Mission Composition

This week's rendition of the Mission condition

Lava Mae

San Francisco is served by two shower busses that travel the city to provide showers and excellent service to its homeless population. The idea behind the nonprofit company, Lava Mae, came about in response to a homeless woman’s worries about her own cleanliness, overheard by founder Doniece Sandoval.

The original bus was funded by a crowd funding campaign and rolled out in July 2014. The company recently crowd funded enough money to buy a second bus and expand their reach in the city.

Lava Mae provides a basic service for people living on the street. Volunteer worker Matt Stone compares it to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. “Shelter is right at the bottom,” he says, “but things like cleanliness are right there too.”

But beyond that, the staff and volunteers at Lava Mae provide hospitality that people living on the streets don’t usually experience.

“We call those we serve our guests,” Lava Mae’s website says. “Our welcoming, high touch customer service ensures our guests leave feeling better than when they arrived. We believe that compassion means honoring another’s humanity.”

“We help people a lot,” says Mobile Services Manager Michael McMorrow, “and we just try to be nice to people while we’re doing it.”

The busses travel San Francisco districts with high homeless populations under a set weekly schedule. Those in the area – or those that can get to the area – can sign up with homeless services buildings in the neighborhood that partner with Lava Mae. According to a 2015 report from Applied Survey Research, San Francisco has 6,686 homeless people on its streets.

But Lava Mae doesn’t just want to help the San Francisco homeless community. It’s website offers a how-to guide for creating a similar company, and it says that an affiliate program will launch next year to help other cities develop similar services.

It also offers a contact for other nonprofits to partner together to provide a further range of services.

“I really believe in what they do,” said Lava Mae bus driver Bruce Orzalli. “It’s needed all across the United States.”

Lava Mae’s shower busses are in six different locations five days a week. The locations are chosen based on the population size of the homeless in the area, and currently include Civic Center and the Castro, Tenderloin, and Mission neighborhoods.

“I think it’s making a difference,” Stone says. “People who need like a job interview or want to clean up [can]. It helps them to get out of their situation.”


Best Bookshops in the Mission

  1. Borderlands Books

    Looks-wise, Borderlands Books could be a small section of a chain bookstore. Its wide aisles are lined with straightforward wooden shelves, and books are split into “new” and “used” sections. But Borderlands holds a particular draw for a certain sort of book lover: it exclusively sells science fiction, fantasy, and horror novels. Its staff is all seasoned fans and ready to provide suggestions or personal reviews. Borderlands’ other strength is the attached café, with a wide selection of tea, coffee, and snacks. Borderlands is unique in the corporate mindset of America in that it caters to individual readers in a very personal manner.


  2. Adobe Books

    Adobe Books is the cluttered, eclectic shop in which every book lover feels at home. Bridging the space between bookshop and living room, Adobe connects to the community with regular events from local artists. The store is a collective and is owned and operated by locals with a passion for books, lending the store a personal and homey feel. It has a wide selection of hard to find used books, plus a lot of classics that any bookstore should carry.


  3. Dog-Eared Books

    Dog-Eared Books is a well-stocked haven for off-beat book lovers. The mural outside the shop mirrors its cluttered shelves inside, promising more books than most people hope to read. In a city famed for independent arts and publishing, this Valencia Street shop provides one of the main outposts for, “Beat, off-beat, small press, and local literature,” according to its website. The store certainly focuses on local publishing, with both books and magazines relating to San Francisco and the Bay Area. The pricing is fairly cheap, and there are free and discounted books on display outside.



  4. Modern Times Bookstore

    Modern Times is especially unique in two ways. First, it’s a political entity: it originated during times of social protest in the 1970s, and maintains a comprehensive collection of books on economics, feminism, LGBT+ issues, politics, and social and cultural movements. Second, its collectively owned and operated. Modern Times also stocks a hefty Spanish language section, perfect for the Mission District’s locals. It hosts local events as well, maintaining its tradition of politically-minded community connections. Along with little-known political beats, Modern Times also stocks a large selection of literary gifts.


  5. Alley Cat Books

    From the same people as Dog-Eared Books, Alley Cat Books has more of a focus on events and displays and has a section for local artists’ work, readings, meetings, workshops and open mics. Like Dog-Eared Books, this shop has a cozy feel, but a slightly more open floor plan than its predecessor. The staff is welcoming, and despite the growing company behind the stores, the corporate attitude hasn’t been incorporated. The store’s décor is trendy and modern, with staff-picked title selections on certain shelves.

