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What's New in Cole Valley



ANTIQUE STORE CLOSES, ANTIQUE STORE OPENS

Angie Petitt-Taylor (new owner) reports that "Four Corners Antiques closed in December and Cole Valley Antiques has just opened in the same retail space. The space itself has had a bit of a face lift with a clean and warm new look. Cole Valley Antiques is a small shop that packs a punch specializing in antique and vintage furniture, jewelry, decor, glass, crystal, pottery, cuff links, hats, books, lighting, the unique and the unusual. Please stop by and say hello if you get a chance...we think you will be pleasantly surprised!" (2/08)

RESHUFFLING OF COLE STREET BUSINESSES

Lots of changes on Cole Street: Ramona's Market is closing, and Maryo Mogannan (the owner of the Postal Chase) has acquired the lease. He has plans for an upscale grocery and deli in the space, which is slated to open in September. He's also moving the Postal Chase across the street to the space currently occupied by Prosperity Cleaners. A beauty supply store (Madkat Beauty Supplies and Makeup, expanding from its store in Noe Valley) has leased the current Postal Chase location. (7/04)

LOT BETWEEN STANYAN AND WOODLAND TO BE DEVELOPED

For many years, there have been two privately owned, undeveloped, irregularly shaped lots between Woodland and Stanyan Streets. Part of this acreage was formerly a commercial nursery owned by renowned horticulturalist Victor Reiter from the 1930s to the 1960s, as chronicled in my book, Trees of San Francisco . Carla Reiter, Victor's widow, still owns this lot, and there are no current plans to develop it. However, the owner of the second lot is currently in the process of developing the vacant frontage on Stanyan Street by putting two buildings on the west side of Stanyan Street, between Alma and Rivoli. Word from those who have spoken with the developer is that he plans to develop the Woodland Avenue side of the property as well, although those details are not known at the present time. (6/04)

MIDDLE EASTERN RESTAURANT COMING TO PARNASSUS/STANYAN IN SEPTEMBER

The space formerly occupied by Cybelle's Pizza and Gelato Classico on Parnassus will become Taboun , a Mediterranean/Middle Eastern restaurant soon - expected to open in September. Maurice Kari, the owner of the corner store next door plans to combine the spaces currently occupied by the ice cream store and the former Cybelle's space, and create a full-service restaurant in the space. The restaurant would be open 7 days a week, and would seat 25. (6/04)

FIRST ANNUAL COLE VALLEY STREET PARTY

The first annual "Heart of Cole" festival, on Cole Street between Carl and Grattan, happened on Sunday October 19, 2003, from 11AM to 6PM. There will be booths by local artists, musicians, merchants and others. What I think was cool about the fair: all of the booths were by Cole Valley residents. To lob in a comment, email colevalleyfestival@yahoo.com.

Folk Night at Reverie - Thursday nights

Reverie is doing a "folk night" every Thursday between 5:30 and 8. Click here for details.

Shrader Street Trees Butchered

What happened to the 1400 block of Shrader Street (between Rivoli and 17th)? Formerly a beautiful, tree-lined block, most of the trees have now been pruned so aggressively as to turn into eyesores. And you may have also noticed that the gigantic Monterey Cypress at the corner of Shrader and Alma was recently removed. Our reputation as a well-treed neighborhood is under attack...

CVIA Sends Letter to Walgreens

Click here to read the Cole Valley Improvement Association's letter to Walgreens about the store coming to Cole Valley.

7X7 Magazine to profile Cole Valley

7X7 Magazine (SF-focused lifestyle magazine) will be doing a profile on Cole Valley in its February issue. (I know, because they interviewed me!) (1/7/03)

24 Hour Walgreens Coming to Parnassus/Stanyan

Mt. Sutro Foods (at the corner of Stanyan and Parnassus) has closed, and the owners plan to lease the space to a 24 hour Walgreens. The permit was apparently granted this past summer, and construction on the remodel starts in February. Please send me an email if you have any news about this. (1/7/03)

Sunset Magazine Highlights Cole Valley!

