January 02, 2007

>So some of you know I truck around the city on my bike unless it’s raining or I’m in heels (that’s when the red Italian with four wheels comes into play). So I was more than thrilled to discoverDivisadero will soon have its own bike shop-meets-café this year, ~MOJO BICYCLE CAFÉ~. The Tang-colored building on Divis was everything from a TV repair shop to a beauty parlor over the years, but is being completely gutted to make room for this totally cool concept from Remy Nelson and John McDonnell. Mojo will start serving coffee early in the morning, and plans on having some tasty pastries to offer as well. In the back you’ll find a bike shop, and at last, a cool place to repair your bike that isn’t in the Mission. So if you pop a flat or just get thirsty for a drank while pedaling “The Wiggle,” you’ll soon have a nearby spot to chill. They will also have a well-crafted beer and wine list, plus some daily specials, from sandwiches to stews. The shop is slated to open by February, and the café portion will be soon thereafter. 639-A Divisadero St. between Hayes and Grove, 415-440-2338.

~PAUL EINBUND~, formerly the sommelier at bacar, was originally going to embark on a project of his own, but since that fell through, you’ll find him at COI, where he is now a partner. He started mid-December, and is busy boosting the wine list to “awesome” status, and getting the service really tight. (Einbund is also a big fan of Madeira—look for a growing collection there.) They are also aiming to pump the lounge business, which I personally think is one of the best deals in the city.

Just to put a rumor to rest that keeps popping into my inbox: Dennis Leary is not leaving or closing ~CANTEEN~ anytime soon. The only change is Canteen has closed for breakfast during the week, and Leary is taking a couple days off this first week of January. But as the man himself said, “That's about the only time my restaurant will be dark for the next three years” (which is how long the option is on his lease).

A couple more things to put to bed: for the record, I tend not to write about things until the deal is done. So that wine and panino shop some of you thought ~A16~ was going to open on Chestnut? The deal didn’t work out, so for now we’ll need to sit tight until they find a new location on that project. As for Calvin Schneiter selling ~ANDALU~, well, unfortunately that deal didn’t pan out either. He said he has mixed emotions about it—it’s been five years since he opened Andalu, so while he was excited to take a break from the restaurant, now that his baby is remaining to be his, he’s geared up to make some tweaks and fine-tunings.

Some of you Lower Haight denizens have probably been wondering what’s up with ~THE GRIND~. After ten years of business, the owner decided a remodel was in order. Shiny new kitchen, new counter, new chairs, floors, paint job, the works. Here’s the funny thing: I never knew this place has such an extensive menu! Tons of sandwiches, salads, and even breakfast! And I thought it was just a coffee shop. It’s set to reopen on January 8. 783 Haight St. at Scott St., 415-864-0955.

Sausage alert: ~UNDERDOG~ has opened in the Inner Sunset. This organic sausage joint also has a bunch of vegan and vegetarian options, with organic condiments, buns, the whole nine yards. Plus tater tots. And salads. Oh, and bonus points: the utensils and packaging are biodegradable. 1634 Irving St. at 17th Ave., 415-665-8881.

The French have been busy this December: ~LA TERRASSE~ opened in the Presidio (215 Lincoln Blvd. at Graham St., 415-922-DINE) and ~AMELIE~, the wine bar on Polk St. has also opened (1754 Polk St. at Washington St., 415-292-6916). ~PRESIDIO SOCIAL CLUB~ has also opened for dinner—they will expand to all-day dining in February. Oh, and bonus—you’ll find Thad Vogler acting as Colonel Drink over there (yes, that’s his title), and Zoi Antonitsas (of Bovolo in Healdsburg, and the former Bizou) as Commanding General de Cuisine. Ten hup! Presidio’s Lombard Gate at Lyon St., Building 563, Ruger St., 415-885-1888.