UC Hastings set to change its name / 16th Street project could yield 330 affordable units

11.2.21 * Circulation 2,800

Hey there, San Francisco. 

Some food news at the top. The Chronicle’s Elena Kadvany reports that the fusion hot-dog company Umai, which “serves no less than 27 dogs and sausages,” is expanding across the Bay Area, including a location at San Francisco’s Stonestown Galleria. Today, Umai’s only SF outpost is in the downtown Westfield mall. 

Also on Tuesday, Kadvany and her colleague Janelle Bitker released their top “new Bay Area restaurants” list, which included San Francisco’s Donaji, Miller & Lux, Penny Roma, Queens, The Mushroom, Copas, La Vaca Birria, Tahona Mercado, Abacá, and Itria

And with the celebration of restaurant openings comes the sad news of a closing. The Chronicle reports that the Mission-based, vegan pizza restaurant Above Ground is permanently closing this week after just one year in operation. Above Ground co-owner Alison Bagby said the restaurant was usually filled up on Fridays and Saturdays, but business was slow the rest of the week. It also never turned into the late-night hangout she initially envisioned. 

“When we planned on doing this, it was reasonable to assume we were going to be a late-night brew pub with people coming in and eating until 11 p.m., and that’s just not the scene anymore,” Bagby said.

And with that...onto some news… 

A lot near 16th and Mission Street may be gifted to the city and developed into 330 units of affordable housing, Mission Local reported on Tuesday. Back in 2013, plans for the property included building some 50 market-rate units, which drew blowback from some community members and earned the project the nickname: “Monster in the Mission.” 

As the Chronicle’s J.K. Dineen writes: “If the deal is consummated... it would represent a significant victory for Mission District activists, who have long regarded the 16th Street BART project as the front line of a larger fight against gentrification and displacement in the trendy neighborhood, which lost 8,000 Latino residents between 2008 and 2018.” 

Quick bits: 

  • 🎒 Faced with a $125 million deficit, San Francisco Unified School District officials are set to propose a “basic plan” of budget cuts to the school board on Tuesday, the Chronicle’s education reporter Jill Tucker reports. The proposal is expected to include $50 million in “school site” cuts, which means jobs for some 360 social workers, counselors, nurses, and potentially, teachers could be in jeopardy. (Chronicle / KTVU

  • 👩‍⚖️ On Tuesday, the governing board of the San Francisco-based UC Hastings College of the Law voted to start working with state lawmakers to remove “Hastings” from its name. As Chronicle reporter Nanette Asimov writes: “The ugly truth about its founder, Serranus Clinton Hastings, a wealthy 19th century rancher and former chief justice of the California Supreme Court who sponsored massacres of Native people in Mendocino County, has come increasingly to light in recent years.”

    It’s unclear what the law school's new official name might be. (Chronicle

  • 🚈 Around ⅓ of BART cars running today are its new “Fleet of the Future” models. The rest, the SFist said on Monday, are its “old and musty cars.” The good news: BART’s Fleet of the Future transition should be complete by Spring 2023. (SFist

What else I’m reading: 

Recology VP’s widow sues — claims company drove him to suicide in corruption probe (Mission Local

Ahead of Tesla move, Elon Musk tells Austin not to be a San Francisco 'copycat' (SFGATE

SF Symphony’s Día de los Muertos concert has special significance this year (Examiner

Bay Area rage rooms are helping residents relieve stress (SFGATE

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Zillow house of the day: 

Today I learned that Frank Herbert originally wrote Dune the novel from this 2-bedroom, 1-bath home on Potrero Hill. The Mississippi Street house was recently on sale for $1.6 million, but now, it’s listed as “pending.” 

Still, given all the (well-deserved) buzz around Dune lately, I thought I’d include it here

And finally… 

Tuesday’s news of a trendy spot like Above Ground shutting its doors is just another example of the fragility of restaurants today. 

To do the little bit that we can with this newsletter, I had a thought. Have you ever watched “Check, Please!” on PBS/KQED? The general idea is that locals go on the show and promote their favorite neighborhood restaurant. Wouldn’t it be cool if we did something similar here? 

So, if you have a restaurant or bar or corner store in your neighborhood that you really love and think others would too, tell us about it here! And from time to time, I’ll make sure to include some of these recommendations in the newsletter. 

To start us off, loyal SF Minute reader Daniel says to go check out the Japanese-inspired craft cocktail bar on Polk Street named bar Iris. He said it opened just a few weeks ago, but the “friendly, professional staff made me feel like they’ve been around for years.”  Bar Iris offers unique cocktails, beer, sake, and small bites showcasing Japanese ingredients. His favorite drink is the Okinawa

That’s all for today! But before you go… It’s late notice, but if you’re looking for ways to spend Día de los Muertos, consider heading to the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts at 2868 Mission Street where from 6pm-10pm tonight there will be poetry readings, dances, docu-films, and more.

Also, a reminder that our friends at Dasluz flower studio in Cole Valley have a community altar in their shop and you can stop by for traditional Mexican food, music, and face painting tonight until 8:30 pm. 

Alright, have a great night y’all and we’ll see you back here tomorrow!

- Nick B. 

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