Posts Tagged ‘valencia’

The many resurrections of Valencia Street’s restaurants

June 21st, 2021
Freekeh (Pork Store Cafe) on 16th Street


As documented on this very blog many businesses in San Francisco were boarded up during the beginning of the pandemic, with many if not most gradually returning. But what’s more surprising are the places that officially went out of business only to reopen — some of which closed long before the pandemic. Here are the restaurants along the Valencia Street corridor that went through this unlikely chain of events.


Pica Pica

The original and last location of the Pica Pica chain known for its Venezuelan food closed its doors for good in August 2020, only to quietly return in March with new investors.

The closure of Pica Pica felt like a blow simply because Venezuelan restaurants are hard to come by in the Bay Area. However it turned out to be a sign of things to come when they reopened their doors.


Valencia Pizza & Pasta

Despite closing forever at the start of 2020, Valencia Pizza & Pasta returned with a fresh coat of paint and a renovated interior.

Of all the restaurants on this small list, this one has to be the most surprising as it was a fairly unassuming restaurant that certainly never made anyone’s top ten lists. Though there is something to be said for reasonably priced wine and carbs.


Pork Store Cafe’s Mediterranean offshoot

Those with longer memories might remember the 2009-era “Morak Lounge,” the hookah bar on 16th Street just off Valencia which was the nighttime moniker of Pork Store Cafe. To sell the vibe customers would enter Pork Store through a Moroccan-themed side entrance, which later became Stanza Coffee.

Despite being an American style diner, Pork Store never completely abandoned Mediterranean cuisine (though they did drop the hookahs.) However as seen in the image at the top of the post, Pork Store’s side hustle as a full on Mediterranean restaurant is back, now under the name “Freekeh.” It remains to be seen if Stanza Coffee fully reopens.


Luna (Park)

The team behind Wayfare Tavern have been quietly working to reboot Luna Park as just “Luna,” and while it’s not open just yet they’ve renovated the interior of the place and put “now hiring” signs in the window.

This effort is seemingly unrelated to several previous efforts to reopen Luna Park, including one from the owner of Mission Beach Cafe which crashed and burned long before Mission Beach itself went under, and by governor Gavin Newsom’s Plumpjack Group. Indeed, the efforts to bring back Luna Park are more storied at this point than the original restaurant. Fingers crossed, this time is the charm.


Update: Luna has now opened.

Bombay Bazaar goes bust

March 10th, 2013


Yes folks, Bombay Bazaar is officially out of business.

You may recall Bombay Bazaar was once on Valencia, selling Indian ice cream along with various Indian groceries. Their old building at 550 Valencia had some issues, to put it mildly, and was largely rebuilt before transforming into Chevy’s West of Pecos.

Bombay Bazaar relocated to a much less pedestrian friendly spot near Rainbow, but alas, it was not to be. From now on, anyone in need of hard to find Indian foods and ingredients will have to make a trek outside the Mission. Scary, I know.

Shirtless Dog Man watches over Valencia

February 25th, 2013

Shirtless dog man Close up of shirtless dog man

Next time you’re getting a $60 haircut and going out for gringo Indian food, rest easy knowing that you’re safe under the watchful gaze of Shirtless Dog Man.

Before we go any further I’d like to dispel a common misconception. Contrary to popular belief, Shirtless Dog Man is not, in fact, a dog. He is a man with the head of a dog, and the shirtlessness of a man.

Wait, what’s that, you say? You are more afraid with Shirtless Dog Man watching your back? Try to think of it as a neighborhood watch program. And there’s no need to be racist here — just because Shirtless Dog Man is a chimera-American doesn’t mean he’s a criminal. The truth is, Shirtless Dog Man is keeping you safe.

You look like cardboard

December 4th, 2012

You look like cardboard

Took one look in this large mirror and man, I look awful today. I look like cardboard.

(Spotted at Valencia and 16th.)

Public Posts on Valencia

July 2nd, 2010

This morning, “public post” signs were installed on those the Midget Phone Company poles on Valencia. Turns out they’re not midget phone poles at all, they’re actually intended to be used for stapling up posters for your DJ gig at Amnesia. Who knew?

Public Post

Update: These posts were designed by Michael Arcega for the San Francisco Art Commission.

Art wall at Valencia and 17th

June 17th, 2010

Ever since a certain building at Valencia and 17th was boarded up recently, it’s been home to movie ads, concert fliers, and various forms of independent street art.

Here’s a few pics from today.