  • The 5.5 Mile Road House, Handmade games and prizes! Saturday, September 19. Location and time to be announced

Read more about the whole project here, http://bookandwheel.org/moving-art-house/ and respond to the Facebook event here.

Permanent link to this article: http://portolaplanet.com/2015/07/come-celebrate-the-portola-librarys-6th-anniversary/

Jul 21

It’s Diva Week in the “Drag-tola”!

Coffee Break at Four Barrel

Recharging Her Batteries at Four Barrel

The two Drag Queens spotted with their love-mobile at Four Barrel earlier this month must have been a hint as to what was coming this week.  Apparently there is not one but TWO Drag events this week at El Toro on San Bruno Ave.  Starting tonight at 8pm, one of Mexico’s most well known Divas will be performing live on stage.  Show starts at 8pm and the cover is $20.  Come for the show and stay for the delicious tacos they make in house and the ice cold Modelo on tap.

Ricky Lips Tonight at El Toro!

Ricky Lips Tonight at El Toro!

Following that event, this Thursday at 7pm, the Portola Neighborhood Association is hosting “Drag Queen Bingo”.  This fundraiser which is also being held at El Toro, is to support the PNA’s general fund.  It’s a $6 cover, cards are $2 each and if you come in Drag there will be $2 off the cover and a free raffle ticket.  There will also be a cash bar, prizes and a fabulous opportunity to meet and reconnect with neighbors and the growing LGBT community here in the Portola.  The event runs until Midnight so stop by to say hi and play a round.

PNA Drag Queen Bingo This Thursday!

PNA Drag Queen Bingo This Thursday!

Now if you will excuse me, I need to let out my dress and practice walking with a book on my head.  Hope to see many of you there!

-Alex

Permanent link to this article: http://portolaplanet.com/2015/07/its-diva-week-in-the-drag-tola/

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