Haight Street Market started a new chapter today with the official opening of its adjacent wing built-out in the former Massawa restaurant next door. Owned by the Vardakastanis family, the mom-and-pop market is a community hub of sorts. And today "congratulations" hail from every corner, as the neighborhood has its first formal look at the remodeled digs, now double the size.
The expansion includes a deli counter with Mary's natural rotisserie chickens, signature sandwiches ($7.50) like the "Flashback" reuben, a new beer and wine section focused on high-quality bottles in the under $10 range, fresh meat and seafood counters, a pastry case featuring goods from Raison D'Etre and House of Bagels, a prepared foods section including a rotating selection of owner Georgia Vardakastanis Greek family recipes, and a Blue Bottle coffee kiosk. You heard me. The Upper Haight, where places like Rockin' Java Coffee House, People's Cafe and the sometimes-scary Coffee to the People rule the coffee roost (or should it be roast, here? sorry...), now has drip coffee that should hit the 'hood hard, in a good way. You're invited to peruse the gallery above, snapped in the middle of the lunch rush on opening day. Quite the inspiring, proletarian answer to the very glamorous, very corporate Whole Foods market that just opened on Stanyan Street in Haight Ashbury. Not that there's anything wrong with that.