The August 2002 copy of Sunset Magazine has a nice article about Cole Valley in it at p. 34. Click here to see the article. I don't think they'll complain about copying their article here, since they got much of the info for their article from this website! (7/31/02)

The Parrots are Back

The wild parrots are back in Cole Valley! In the past several years, they have been regular visitors to Cole Valley in July and August, migrating from their home near Telegraph Hill with a regularity that rivals that of the swallows to Capistrano. Look (or listen) for them in the mornings - especially on Woodland and Willard from 7AM to 8AM most mornings. The plum and hawthorne trees that seem to be the birds' favorites are at their peak during July and August, which explains their summer vacations here. The birds travel in flocks of 10-20 parrots, and are an amazing sight. If you hear a loud squawking in the neighborhood these days, look up - you may see a flash of green. (7/28/02)

Cole Valley loses Flight 93 Hero Mark Bingham

Mark Bingham died on September 11 on hijacked United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed in rural Pennsylvania after passengers overpowered the hijackers, preventing another suicide attack on Washington, DC. Mark was a Cole Valley resident. While no one knows for sure, indications are that Mark was one of the passengers who took on the hijackers and prevented a potential attack on the White House or the Capitol Building. We should all be proud, and thankful. Stories on this remarkable man here and here . As of 9/17/01, you can sign a card in the Video Nook on Cole Street for Mark's family. (9/17/01)

Boulange de Cole to open in Tassajara space in September

It looks like the old Tassajara space will finally come to life again. Pascal Rigo, the owner of Chez Nous, La Boulange de Polk and Gallete, among others, has acquired rights to open a bakery (similar to Boulange de Polk on Polk Street) in the space at 1000 Cole. The bakery and cafe is expected to open in September, and will have sandwiches, pastries, breads and coffee, with 30 seats inside and 10 outside. (7/9/01)

Chronicle reviews Eos

Neighborhood landmark Eos gets a rave review from the Chronicle. (6/29/01)

Vietnamese Restaurant at Tassajara space blocked

We had previously reported (see below) that a Vietnamese Restaurant was coming to the old Tassahara space -- under the same family ownership as Grandeho's Kamekyo. Unfortunately, the City Planning Department has refused to grant a permit for the restaurant -- taking the position that a full service restaurant is not permitted at that location. So we'll all get to gaze at an empty space at this key neighborhood location for countless additional months. Perhaps it's time to complain to our supervisor about this! (2/20/01)

June Tree Planting in Cole Valley

Friends of the Urban Forest has scheduled a stree tree planting for the Haight Ashbury (including a portion of Cole Valley) for June 2001. If you live north of Grattan, and between Clayton and Willard, you're eligible. For a mere $35, you get your sidewalk cut and removed, you get the tree, and help from your neighbors in planting it. 40+ trees will go into the ground, with about half of them being planted around the periphery of the Kezar Parking Lot off Stanyan and Willard. 4/01)

Tassajara space finally leased -- Vietnamese Restaurant on the way

The Cole Valley Improvement Association newsletter reports that the family that owns Grandeho's has just signed a lease on the Tassajara space at the corner of Parnassus and Cole, and plans to turn it into a Vietnamese restaurant. (2/20/01)

FREE Cole Valley Tree Pruning Program Announced

A group of trained arborists living in Cole Valley have announced a program to provide free tree pruning to any resident of Cole Valley. Click here for details. ( 1/18/01)

Wild Parrots Return to Cole Valley

Continuing a trend from recent summers, a flock of wild parrots that roosts in the northeast section of the City has been visiting Cole Valley on a daily basis during the summer. The parrots have been seen in various locations in the neighborhood, including the area around Cole and Carl, but seem to be spending the most time in the Parnassus Heights area on Woodland, Willard, Belmont and Edgewood Streets. The birds seem to be particularly fond of the block surrounded by Woodland, Willard and Parnassus, where they land in the tall pine trees, before scoping out the smaller plum, apple and hawthorne trees that they seem to prefer for food. Often referred to as the “Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill,” the flock began in 1989 (probably pets that escaped into the wild) and are mostly cherry-headed conures, small parrots native to South America. They roost (i.e, spend the night) in Walton Square park (bounded by Jackson, Front, Davis and Pacific Streets), although more recently the parrots have expanded into the Fort Mason and Presidio areas. The parrots are extremely noisy, and you can usually hear their loud squawking before you see them. Flocks of up to 20 birds have been seen in the neighborhood. Once you see them, though, it’s an incredible sight – they’re bright green, and most of them have bright red heads. Listen for them early in the morning, as they seem to arrive every morning between 7 and 8AM – they’re rarely around in the neighborhood after mid-afternoon. Neighborhood residents and experts who have followed the flock in recent years indicate that the flock has been making Cole Valley a summer home for the last couple of years. Rarely seen in Cole Valley before June, the parrots are a daily occurrence in the summer, and are rarely seen after September. This pattern probably has something to do with food availability (the abundance of plum trees in the neighborhood probably has something to do with it). Check out www.wildparrots.com for a web site dedicated to the parrots, and to report sightings by email. (7/00)