Urban Campesinxs

Nestled behind a yellow and white Victorian on Harrison Street lays the Secret Garden. By San Francisco standards, this little piece of earth is a large section of the city block, covering the space of several houses. Planting boxes with rows of raised soil nurse the garden’s crops.

Carlos Peterson, one of the founding members of Urban Campesinxs, the organization that tends the Secret Garden, says a winter crop will go in this weekend.

Peterson joined Mission District community organization PODER at age 19, and started involving himself regularly. It offered him the chance to go on a trip to New Mexico, and he took it. While he was there, he met other members of the indigenous community.

“We saw that a lot of them had farming going on and we were really inspired by that because they had their farms so well organized and so productive that they were providing a local elementary school with food. That touched a lot of our hearts.”

When they got back to San Francisco, Peterson and two friends who had been on the trip spoke with some members of the community about their idea for an indigenous youth-run urban farming organization. They found a lot of support.

“I think that’s one of the most valuable things we can do to reclaim our culture, is to grow our own food,” Peterson said. “We come from people who grew their own food for centuries, beyond centuries, and now food’s controlled by colonial systems.”

Urban Campesinxs (pronounced “campesinos”) aims to help indigenous and immigrant families gain access to fresh, healthy produce. It is run by youth leaders in the community who plan, plant, and harvest their own food.

The name is a non-gendered version of the Spanish “campesinos” or “campesinas,” which means “country person.”

“It’s used a lot in Mexico as a derogatory term to talk about indigenous people,” Peterson said. “We reclaimed it because a lot of our families are campesinos, are from the country.”

Urban Campesinxs is under the umbrella of local organization People Organizing to Demand Environmental and Economic Justice, or PODER. PODER focuses on the Mission, Excelsior, and nearby neighborhoods to bring “people-powered” resources to immigrants and other communities of color. Other organizations involved with PODER include PUEBLOTE, which works to reclaim spaces for low-income community benefits, and Caminos de Liderazgo, which provides leadership experience for community members.

Recently, Urban Campesinxs received permission from the Public Activities Commission to use up to five acres of Crocker Amazon Park for a larger-scale operation. Peterson says they’ll start with one acre to practice caring for a larger piece of land.

“[This] is amazing because in San Francisco everybody’s trying to grab land right now, and there’s so much gentrification happening, but we were still able to get a huge amount of land.”

The Bike Theft Battle

Sergeant Steven Pomatto leaned forward, eyes glinting, hands clasped on the table.

“What I would do,” he said, “is I would see a hobo riding a $4000 Cannondale. That just doesn’t correlate. So I would go up to him and say, ‘I know you don’t have the means to buy this bicycle, so I think it’s stolen.’ And they would say, ‘No, it’s not, it’s mine. I found it.’ What I would do is seize it from them, pending an investigation. I’d give them a receipt, [and say,] ‘Okay, give me 10 to 14 days to find the owner of this bicycle, and then if I don’t then come to me and I’ll give it right back to you. No questions asked, and I’ll even apologize.’ So, I did a lot of that. I would just drive around the Mission and see people who don’t look like they have the means to buy a $4000 bicycle. I mean, I wouldn’t take a $1000 bicycle from somebody, but you can really tell the difference.”

Pomatto is a serious man, and passionate about his work in the San Francisco Police Department. He talks in detail about his job, but rarely about himself. Until last year, he worked in San Francisco’s Mission District to lower bike theft rates.

He dedicated 3 and a half years of his career to the cause after he reclaimed a stolen bike from a homeless man while on patrol. The man was shoeless, while the bike he was walking with had pedals to clip into special shoes. The officers tracked down the owner of the bike, which was worth about $10,000, through the bike’s serial number.

After that incident, Pomatto received every bicycle theft report that came into Mission Station.

He didn’t even cycle.

Mission Bike Theft

The Mission District has one of the highest bike theft rates in San Francisco. A report by the City of San Francisco estimated that 785 bicycles were stolen from District 9, which contains the Mission, in 2012 alone. This makes it the second highest district for bike theft after District 6, containing SoMa and downtown. An estimated 4,035 bikes were stolen throughout the city that year.

