Jay Barmann

Jay Barmann oversees editing for both Hoodline & SFist and is among San Francisco's most prolific news writers.

Mar 29, 2021
San Francisco Mission

El Rio reopens its patio for the first time since March 2020

Beloved Mission District bar El Rio is finally reopening its patio, 12 and a half months after it was forced to close along with the rest of the bars across the city in March 2020. Thursday, April 1 is the big day — and the patio will reopen for table service at 4 p.m. Read More

Mar 24, 2021
San Francisco Castro

Former Harvey Milk camera store in Castro may become National Park site as HRC vacates space

The storefront at 575 Castro Street, which for over a decade has been home to a Human Rights Campaign (HRC) merchandise store but which was once the home of the camera store out of which Harvey Milk did much of his early political work, may be destined to become a national historic site. HRC announced that they are vacating the space in April, and the landlord has hinted at something "much larger" on the way. Read More

Mar 22, 2021

News from the Bay 'hoods: Worker-led restaurant Understory set to open in Old Oakland

As more businesses get to reopen around the Bay, we have news of some new ones opening for the first time, as well as a vaccination promotion from Krispy Kreme, and a Cal/OSHA fine for Alta Bates Summit Medical Center. Read More

Mar 22, 2021
San Francisco North Beach

Tapas spot Red Window opens Friday in North Beach

Boasting 100 seats outside on two sidewalks, a much anticipated new tapas bar is finally debuting in North Beach following several months of introducing itself to the 'hood via a takeout window. Read More

Mar 15, 2021
San Francisco Embarcadero Financial District

Cowgirl Creamery shuts down its Ferry Building store; Slanted Door will reopen after renovation

Sad news arrived late last week that Cowgirl Creamery is closing its Ferry Building store after 18 years of cheesemongering in the beloved food hall. Both the store and its next-door Sidekick Cafe will close on April 10, ending an era for cheese lovers across the region. Read More

Mar 12, 2021
San Francisco Noe Valley

Noe Valley Malaysian restaurant Mahila closes after less than two years

Sad closure news came this week out of Noe Valley, where local chef and food entrepreneur Azalina Eusope's first brick-and-mortar Malaysian restaurant, Mahila (1320 Castro Street), has permanently closed after just 21 months. Read More

Mar 11, 2021
San Francisco SoMa

Don Ramon's avoids closure for now, files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

The iconic, nearly 40-year-old SoMa Mexican restaurant Don Ramon's (225 11th Street) has skirted a permanent closure for now as it attempts to escape its current financial woes via Chapter 11 bankruptcy restructuring.  Read More

Mar 09, 2021
San Francisco

News from the Bay 'hoods: Maven closes, Sweetgreen comes to Old Oakland, and so does Square Pie Guys

Nine-year-old cocktail-focused spot Maven is closing its doors later this month in the Lower Haight, one of the swans at the Palace of Fine Arts has died, and Old Oakland has a new pizza spot and a salad spot on the way. Read More

Mar 05, 2021
San Francisco North Beach

Tosca Cafe reopens parklet, indoor dining to come

102-year-old Tosca Cafe (242 Columbus Ave.) is coming alive yet again in North Beach, after a too-brief rebirth last year, and following its much bemoaned 2019 closure. Read More

Mar 04, 2021
San Francisco Noe Valley

Delayed pub project Mr. Digby's plans April debut in Noe Valley

Mr. Digby's, a casual restaurant and cocktail spot from a couple with established SF restaurant cred in the former Noe's Cantina space (1199 Church St.), is now aiming for an April opening after being delayed nearly a year by the pandemic. Read More

Mar 03, 2021
San Francisco Chinatown

100-Year-Old Far East Cafe in SF's Chinatown is saved

One of the last vestiges of a long-gone era in San Francisco's Chinatown, the worn-in Far East Cafe (631 Grant Ave.), is remaining open after all, following an announcement in December that it might have to close. Read More

Feb 24, 2021
San Francisco

The Cliff House's mini-museum of SF artifacts is up for auction and history buffs hope some of it stays together

A local group of history buffs and conservators is hoping that the collection — at least some of it — can remain together and available for public view, even after the Cliff House potentially becomes a different restaurant. Read More

Feb 23, 2021
San Francisco Bernal Heights Mission

Virgil's Sea Room closes permanently while next door El Rio reopens for to-go drinks

Two bars, two different fates. Over in Bernal Heights/La Lengua, next-door bars El Rio and Virgil's Sea Room, which almost share a backyard were it not for a fence, have arrived at diverging moments in this COVID year. Read More