Cole Valley Resident a Candidate in District 5

With Sue Bierman retiring from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, the field is wide open for candidates in District 5, which includes Cole Valley as well as portions of the Inner Sunset, the USF area and the Western Addition. Agar Jaicks, a former Chairman of the San Francisco Democratic Committee and a resident of Woodland Avenue, is an announced candidate and has been running hard for the District 5 seat. Other announced candidates include Juanita Owens, Joseph Konopka and Matt Gonzalez. (7/00)

San Francisco Examiner Article cites Cole Valley's Trees

Click here for an early July San Francisco Examiner article about San Francisco's trees, citing Belvedere Street's success in building a beautiful urban forest. (6/00)

Ashbury Market to Change Hands

Ashbury Market, a Cole Valley landmark for years, is changing hands. The Wong family, who also own and operate the wildly successful Eos restaurant, have sold the market to new owners, who will take over in March. (2/99)

Controversy over New House near Tank Hill

The proposed demolition of a house and construction of a much larger building adjacent to Tank Hill is generating controversy among neighbors. The owners of 2 Belgrave Street (this is the house at the very end of Belgrave, on the downhill side) want to demolish the existing 1200 square foot residence and build a new 4600 square foot structure. According to neighbors concerned about the change, the new structure will extend 35 feet deeper into the rear yard than the existing building, and will stand 50 fee tall at the rear. These residents are concerned that the building will visually dominate the top of Tank Hill, blocking views to the West. A "discretionary review" hearing will take place before the San Francisco Planning Commission sometime in March (not yet scheduled). For information, call Peggy (lives across the street from the proposed construction) at 681-9747 or Greg Gaar (known citywide as a native plant enthusiast) at 752-5983. The Planning Commission can be reached by writing President Anita Theoharis, Planning Commission, 1660 Mission Street, Fifth Floor, San Francisco 94103. (2/99)

Grattan Playground Dispute

The Grattan Playground at the corner of Rivoli and Shrader is the center of a battle between neighborhood residents who have different ideas about use of the park. Many neighborhood residents now use this grassy square in Cole Valley to run their dogs off-lead, although this is technically not allowed there by the City. Other residents complain that there are so many dogs in the park that other uses are being displaced -- and some residents, particularly those on Shrader and Rivoli directly facing the park, would like the ban on off-lead dogs to be strictly enforced. Meetings have been held on several Saturday mornings in recent months to attempt to reach a compromise among the different groups who would like to use the park. Virtually everyone agrees that the park is in terrible shape, and would like the City to resod the park, including installation of a drainage system. (2/99)

34 Trees Planted on October 3

Cole Valley neighbors and Friends of the Urban Forest volunteers wedged 34 new trees into the neighborhood on Saturday, October 3. The trees were scattered throughout the neighborhood, but check out Shrader near Carmel, Parnassus between Shrader and Stanyan, and Frederick west of Stanyan for some clusters of new trees. The planting ended with a potluck lunch at Terence and Lisa Hallinan's home on Grattan. Unfortunately, seven trees that were to go in at Mt. Sutro Foods at Stanyan and Parnassus were vetoed at the last minute by the absentee landlord for the store, who thought that there was "too much traffic" at that corner for trees (the store owners were enthusiastic, but it's the property owner that has to approve).

Cole Valley Tree Planting Scheduled for October 3

A tree planting in Cole Valley through Friends of the Urban Forest has now been scheduled for Saturday, October 3. An initial meeting was held at Pat Montandon's house on June 13 to get organized, and a group of neighborhood residents have been working hard on the project ever since. The trees cost $25, and anyone in the neighborhood who's interested in having a tree planted or otherwise helping out should email Mike Sullivan (me)or give me a call at 759-5118. We need 35 trees to actually do the planting, and we're in the low 20's as of July, so please get the word out, talk to your neighbors, etc. There will never be a cheaper and easier way to get a healthy, 15 gallon tree in front of your Cole Valley house! (6/98)

Pat Montandon's Statue Takes Shape

If you've driven up the 1500 block of Shrader recently, you may have noticed a wooden sculpture going up at 1591 Shrader, the home of philanthropist Pat Montandon. A sculpture of an angel is being carved out of the trunk of a recently felled *huge* Monterrey Cypress at the edge of Pat's driveway. The tree had to come down after its neighbor on the other side of the driveway fell over in 1997's windstorm, and Pat decided to have the carving done. I understand from Pat that she is in the process of writing a book about angels, which explains the reference. (6/98)