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New in the Neighborhood: Bi-Rite

By Andrew Dudley - Published on March 13, 2013.
Oh hey, did you hear? Bi-Rite is opening on Divisadero today.

After nearly three years of anticipation, the market and scoop shop at 550 Divisadero will finally open its doors today at 9am. There's been plenty of coverage of the market already this week -- check out Grub Street's write-up and slideshow for details. As we noted in a preview last month, the shop is a bit wider than its 18th Street counterpart, and will include a couple of new menu items. Contest winners the Giuseppe sandwich (an italian hoagie) and the Salty Ginger sundae, both submitted by Bi-Rite fans, will be unique to the Divisadero location. Earlier this week, Bi-Rite held a couple of sneak peek nights, inviting neighborhood residents to help test out the store and submit feedback. In return, patrons received canvas shopping bags and 10% off their purchases. Owner Sam Mogannam told us that they received hundreds of feedback cards, which they'll be reviewing this week. Overall, Mogannam said the test nights were a success, expressing particular pride in the shop's 65 employees. "I was blown away with how great all our staff was," he told us. "They stepped right up." But not everything went 100% smoothly. "The big hiccup was that we learned we need to be more communicative with how the line is gonna work," Mogannam said. With a wider space, the checkout flow isn't as natural as at Bi-Rite's 18th Street location, so some customers were cutting in front of others. "We've been spending the afternoon putting up more signage to ease the frustration," he said yesterday. And what about that line outside the store, photos of which popped up on some local blogs earlier this week? "Those pictures were deceiving," Mogannam said, noting that those were people lined up to be the first customers into the store, ever. Still, the creamery could necessitate an outdoor line when ice cream demand is high. And with today's weather forecast in the mid-70s, the creamery's first full day is sure to be a busy one. "We're freaking out already," Mogannam said, half-jokingly. And so we finally have an answer to the age-old question, "when will the Divisadero Bi-Rite finally open?" The answer is 9am today. Stop by and see what all the fuss is about.
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