You’ll heart this

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Check out the recently unveiled “Poet Tree,” on Valencia Street near Clarion Alley. Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

[Photos by Jeff]

Gentrification Lake’s newest residents? Frogs.

Hottest hangout in the hood is the sweet new frog sanctuary at 22nd and Mission.

A video posted by Jessica Benner (@jessicabenner) on

The now empty lot  at 22nd and Mission, the site of a massive 2015 fire, has been looking a little wild these days, but this is kind of ridiculous. Ribbit … Ribbit.

[H/t @EamesEra]

But Valentine’s Day isn’t for two weeks!

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Love, Capp Street style.

Starboard gone, now home to Asian popup

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Open less than a year, Mission hofbrau Starboard is apparently no more. The restaurant’s old space on 16th Street is now home to a popup serving Asian fusion cuisine.

It is unclear what happened with Starboard. Emails sent through the restaurant’s website and to its sister business Slate, next door, were not returned.

Adrian Pham, one of the partners with the popup, Cross Hatch Eatery, said they officially opened Jan. 12, and began cleaning the space, at 2919 16th St.,  about six days prior. Pham said he didn’t know what the story with Starboard was but agreed to pass along my phone number.

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Cross Hatch is currently on a month-to-month lease and serving food three days a week, he said. Though this is its first popup, the business debuted in 2015, initially as a farmer’s market food stand, before moving on to catering. Here’s what else Pham had to say about the business and its food:

Our name simply represents the melting pot that we are – Crossing two or more culture’s comfort foods and having something unique hatch.

The company began on the foundation of wanting to join the two ideals we believe drive us, passion & purpose. We plan on using CrossHatch to create a home where passion meets purpose. Ultimately we’d like to become a platform where small businesses, local artists, foodies & entrepreneurs are able to come together and share what keeps us passionate whilst giving back to the community in form of time, money & an attempt to enrich our culture.

Cross Hatch is currently open from 5 to 10 p.m. on Thursday and from 5 p.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday.

[Bottom photo via Cross Hatch’s Facebook page]

Going with the flow

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Mixed messages at 16th and Mission streets.

True grits: Cajun restaurant about to debut in the Mission

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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

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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.

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[Images courtesy of San Francisco Recreation & Park]

Wind fells tree on Guerrero, heavy winds to resume

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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

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

El Valenciano for sale, new restaurant opening on Valencia

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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.

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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.