Plywood covering Biondivino's broken window; it's since been repaired. [Photo: Michele Mandell/Twitter]
In one of the stranger crimes we've heard of lately, the window at Ceri Smith's Biondivino wine
bar shop in Russian Hill was broken on Friday night around 12:30 a.m. by a young man who decided to throw a rock through it—then made no hurry to get away. "I was inside the store with my best friend having a glass of wine when the alarm went off," says Smith. The perp? "Some young guy, probably about 5'8" or 5'9", wearing a baby-blue hoodie. He was skinny, with blonde hair. He looked like a pretty normal kid. But the weirdest part was that he just walked away, he didn't run. If I'd been thinking straight, I would have thrown a wine bottle at him."
The rock, which Smith describes as "about five pounds and smooth, almost like a landscaping rock or paving stone," left a 6-by-8-inch hole in Biondivino's window before shooting into the back of the store, where it destroyed a rack of wine glasses and then landed right on top of Smith's iPad. "I'm just glad I didn't get hit," says Smith. "That would be a headline: 'Ceri Smith found dead due to blow to the head from rock while sitting in her wine store.'"
Though she has no idea who might have been the culprit (the SFPD didn't show up until two hours after the incident, and Smith ended up having to sleep in the shop), Smith is curious if it might be some kind of retaliation for her opposition to the SFMTA's proposal to remove parking spots from Polk in favor of adding bike lanes. Like many of Polk's merchants, Smith has a "Save Polk Street" sign displayed in her window. However, this isn't the Italian wine expert's first brush with vandalism, either: someone threw a bottle of Jack Daniel's through Biondivino's window six years ago. "They could have at least used Aperol," Smith jokes.
In the meantime, the window has been replaced and Smith is back to work. "I was at least hoping there'd be a note tied to the rock saying 'Drink California wine, not Italian,'" she jokes. "No such luck."
· All Biondivino coverage [~ ESF ~]