The People's Guide is Curbed SF's tour o' the nabes, lead by our most loyal readers, favorite bloggers, and other luminaries of our choosing. Have a piece to say? We'll be happy to hand over the megaphone. This time around, we welcome local starchitect Olle Lundberg, whose work includes the 425 Jessie St. Apartments and many restaurants, most notably The Slanted Door and most recently Charles Phan's The Coachman.
Tell us something we don't know about your neighborhood: The Dogpatch has the best weather in San Francisco! The fog starts to break over Pier 54.
Local customs of note: Within the last ten years, and especially over the last five, the food scene in the Dogpatch has evolved dramatically. There never used to be any place to grab a quality meal, and now there are a bunch of really good restaurants and very popular brunch options.
Some of my favorites include:
-Just for You: classic diner food and good weekend brunch.
-Piccino: California/Italian modern cuisine.
-Serpentine: more California and less Italian, and their bread pudding is awesome.
-Hard Knox: the best Dogpatch health food—fried chicken and waffles.
Hidden gems in your neighborhood: Most of these are just off of 22nd and are bit hidden:
-Sutton Cellars: Carl Sutton makes amazing vermouth and other weird and wonderful things like wine infused with unexpected ingredients (he's a bit of a mad chemist in that way). Most of what he sells is carried at Serpentine and used in their cocktails.
-Olivier's Butcher Shop: a great French butchery (it's important to note that it's French, as the style of butchering meat there is different). He sources whole animals and breaks them down from there as well as finding ways to use the scraps. I even buy my dog food there.
-Serpentine: they're well known for their food, but they also have an innovative and tasty cocktail program.
Are your neighbors "Rotten Neighbor" worthy? If so, dish. If not… well, why not? My next door neighbors are the Hell's Angels and they are awesome—they take the best care of their property and the street outside of anyone in the neighborhood. My car caught on fire one day and they were the first ones to run out and put it out with a fire extinguisher.
They are really polite and helpful, plus I notice we have very little street crime in the area (probably a coincidence).
Inflate the bubble or burst it: What's not-so-swell about your "perfect" neighborhood? The Dogpatch is an area of considerable growth—developers have targeted it as a great location for large scale housing (the planning department pushes it too, with the light rail being a good reason). But it is changing the character, much of it for the better, and some residents don't like it which makes for a kind of reactionary 'against anything new' mentality.
The communal aesthetic vision is very conservative, and as a result much of the new architecture gets compromised, although this is probably as much the planning department's fault as anyone's. Pier 70 will be the big test—can we do a great large scale project and maintain the character of the Dogpatch? Can we keep the mix of artists, makers, families and local characters?
The final word on the your neighborhood: We are the last truly mixed neighborhood from a use perspective—single-family housing, condos, light manufacturing, the Muni Yards, artists, and now we have really great bars and restaurants! Mission Bay and the light rail really ended up connecting Dogpatch to the rest of the city, and I think the gentrification has proved to be a good thing—we now have amenities that we never had (mostly restaurants, but new businesses as well), and it has really added to the street life of the neighborhood—22nd street has become the heart of Dogpatch, and the changes over the last 10 years have made it a great place to live.