Trouble bubbling again at former Fizzary location?
November 22, 2016
The alleged Mission Street gambling den that Capp Street Crap reported on extensively last year appears to have returned.
According to a Mission Local article that cites unnamed neighbors, the same gambling operation that ran out of the former site of The Fizzary soda shop at 2949 Mission St. is back and using the Lilac Street-facing portion of the building for all-night parties. From the article:
Parked cars clog the narrow Lilac Alley that runs behind the building, their occupants entering and leaving the den to gamble, play pool, drink, and solicit prostitutes. The parties generally begin after midnight on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The activity keeps some neighbors up until dawn.
“There’s been fights in the back alley, people urinating, vomiting,” said one neighbor. “There’s no parking in the back alley. All these people park back there, honking all night long and it’s hard to sleep.”
Vacant for months with a “for lease” sign out front, 2949 Mission St. was the subject of complaints throughout fall 2015 after former Fizzary owner Taylor Peck said he unwittingly subleased to a couple who claimed to want space to run their vitamin business. There was a shooting at the former Fizzary, multiple police raids at the Mission Street property, and the situation got so tense that Peck ultimately vandalized the front of the building in hopes of forcing authorities to do something about the problems inside. Peck was evicted and the subtenants forced out in January.
Mission Local’s recent article also quoted a neighbor who believed the operation had relocated to Capp Street before returning to its old location.
Back in May, several Mission neighbors told me a gambling operation did in fact appear to be going on in a warehouse near 23rd and Capp streets. One woman told me that two months prior, she saw what looked like gambling machines being hauled into the warehouse and that a neighbor told her it was the same people associated with the problems at The Fizzary.
The woman, who didn’t want to give her name, said that noise had not been an issue, but that people often stood outside the warehouse door late at night calling on their cellphones to be let in. Two security cameras had recently been installed near the warehouse’s entrance.
I attempted to talk to a woman waiting outside the building one afternoon but she ignored me, and ultimately turned her back on me. I left my phone number with a woman who eventually opened the door to let her in, but received no response.
I’ve spoken to the woman since and she told me that whoever was using the warehouse appeared to have left.
Now in Los Angeles, Peck expressed amazement that the problems have returned.
“My thoughts go out to the neighbors… Great folks that shouldn’t need to tolerate this,” he wrote in an email. “A lesson in neighbor unity and rallying for a common cause…we tried and felt fairly isolated in our pursuits.”
[Photo by Eric D]
Mini bar: Horsies Saloon opens inside Mission market
October 28, 2016
The Mission now boasts what might just be the city’s only beer and wine bar inside a liquor store.
With red lights and a growing stable of horse-related kitsch, Horsies Saloon is now up and running inside the Royal Cuckoo Market on 19th Street near Capp. The tiny bar, roped off from the liquor store and market section of the business, has been developing a menu of creative cocktails made with digestifs, aperitifs and fortified wines.
Paul Miller, who opened the market two years ago and owns its namesake bar on Mission Street, said he wasn’t sure he’d get the OK for his unusual idea. But the state issued the market its license to serve beer and wine in the middle of October.
“I was cautious,” Miller said. “It’s such a small space.”
The bar, which will also serve food, will be having a grand opening party on Thursday, Nov. 3 from 5 to 8 p.m. Miller’s sister Lavay Smith will be performing.
When he chatted with Capp Street Crap earlier this week, Miller was already done with the food menu and nearing completion on the drinks. They’ll include a bloody Mary made with Underberg, the “Pony Express,” a double shot of espresso with Underberg and a dollop of Cuckoo’s own whipped cream, and the surprisingly tasty “Blood of Rollo,” with Cardamaro and beet juice.
Horsies will also have beer and wine on tap, wine by the glass, mimosas, and pour different vermouths and amaros, Miller said.
Customers will able to get coffee and breakfast items, panini and sandwiches, cheese boards and other prepared food at the bar. The market part of the store, at 3368 19th St., will continue to stock many of the grocery items it previously did, like eggs and snacks.
Miller said the bar’s menu and decor is a work in progress.
“We don’t have a master blueprint. It will change over months,” he said.