Guadalupe Macias, who works at Don Rafa’s Cyclery in the Mission, says that she sees one or two people a week looking for replacements for parts that were stolen.

At Valencia Cyclery, Brian Bonilla says they see people every day who have had their bikes or parts stolen. “Theft is pretty huge,” he said. “I’m actually from LA, and when I was living there I could lock my bike up basically anywhere and not worry about getting the seat stolen.”

Proposition 47 passed in November 2014, raising the crime requirements for a felony and punishing “non-serious, non-violent crimes” as misdemeanors. Crimes like auto burglary and fraud were only lightly punished if the infraction was worth $950 or less. Bike theft, in many cases, also became a misdemeanor.

The Los Angeles Police Department’s Central Division reported a 59% increase in bike theft in downtown Los Angeles in May this year.

In 2014, after Pomatto and others began pursuing the crime, bike theft decreased by about 10 percent in San Francisco. But Pomatto says that now the city is suffering a similar surge in theft after Proposition 47’s passing.

“Before, if you’re possessing that stolen [bike] […] that’s a felony. You’re going to jail,” said Sergeant Matthew Friedman, who with Pomatto worked to prevent bike theft in the Mission District. “Now it’s a little different. Property crime has kind of been devalued as a result of [Proposition 47]. It makes things a little bit harder for us because we’re trying to curb this, and our hammer was [jail time].

“But we’re working around that, and we’re still trying to do our best and pay attention to property crime as a whole and how we can prevent it.”

“Theft skyrocketed after Prop. 47, in all different areas.”

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 1.41.42 PM

Bike thefts caught by the police in the Mission District, September 7, 2015 to December 7, 2015.  Source.  Interactive map.

Fighting Theft

Before Pomatto took up the cause, the Mission District didn’t see a lot of bike theft regulation. The District is home to seven cycling stores, and has a large population of cyclers even by San Francisco standards.

“The [stolen] bikes were just all over the place,” Pomatto said of his first experiences in tracing stolen bikes. “Craigslist, Ebay, Oakland Flea Market, Sebastapol Flea Market. I mean, basically the Bay Area flea markets.” Many bikes were also sent to the Mission’s various chop shops, like one under the 13th Street and Duboce Street underpass.

When Pomatto began focusing on the Mission’s bike thefts, he needed to create a better system for its police officers to manage these cases. He put up a bulletin board in the station with the pictures and reports of the most likely-to-be-caught bike thefts. Officers can look at it as they go out on patrol, and know which bikes to look for.

Pomatto chose the highest priority reports by several factors.

“Number one is hot prowls,” he said. “So if you were at home and somebody broke into your garage or your house, that is high priority because it’s more of a victim crime than property crime.” Property crime is the theft of property without a victim present.

After that, the police department focuses on bikes worth more than $1000. The sheer volume of bike thefts in the Mission means that the police department doesn’t have enough resources to prioritize every bike theft. Bikes who’s owners can provide pictures and a serial number get more traction, as the officers have something concrete to look for. Rare or unique bikes are easier to spot in a chop shop or flea market.

Officers also began using “bait bikes,” bikes planted on the street with flimsy locks and GPS trackers inside. When a thief would take one of these bikes, officers could track it to storage or a chop shop. The bait bikes Friedman used were worth more than $1000 so he could charge thieves with grand theft.

“Bait bikes are nothing new to police departments around the country,” Friedman said, “but we always kept it kind of secret-squirrely. So I didn’t want to do that anymore. I felt like, ‘Let’s let everybody know.’ So everybody knows exactly what we’re doing, maybe we can change some behaviors. [If] people think there are bait bikes everywhere, then they might hesitate to try and steal a bike.”

The department began distributing yellow and black, “Is this a bait bike?” stickers for people to put on their bikes.

“We wanted people to start thinking any bike they touch could have a tracker in it, and the police could show up,” Friedman said.

Often, owners find their bikes for sale on websites like Craigslist. The owner can respond to the advertisement as a potential buyer, and set up a meeting. An officer will accompany the owner to meet the seller and safely retrieve the bike once it is identified.

“It’s always exciting and it’s always nice to see the expression on not only the suspect’s face, but the victim’s face when they get their bike back,” Friedman said. “What they thought was a lost cause turned into a really great day for them. I’m happy to be able to do that and so are a number of officers in the department.”

