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The People's Guide: North Beach Blogged, Day 2

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The People's Guide is Curbed SF's tour o' the nabes, led by our most loyal readers, favorite bloggers, and other luminaries of our choosing. This week, we welcome Jackson West on board as a guest contributor; Jackson has been blogging in and about San Francisco for nearly five years, most recently gossiping about the technology industry at Valleywag. Join Jackson every day this week as he says his piece about the NB. Want to say yours, blogger? Holler!

For a neighborhood with so much foot traffic, North Beach sure hosts a lot of shuttered storefronts along the Columbus corridor south of Washington Square Park. As a resident, it would be nice to see more services for the locals. Walking by yesterday, it looks like a restaurant named Alimento will be replacing the old Golden Spike — but the corner unit at Columbus and Green, which I imagine would be quite valuable, seems neglected. Marco's of Venice, an inexpensive hair salon, looks to be getting renovated, though into what is a mystery. And finally, the old Rossi's supermarket at Columbus and Vallejo, which has been empty for at least the two years I've lived here, is finally getting a tenant: Lushart, it appears. I have to imagine that the slow pace is due to two factors:

One, the neighborhood's strong merchant and neighborhood associations. And two, the law preventing "formula businesses" (read: national chains) from setting up shop. While I wish that Rossi's Supermarket were still around as a shopper, and the loss of the Golden Spike felt like a blow to the neighborhood's history, I have to say that the tradeoff of knowing that there will be no Starbucks moving in is worth it. I can just see it taking that corner unit on Green and sucking the life out of the other four cafes within fifty yards in either direction.


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