A chapter closed: Modern Times will shutter next month
October 11, 2016
Never quite able to regain its footing since it was forced from Valencia Street in 2011, Modern Times Bookstore Collective is set to close next month after 45 years in business.
According to an announcement on the store’s Facebook page, the progressive book store will shut its doors at 2919 24th St. on Nov. 15. having explored “every possible avenue of support to sustain the store since its displacement from Valencia Street in 2011.
“Though we have persevered out of love and duty and a willingness to continue to fulfill our mission, we are the first to admit the store is not operating at the level we would like and we can no longer serve our customer’s needs as well as those of our workers,” the statement said.
The news doesn’t come as a complete surprise. The store has had to launch multiple funding campaigns to sustain itself after its former landlord opted not to review its lease at 888 Valencia St. Last year, Capp Street Crap reported that Modern Times was for sale because owner Ruth Mahaney was retiring. Mahaney’s retirement party on Oct. 22 will also serve as the store’s closing party, according to Modern Times’ statement.
Here is what the store posted in its entirety:
We wanted to be the first to let you know…
Dear comrades, loyal customers, friends, and neighbors.
This was the letter we had hoped to never send but the day has finally come: Modern Times Bookstore Collective will be closing its doors after 45 years of serving the beloved community. As those closest to us know, we have tried every possible avenue of support to sustain the store since its displacement from Valencia Street in 2011. Though we have persevered out of love and duty and a willingness to continue to fulfill our mission, we are the first to admit the store is not operating at the level we would like and we can no longer serve our customer’s needs as well as those of our workers.
Our doors will close on November 15. Books will begin to be marked down starting October 15 and all merchandise will continue to be reduced until it’s gone. We would love nothing more than for you to stop by, bid us a fond farewell, and to take home a book or some remembrance of Modern Times with you.
Some of you will no doubt be concerned about our community-serving programs from Spanish Book Club and Queer Open Mic to our books to prisons mailings: Have no doubt, we are working on forging solutions and finding appropriate venues and stewards to carry on our work.
All October and first part of November in-store events will remain on the schedule. Ruth Mahaney’s retirement party will serve as our closing party and will remain on the calendar for October 22.
As for the future, who knows? We’ve been asked if we will carry on, and only time will tell: We are not ruling out possibilities or eleventh hour reprieves. As ever, we will keep you informed and in our hearts.
With love and thanks,
Modern Times Bookstore Collective.
[H/t El Tecolote, photo via Google Maps]
Former Fizzary spot turned nightclub vandalized this weekend (updated)
December 7, 2015
UPDATE 3 P.M.: Taylor Peck, the owner of the former Fizzary soda shop, told Capp Street Crap that he spray painted the messages on the front of the building yesterday in hopes of forcing authorities to do more about a dangerous new problem going on inside.
“I’m in a really frustrating situation and this was a last ditch effort to get some assistance/attention,” he wrote in an email.
According to Peck, after blowing fuses in the building, the people who have been subleasing from him and operating an alleged gambling den, have started using a gasoline generator inside an upstairs office of the building for power. A gasoline generator used inside would be a carbon monoxide threat.
When he first realized they were using the generator early Sunday morning, Peck said he called police, who alerted the fire department.
Firefighters yelled into the building “We aren’t going to leave until we hear the generator go off,” Peck wrote.
Though the generator was soon shut off and police shut down the party, Peck said officers told him they could not permanently shut the parties down.
“I asked the officers if they could advise [the subtenant] to ‘not start the party up ANY night’ and they said they wouldn’t/couldn’t,” he wrote.
After the generator was fired up again last night. Peck claims he called the police repeatedly starting at around 2:30 a.m. But an officer didn’t arrive until 7 a.m., after the party had ended.
Mindy Talmadge, a spokeswoman for the San Francisco Fire Department, confirmed that firefighters responded to 2949 Mission St. around 4:41 a.m. Sunday, made the party-goers turn off the generator and that police were called. She invited Peck to file a report with the department’s Bureau of Fire Prevention.
“The best thing he can do is when it’s happening, make the call,” she said.