Connecting to the Public

Pomatto and Friedman did more in the Mission than recover bikes and make arrests. The team also educated the public on preventing bike theft.

They ran workshops to help educate San Francisco’s cyclists on bike theft prevention.

“Steve Pomatto would come in to talk about how we investigate these types of crimes, what we do to safeguard against it,” Friedman said. “San Francisco SAFE [would] talk about garage door burglary and burglary prevention issues. […] Bike mechanics [would] talk about locking strategies and some of the best strategies to deploy when you’re out there on the street, and then we [would] open it up and have a round table discussion.”

The workshops were very popular, with one event drawing 150 attendees.

San Francisco SAFE is an organization in San Francisco that, “engages, educates, and empowers San Franciscans to build safer neighborhoods,” according to its website. It partnered with the San Francisco Police Department to improve bike safety.

“We organize numerous neighborhood watch groups in the Mission and give safety presentations,” said San Francisco SAFE Program Director Irina Chatsova. “We also have numerous people who register their bikes with SAFE Bikes, and we preform security assessments in the Mission.”

Friedman also started a Twitter account (@SFPDBikeTheft) to make the department more accessible to people worried about or experiencing bike theft. He answers questions, tweets useful information, and retweets information about stolen bikes. Now that he has been promoted and given other duties, Friedman doesn’t work directly with bike theft.

“This is kind of a hobby of mine now that I’m taking responsibility for,” he said of the Twitter account, “so I feel like I need to monitor this as much as I can when I can, so I’ll do it at home, I’ll do it on my days off, I’ll try and answer questions.”

Sergeant Pomatto’s suggestions for preventing and dealing with bike theft:

  • When you buy a bike, take a picture of the receipt and serial number.
  • Get homeowners or renters insurance in case it is stolen out of your home. This will help reimburse you.
  • Put some kind of identifying marker on it that no one else will no about (e.g. a piece of green tape under the grip tape). This will help you prove the bike is yours.
  • Have a picture of your bike.
  • Immediately file a report at the station (rather than online) when you realize your bike has been stolen. The first 5-7 hours are the best chance of recovering a bike, and a report submitted online won’t be seen for several days.
  • Visit area flea markets to look for your bike.
  • Look through websites like Craigslist and Ebay for someone selling your bike. If you think you have found it, contact police for assistance reclaiming it.

A Broader Scope

Another person who battles bike theft on social media is Jenny Oh Hatfield, a writer and producer for KQED. She got involved with bike recovery and theft prevention in 2012 when she had a bike stolen from her yard overnight.

Hatfield started looking for her own bike over social media, sharing photos and a description and asking her connections to keep an eye out for it on the street. About a week later, someone she knew saw it at a flea market.

“She just went up to [the seller] and said, ‘Hey, I recognize that bike. It’s stolen. So I’m just taking it back,’” Hatfield said. “And he surrendered it and disappeared, so they didn’t have a chance to call the police or anything, but I was reunited with my mountain bike.”

“Afterwards I realized that there weren’t a lot of resources online to help [recover stolen bikes],” Hatfield said. “I thought, ‘I should just put something together to help other people based on my own experience.’” She created a Google Group called Stolen Bicycles: Bay Area, and started getting involved in different groups online.

“As I started to put together resources, I saw that there were different organizations or individuals kind of doing their own thing, that no one was really working together,” Hatfield said. She reached out to organizations like Bike East Bay, SAFE Bikes, and the San Francisco Police Department, where she connected with Friedman.

Hatfield helped compile online resources for bike recovery, and plays a big role in the online cycling community in the Bay Area. When Pomatto recovered a stolen bike, it was Hatfield he’d send the information to to try and find the owner.

Creating the Change

Pomatto and Friedman returned about a hundred bikes to their owners over the year and a half they worked together on bike theft in the Mission.

Both officers have been transferred away from Mission Station, but they put in place a better system for handling bike theft, which still runs today.

“We have a bike registry program, we have materials that we pass out at each station on bike theft, we have a preferred locking strategy that we teach, we taught classes, I taught prevention workshops, I get a chance to speak at other conferences now as well,” Friedman said of the team’s impact.

Pomatto now works in internal affairs at San Francisco Police Headquarters in Mission Bay. It’s a large, modern building with matching furniture and shiny wide windows, very different from the worn halls of Mission Station. But something from the Mission stuck with Pomatto.