Feb 18, 2021
San Francisco

San Francisco could end up having 3,000 semi-permanent dining parklets once pandemic ends

Thanks to a streamlined approval process from the city and a proposed law making its way through the state legislature, San Francisco could be looking at an outdoor dining explosion in the coming years — going from a town with very few al fresco dining options to one with several thousand relatively new ones. Read More

Feb 17, 2021
San Francisco Japantown Marina Mission North Beach

News from the Bay 'hoods: Muddy's closes in the Mission, Senor Sisig opens Oakland location

A priest has died of COVID-19 at Saints Peter and Paul Church in North Beach, 27-year-old Muddy's Coffee House has closed at 24th and Valencia, and an East San Jose gym that had remained open in defiance of health orders has temporarily closed. Read More

Feb 16, 2021
San Francisco Inner Richmond Outer Richmond

Richmond District sees huge uptick in burglaries during first weeks of 2021

There's been a massive jump in burglaries in the Richmond District, year over year, according to new data from the SFPD's Richmond Station. And while burglaries are reportedly up in multiple neighborhoods, we're only hearing a definitive report on the first five weeks of 2021 from the Richmond. Read More

Feb 12, 2021
San Francisco Union Square

Uniqlo is closing its Union Square store for good

Japanese fast-fashion retailer Uniqlo announced Friday — via a filing with the state employment department — that it is closing its nine-year-old Union Square location at 111 Powell Street for good and laying off all 69 employees. Read More

Feb 11, 2021
San Francisco West Portal

West Portal loses CineArts at Empire to the pandemic

West Portal's beloved arthouse cinema, CineArts at Empire (85 West Portal Ave.), is closing for good due to the pandemic, though the city says it is working to find a new operator for the theater. Read More

Feb 03, 2021

[Update] Caribbean-themed Sand Bar from Drexl/Miranda team opens on Broadway in Oakland

Sand Bar, a new Caribbean-themed "beach club" and cocktail lounge, is readying for an opening on Oakland's Auto Row, in a former auto dealership space at 2418 Broadway. Hoodline has the exclusive news of this new project from the team behind Uptown cocktail spots Drexl and The Miranda, and the sports bar Fort Green in Old Oakland. Read More

Feb 08, 2021
San Francisco Marina Pacific Heights

News from the Bay 'hoods: A Pacific Heights carjacking/kidnapping, and two standoffs in San Jose

Two kids were found safe in the Bayview after a carjacking/kidnapping in Pacific Heights on Saturday, Oakland swears in a new police chief, and San Jose police de-escalate two standoffs in one morning. Read More

Feb 05, 2021
San Francisco Bernal Heights Mission

Blue Plate, Emmy's Spaghetti Shack, El Buen Comer, Royal Cuckoo all open for outdoor delights in Bernal/La Lengua

Like all neighborhood restaurants and bars around the city, the businesses of Bernal Heights/La Lengua need your support — and there's no better time to go check out the scene again than this sunny weekend in SF. Read More

Feb 02, 2021
San Francisco Presidio

Both of Traci Des Jardins' Presidio restaurants, Arguello and The Commissary, have closed after six years

Sadly, Arguello and The Commissary are no more at the Presidio, and we learn this nine months after the restaurants laid off their staffs to prepare for months of pandemic closure. And despite the greater-than-average amount of outdoor space around these restaurants that would make outdoor dining more than feasible, something in the six-year-old business arrangement that opened the restaurants appears to have collapsed. Read More

Feb 02, 2021

Low Bar readies for grand opening in former Hawker Fare space near downtown Oakland

Low Bar (2300 Webster Street, Oakland), a new bar and restaurant from a pair of industry vets that was announced early last year and subsequently delayed by the pandemic, is getting ready for an imminent grand opening. Read More

Jan 25, 2021
San Francisco Castro

Castro Theatre's massive new hybrid organ may get installed in time for cinemas to reopen

The new hybrid digital/pipe organ that has been in the works for the grand Castro Theatre for about six years is finally about to become a reality, and depending on how long it takes to ship from Pennsylvania and how long it takes for movie theaters to safely reopen in San Francisco, it may arrive just time for the Castro's next public screenings. Read More

Jan 25, 2021
San Francisco Ingleside Mission Terrace Sunnyside

City College site ramps up mass vaccinations with hundreds per day, hoping to reach 3,000 per day

While San Francisco and other cities around the country are facing shortages of vaccine supply compared with demand, the process of getting vaccines into arms quickly and efficiently continues to be honed in the city with the opening of the first of three mass-vaccination sites, at the main campus of City College. Read More