ORIGINAL POST: Someone is none too happy with the all-night activities going on at what was formerly The Fizzary. At some point over the weekend, a vandal or vandals tagged the front of the one-time artisan soda shop with white spray paint.
The above photos shared with Capp Street Crap by Twitter user Eric D show “Illegal club,” “Hey SFPD and ABC” and “Danger” written in huge letters across the store’s awning and similar messages scrawled on the sidewalk in front. A piece of plywood, presumably the front door that peaks out from behind a cut-away section of security gate, says “illegal fire trap.”
The site of an Oct. 17 shooting, 2949 Mission St. is being used as an illicit nightclub with illegal gambling, according to authorities. You can read more of Capp Street Crap’s coverage here:
- Art gallery proposed for troubled Mission Street spot
- Complaints bubbling up at former Fizzary spot, records show
- Pops (not the good kind) at the old Fizzary
[Photos by Eric D]
‘Hacker Lairs’ visits tech hostel 20Mission
October 15, 2015
20Mission runs a retail space that accepts Bitcoin that I wrote about in August. But what’s up with its SRO-turned-hacker-hostel above it? The second installment of a video series called “Hacker Lairs” now offers a three-minute look inside.
Posted to YouTube on Oct. 3, the video begins with a woman rather enthusiastically making a purchase in the downstairs store with Bitcoin. Later, she checks out a defunct chicken coop on the roof, Bitcoin-inspired street signs in the living area’s hallways and paper snowflakes that 20Mission’s manager said are left over from their “Snowflake Party” earlier this year. “You should Google that,” he tells her. I did. Here you go.
There are 40 people living at 20Mission, including a former software engineer “getting into the cannabis industry” and the proprietor of Glowyshit.com, which, you guessed it, sells shit that glows.
Fun facts: 20Mission is reportedly haunted and has a sister site in Spain.
Interesting. Now, if only someone would please explain this:
For some reason the hacker hostel has one of those weird inflatable wavy armed characters on its roof pic.twitter.com/ucqFTYk4eR
— Capp Street Crap (@cappstreetcrap) September 27, 2015
In an ode to the Lexington Club, “Uptown Homos” debuts tonight
August 12, 2015
Missing their old haunt, two devotees of the shuttered Lexington Club are putting on the first of what they hope will be a monthly queer night at the Uptown bar. Uptown Homos, “a dyke, lesbian, unicorn, trans queer night of flirtation,” takes place tonight, from 6 to 11 p.m.
Kelly Robbie Hansen and partner Tanya Wischerath worked with Uptown to put together the event which will feature $5 Jameson and tequila drink specials. Wischerath, a former Lexington Club bartender also known as “Hot Tanya,” will be helping out behind the bar.
Hansen, a long time regular at the Lex, said Uptown Homos was conceived in response to the loss the couple and their friends have felt since the bar closed in April. The last lesbian bar in the city, it was sold to the PlumpJack Group earlier this year.
Hansen said the closure of the Lex “felt like our home was being taken away.
“We all kept asking one another ‘where are we going to end up?’ ‘Where are you all going to hang out?’ No one had a concrete answer,” Hansen wrote in a message on Facebook. “The Lex closed end of April, and still no one knows where to go. It’s been sad to want to go out on any given night and not see your chosen family, or be surrounded by your people.”
Uptown, at 17th and Capp streets, was an obvious choice, Hansen said, noting its dive bar philosophy, cheap drinks and friendly neighborhood vibe.
“Uptown Homos is really a response to try and get queers together for a night, early, not a dance party scene; something far more mellow and sweet,” she wrote. “I keep saying ‘come to Uptown Homos and be with the people you love and want to be loved by.”
Hansen said her hope is that “people feel comfortable in the space.
“We will never have the Lexington Club back, but we can still try and create spaces where we can be ourselves and connect with our community,” she said.
[Art by Tanya Wischerath]
Splinter group protests displacement with ‘Take Back the Dyke March’
June 28, 2015
Angered by evictions and changes that brought the annual San Francisco Dyke March down 17th Street this year, hundreds of queer women and their supporters broke off Saturday, surged past police and traveled the march’s original route.