“He’s an avid cyclist now,” Friedman says. “I think [the experience] just exposed him to how fun biking can be, and I think as a result of that he really got into it.”

Mission District Mural Map

Precita Eyes Muralists: An Interview with Susan Cervantes

Precita Eyes Muralists is a 38-year-old organization dedicated to beautifying the Mission District and other locations and educating the community on art and murals. It provides classes and workshops for people of all ages and abilities, and helps people get involved in shaping their own community.

Susan Cervantes started Precita Eyes in 1977. She had moved to Precita Park with her husband and young son, and was looking for something family-oriented. She originally got involved with a group that was renovating the playground at a dilapidated neighborhood park, and shortly after began teaching art classes for children and adults at the Precita Valley Community Center.

She got involved with a group of Latina artists that had started working on murals.

“I really liked how they collaborated with each other and shared their ideas,” Cervantes said.

The group started a community mural at Precita Valley Community Center, and from its popularity Cervantes turned her painting class into a mural workshop. The first set of students in this new workshop became the Precita Eyes Muralists.

“It was a very organic process because it was around family,” Cervantes said.

Their first piece was an 8-by-16 foot portable mural depicting masks from around the world called “Masks of God, Soul of Man.” The mural drew attention, and they were asked as a group to do more murals for local schools, businesses, and organizations.

“It just grew out of that,” said Cervantes.

While the landscape of the Mission District has changed dramatically in the 38 years the Precita Eyes Muralists have been active, Cervantes said she doesn’t think the themes in their art have changed.

“I think people enjoy the access to the art, and artists enjoy the access to the public,” she said.

One of Cervantes’ favorite pieces from her four decades of coloring the Mission’s streets is a four-story mural depicting women’s contributions to the world. She worked with a diverse group of women to depict modern and ancient healers, goddesses, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, and over 500 names of other influential women.

All of the murals Precita Eyes have painted are by request. Cervantes believes there were only 3 or 4 murals in the Mission District when the group started. She estimates there are now over 500.

Edwards Crossing, Deep River Valley, and Faux Foe Fox at Brick and Mortar

San Francisco has a long history as an incubator for brilliant musicians. Jefferson Airplane, Santana, and the Grateful Dead all drew inspiration from the city’s streets. The golden age of music in San Francisco may have waned, but talented new artists are still here. On September 17th, Brick and Mortar Music Hall hosted local bands Faux Foe Fox, Deep River Valley, Paisano, and Edwards Crossing in a cross-genre concert.

Brick and Mortar is a typical small-time bar and venue. It features an unassuming façade, a lot of cement, and a few tables around the back for the low-energy or overly-drunk guests. The drinks are cheap and come in plastic cups after the bartenders either run out of glasses or decide that the crowd is probably inebriated enough to switch for safety. Its bathroom stalls are coated in stickers, art, and wisdom in permanent marker. The stage is elevated and stable, which is about all one can ask of a stage.

Faux Foe Fox took the opening act. This band is exactly what you want if you’re thrown back to your college days (or, if you’re still in college, this is exactly what you want to listen to when you’re holding a red plastic cup). Its music is garage-math-rock, with a little bit of a dance-y beat. To break it down: they’re loud, rough, and catchy – and their guitarists have some incredible skill. (The “math” genre, for the uninitiated, boasts fast-paced, complicated, and often irregular rhythms).

Take six brilliant musicians and give them telepathy, and you’ve got Deep River Valley. Each stroke in their set was perfectly coordinated, and each artist was in perfect sync with the rest. This group has a little indie, a little folk, some smoldering female vocals, and a lot of expressive guitar work – all backed by a definitive beat. This is a band to hear live.

Paisano is a lot of old school noise and catchy melodies. Not quite dancing music but not tunes for standing still either, Paisano brings something akin to smooth psychedelic rock to the mix. There was a lot of head jiggling, wiggling, and banging in the crowd throughout the set.

Edwards Crossing produces indie folk music with relaxed beats, pleasant harmonies, and clean, simple melodies. Light and sweet, Edwards Crossing is the easy listening type of music you want after a long, hard day. They were a feel-good way to wrap up the night.

Dolores Park Divide

Dolores Park is not only one of the most popular gathering places in the Mission District, but also in the City itself. It provides visitors tennis courts, basketball courts, and a playground, but the park’s main attraction is its expanse of lush, picnic-perfect grass. Here, groups of people from all over San Francisco gather on weekends and days off.

