Springtime in North Beach: the sun emerges from the clouds, and we emerge in turn from the refuge of our apartments to greet it. Skirts, shorts and sandals reappear, and the sidewalk cafés reclaim their crowds. The parks fill with revelers aching to test the practical limits of the city’s open container laws, and our itinerant homeless breathe a collective sigh (or wheeze) of relief. Most agree, it’s a nice time of year.

Spring in North Beach

San Francisco’s Beloved North Beach, Looking Her Best For Spring’s Arrival

As self-appointed chronicler of happenings in our neck of the 7×7, we at North Beach Fix couldn’t be happier to see all the sunshine, and we’ve got plenty to report. The last few weeks have been pretty lively, so let’s get to it.

First off, we’ve gotten confirmation that there will be a new project going into the newly vacant Rose Pistola space. The Ligurian restaurant, a neighborhood fixture for 21 years, closed suddenly in February. We spoke to Bonnie Fisher, the building’s co-owner, and she confirmed that there is something on the way–though admittedly, plans are still nebulous. The working title: Cantina di Liguria.

The Former Rose Pistola At The Height Of Its Popularity

The Former Rose Pistola At The Height Of Its Popularity

One of the principals of San Francisco’s Roma Design Group and a prominent landscape architect, Fisher explained that her goal with the project is to create something that builds on the legacy of the neighborhood, while contributing something unique and new. “We’d like to do something that continues those traditions, while reflecting the evolution of the dining experience over the last 21 years,” she told me. Right now, they are evaluating the property while they work on the new concept, so make sure to check back.

Another local spot that will soon see new life is the former Capp’s Corner, the beloved Italian-American hangout that closed in April of 2015 after over a half-century. We’ve gotten word that Keith Wilson, owner of The Board Room on Powell, has signed a lease and will take over the space later this year. I spoke to Wilson on Wednesday, and he told me he’s looking forward to doing things he can’t in his current spot, “There’s a great sunny sidewalk, and we’d like to get some outside tables and do brunch,” he said. But he was quick to add: “it’s critical that we keep it the same.”

The Board Room - Joe Content

The Board Room’s Current Location At 1609 Powell Street

The building’s owners have scheduled retrofitting for the space, and Wilson plans to move in following completion of the work this Fall. We’ll have more info for you soon.

In other news, arguably the biggest thing happening in North Beach right now….isn’t even happening in North Beach. Okay, I should clarify: I’m talking about the Salesforce Tower, now in its final stages of construction. The proudly phallic edifice is in the process of transforming the San Francisco skyline, and though the skyscraper certainly has its share of critics, I’ve actually come to like the design. I’m excited about the city’s architectural facelift, too; there has been so much change in San Francisco, it seems fitting that our skyline should reflect it.

Upon completion, the Salesforce Tower will be the tallest building in San Francisco, and by no small margin. In fact, it will be the biggest building west of the Mississippi–at least until the Wilshire Grand Tower in Los Angeles is completed later this year (at 1,099 feet, it will edge us out by a mere 29 feet). Viewed from North Beach, the Salesforce Tower’s contemporary design strikes a note of contrast with the Transamerica Building, itself an icon of architectural modernity when completed in 1972. And as you can see in the photo below, at least from a neighborhood perspective, the Pyramid is still top dog.

20170410_131545 (1)

The Salesforce Tower Joins The Transamerica Pyramid On Our Skyline

On a far more serious note, North Beach’s Green Street was rocked by a tragic shooting in the early hours of Saturday, March 11th. The victim, identified as 21-year-old Fairfield resident Oswaldo Fuentes, was shot point blank in the face in the 500 block of Green Street near Grant Avenue shortly after 1:30 a.m., according to police. Shot in the center of Green Street just east of Jasper Alley, Fuentes was pronounced dead at the scene.

A suspected member of the Sureño gang, Fuentes was arrested in September of 2015 on suspicion of possession of crack cocaine for sale as well as possession of firearms, according to Suisun City police.

The killing is unsolved, and no suspects have been named thus far. The investigation is ongoing, and SFPD asks that anyone with information about the incident contact the 24-hour tip line at (415) 575-4445, or text any tips to TIP411 (begin the text with SFPD).

To help North Beach Fix keep a handle on what’s happening in the neighborhood at all times, feel free to forward your North Beach nuggets to info@joecontent.net, and make sure to check back soon for more. See you in the ‘hood…