Dyke March organizers cited a number of reasons for the route change including safety issues, the recently completed renovations at Dolores Park and the subsequent closure of the top part of the park as work begins there. Began in 1993, the march has previously taken 18th Street, passing the Women’s Building, before going by the Elbo Room on Valencia Street, formerly a historic lesbian bar Amelia’s.
“At the end of the day, decisions had to be made that prioritized safety,” Dyke March organizers wrote in a post on the event’s Facebook page. “In no way was it an intentional jab at the rich history of Dyke March, of the Women’s Building or the other landmarks on the former route.”
The post also addressed the splinter group directly, saying it is “disheartening that this energy was not directed at supporting Dyke March and our common focus in preserving dyke spaces; it would have been very helpful in the face of the changes and tough decision that had to be made this year.”
Organizers of the splinter march said their demonstration was not a protest against the Dyke March committee but that the route changes come “in the midst of an affordable housing crisis that is displacing our dyke community, friends, and neighbors.
“We learned of the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize gay marriage nationwide at the same time as we are witnessing the foreclosure of our places and traditions of public gathering. Our march is meant to serve as a reminder that the Dyke March and radical queer tradition have always been about the right to public existence, not private privilege.”
During the march Saturday, the splinter group busted past a line of motorcycle cops blocking 18th street, pushed aside barricades further down the street and, as planned, raucously made its way past both the Women’s Building and the Elbo Room where, as in past Pride festivities, the sign had been replaced with “Amelia’s.” Afterward, some of the revelers had one more landmark left on their list. By early evening, an impromptu street party had started in front of the recently shuttered Lexington Club.
June 17, 2015
Nowhere near the craziness following the World Series, but there was definitely a party in the Mission last night after the Warriors won the NBA championship.
BFF.fm parties, enters home stretch of its fundraising campaign
June 16, 2015
With roughly $3,000 left to raise and a little over a week to go in its Kickstarter campaign to fund a new studio, community radio station BFF.fm will letting off some steam with a free celebration party at 9 p.m. tonight at The Chapel Bar.
Broadcasting from the Secret Alley above Capp Street, the volunteer radio station has just nine days left to meet its goal of raising $15,000 to build a second studio. The added space will help the station stay on the air during down time, give it greater flexibility and allow for more continuous original programing, according to BFF.fm founder Amanda Guest.
Guest said some of the best rewards of the Kickstarter campaign are still up for grabs – like parties at the Secret Alley. And though she wouldn’t reveal just who yet, there’s been one celebrity backer.
“But said celebrity picked the remote broadcast option, so I feel like something really fun is afoot,” she wrote in an email to Capp Street Crap.
Guest described the fundraising process so far as exhausting but said she’s been heartened by how far it’s come just based on the support of listeners, friends and hyperlocal media.
“I’ve found myself overjoyed and teetering on the edge of despair more than a few times,” she wrote. “But, overall, what an awesome experience this has been so far. We’ve connected with a lot of new people and knowing how much our listeners and supporters care about the growth of what we’re doing is something that’s going to keep me motivated towards building BFF.fm into something much greater for the community.”
[Image courtesy of BFF.fm]
Told to cease and desist, restaurant calls itself Cease & Desist
June 2, 2015
San Francisco’s membership in the Buffalo Club has been denied.
Making the most of a legal threat, the Mission’s Buffalo Club is changing its name to Cease & Desist, starting today, after receiving the warning letter from a namesake bar. The newly christened Cease & Desist, at 2331 Mission St., is having an opening party tomorrow night.
The bar formerly known as Buffalo Club, which also shares its name with a drinking game, was launched in January in the old Specchio space. Contacted through Facebook, a bar representative would not confirm who the cease-and-desist letter came from.
“We will not comment on what’s going on due to legalities, but due to unforeseen circumstances we are changing our name as of June 1,” they wrote.
Meanwhile, a Facebook message sent to a restaurant called the Buffalo Club in Santa Monica last week appeared to have been viewed but no one responded.
No word on whether there’s another drinking establishment called Cease & Desist to worry about.
[Via Doctor Popular]