The park’s large, manicured green is dominated by trendy 20-somethings smoking illicit substances and laughing with friends. Unlike most of San Francisco – which features a mix of classes, races, and careers – Dolores Park is unspokenly reserved for this specific demographic, and it populates the lawn. Many of these visitors are revivalist hippies, but the majority are college-aged young adults wearing typical San Francisco fashion. Panhandlers are rare, and generally don’t wander among the recreational parkgoers, but here and there people sell clothing or trinkets that appeal to the newest generation of Reggae lovers.

“[Dolores park is] just a really good place to meet up with people,” says Raquel Pangan, a local college student. “It’s really well taken care of and it has a good vibe.”

Along the edges of the green sometimes sits an older set of people, keeping mostly to themselves and away from the park’s “target demographic” that dominates the space.  A police car occasionally trails along the outside of the park, and some of these people leave shortly after.

Whereas most of the park’s daytime population is from wealthier parts of the City, these edge-strayers act as though they could be local; they stay for shorter periods of time and sometimes seem to be waiting for something, rather than simply enjoying a day off.

“It’s a strange feeling,” says Sean Johnson of the divide between people. “The center of the park is sort of a different space.”

Despite being part of the Mission District’s territory, and whether by design or circumstance, Dolores Park somehow excludes many people who live in the Mission itself.

The Elbo Room to Lose Lease

The Elbo Room, one of the Mission District’s most popular live music venues, is set to lose its lease at the end of this year. This step comes after several scares over the last few years as its landlords have put forward plans to develop the venue’s location into a set of condos. Now that the plans are moving toward being approved by the city, the Rings don’t plan to renew The Elbo Room’s occupancy of the building.

“We’re negotiating terms to get a little more time for 2016 as well,” said owner Matt Shapiro. In the meantime, the venue is looking for a new building. Shapiro says he wants to stay in the Mission District, but he first needs to find a space that is large enough to accommodate a bar and stage. With rents in the area skyrocketing, this is no easy feat.

The Elbo Room opened in 1991 as a bar and entertainment venue. The speakeasy-style bar serves as a gathering spot for musicians and music-lovers, as well as a cozy space to come for a cocktail and a chat.

“It’s never too big of a crowd, which is the only downfall to it,” says patron and local musician Megan Maurer, “but it’s cool just to kinda hang out and not be saturated with people that you don’t know.”

Sean Thompson, a local musician whose band First Ladies of the United States played their first show at The Elbo Room, said the venue is “a common watering hole that everyone knows and loves and goes to.” Thompson said of the gig, “It was good sound, good people, generally a cool experience.”

The building’s landlords, Dennis Ring and Susan Rokisky-Ring, have invested a lot of time in The Elbo Room but are set in their plans to develop the property. “My husband started The Elbo Room. It’s his baby,” said Rokisky-Ring.

When asked what she thought the future would hold for The Elbo Room, Rokisky-Ring said, “It’s whatever the young people want. That’s the future. We’re not the future anymore.”

The Rings plan to live in one of the condos as they grow older, said Rokisky-Ring at a community meeting, noting that their current building has too many stairs for aging legs. The Rings are long-time residents of the Mission District and don’t want to move to another area.

Shapiro and Erik Cantu bought Elbo Room from the Rings in 2010. Shapiro had been working at The Elbo Room since 2003, and as its booker since 2004. Cantu was bar manager. The team has preserved the location as a local gathering spot to meet, drink, and listen to music.

“I think we supply a good variety of music with all kinds of genres,” Shapiro says. “There’s supposed to be something for everyone.”

As San Francisco – and the Mission District in particular – get more expensive, smaller entities are being forced out.  Live music venues 222 Hyde and Red Devil Lounge have closed recently, and Cafe Du Nord was converted into a restaurant.

“I’ve noticed that very slowly the really attainable venues to play in are kind of closing down,” said Maurer. The Mission District boomed as a music and art hotspot in the 1980s, but the technology movement is bringing a new kind of trendy business to the area in the form of coffee shops and restaurants.

As for the future of the building, development plans have been delayed, in part, because of the location’s history as Amelia’s, one of San Francisco’s original lesbian bars. The city has rejected several other attempts to develop culturally historic buildings.

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