Going with the flow


Mixed messages at 16th and Mission streets.

True grits: Cajun restaurant about to debut in the Mission


Alba Ray’s, a new Cajun restaurant that’s moved into the former Hapa Ramen space near 19th and Mission streets, is scheduled to open Monday.

Workers on suspended scaffolding were busy repairing and painting the exterior of the 2993 Mission St. space over the holiday weekend, while a crew focused on the finishing touches inside.

Taking a break from work to chat outside the restaurant yesterday, owner Alvin Garcia explained how Alba Ray’s got its name and gushed about New Orleans and its food.

Ray is Garcia’s son’s middle name, while chef Adam Rosenblum’s daughter is named Alba.

“I just have this passion and love for new Orleans,” Garcia added.

Alba Ray’s will have about 100 seats with a bar. The plan is to bake all the bread and butcher the meat in house.

A sign taped to the restaurant’s window soliciting employment applications gives other specifics:

Alba Ray’s is a delicious tribute to NOLA’s culinary culture and famous spirit of hospitality. Conceived by the all-star team that brought Causwells and Popsons Burgers to life, the Cajun restaurant and bar will serve specialties like crispy boudin balls, shrimp and grits, and creole jambalaya created by Chef Adam Rosenblum, who worked for James Beard award-winning New Orleans Chef Donald Link.

Garcia summed up the restaurant in a few more words yesterday: “Good food, good drinks, good times,” he said.

Rain delay: New Mission park won’t open until spring

Finding a “park” in parking may not be hard, but transforming one into the other has proven a bit more difficult than expected.

Winter rains have delayed the opening date for the Mission’s newest park, once a paid parking lot at 17th and Folsom streets, said Joey Kahn, a spokesperson for the San Francisco Recreation & Park Department. Initially slated to open this winter, the park is now scheduled to be completed in early spring.

“We’re looking forward to celebrating the opening of the new park with the community,” Kahn wrote in an email. “This parkland will help revitalize and provide open space to the Mission community.”

Billed as the first neighborhood park to acquired and built by the agency in more than a decade, the 31,850-square-foot park will feature a lawn and drought-tolerant plants, a playground, adult fitness equipment and outdoor performance and classroom spaces, among other elements.

The agency broke ground on the project in March.

[Images courtesy of San Francisco Recreation & Park]

Wind fells tree on Guerrero, heavy winds to resume



High winds brought down trees all over the city Sunday including this one at 20th and Guerrero streets. According to the National Weather Service, there could be more to come. A storm is supposed to move in tonight and a high wind advisory will be in effect from Tuesday afternoon to evening.

[Photos by Johnny]

Flats-out weird


To be fair, many of the white keys are missing as well.

El Valenciano for sale, new restaurant opening on Valencia


One old restaurant is on the block, while a new one is preparing to open on Valencia Street.

Spanish restaurant and dance club El Valenciano is listed for sale in a Craigslist ad that describes a “fantastic opportunity to purchase a well-established part bar, part Spanish restaurant & part dance club with weekly salsa nights & regular DJs. in hot Inner Mission location.” The owners are asking $525,000 for the approximately 4,500-square-foot business, which has been around since at least the mid-1990s. El Valenciano is at 1153 Valencia St., between 22nd and 23rd.

Roughly eight blocks north, a new restaurant called Brown Sugar Factory is slated to open at 525 Valencia St., according to a Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control notice posted in its window. The spot was previously home to the short-lived Valencia & Kebab.


It’s unclear what kind of food  Brown Sugar Factory will be serving.

Attempts to track down the officer and shareholder listed on restaurant’s pending beer and wine license were not successful.

Reached by phone, Bawer Tekin, who ran sister restaurant Hayes & Kebab, which has been closed since September, said his brother oversaw the Valencia Street location and so he did not himself have details of new owner. Tekin agreed to pass along my phone number if possible, but said his brother had been experiencing health problems and would likely not feel up to talking.

Man, 38, killed in Valencia Street shooting (updated)

UPDATE 11 a.m.: Capp Street Crap reader Josh tells me he was on his way to eat at Burma Love when police stopped him outside the police tape. He said he counted 10 police cars and six officers near the door of the restaurant.

The Valencia Street shooting was one of two homicides on Thursday. According to police, a 39-year-old man was killed and a 41-year-old woman injured in a shooting on the 200 block of Golden Gate Avenue at around 5:15 p.m.

ORIGINAL POST: A 38-year-old man is dead following a shooting on Valencia Street Thursday evening, police said.

The unidentified victim was found with a gunshot wound on the 200 block of Valencia Street just before 6:30 p.m., according to San Francisco Police spokesman Robert Rueca. He was taken to an area hospital but was dead on arrival.

Police are looking for a 35-year-old suspect in the killing but as of this morning had made no arrests, Rueca said.

The 200 block of Valencia, between Duboce Avenue and Clinton Park, remained taped off for more than a hour Thursday night. The block is home to Burma Love and Fred’s Liquor, among other businesses.

Closure alert: Vintage furniture store The Touch is calling it quits

A move to escape soaring commercial rents on Valencia Street was apparently not enough to save neighborhood furniture store The Touch.

The antique furniture store, which relocated to 2221 Mission St., near 18th, in 2013, is having a close-out sale today. An ad for the 75-percent-off sale says The Touch’s owner, David Chen, is closing the store due to a large rent increase. Chen “has decided to move on to another endeavor.” Yelp already lists the store as closed.

The Touch was previously at 956 Valencia St. for 11 years, but moved after their building’s new owner raised the rent from $6,100 to $16,000 a month, according to an October 2013 Mission Local article.

[Photo by Erich]

The Mission’s new urban escape


Take it all in, the greenery, the lake. Who says you have to go all the way to Golden Gate Park to get lost in nature?

[Photo by Renata]

Corona Extra and extra and extra and extra


Litter of beer bottles at 18th and Lexington streets.

[Photo by Jeff]