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The New Russian Hill Bi-Rite Is Going to Be Even Bigger

Plus, constant graffiti issues plague San Francisco businesses and more Bay Area food intel

The exterior of Bi-Rite Market on 18th Street in San Francisco. Bi-Rite
Dianne de Guzman is a deputy editor at Eater SF writing about Bay Area restaurant and bar trends, upcoming openings, and pop-ups.

Last October, Bi-Rite Market shared the news that it purchased Real Foods Co. at 2140 Polk Street, with plans to move into the space in 2023. Now there’s finally an update on that front: Bi-Rite’s footprint will be even bigger with the inclusion of the adjacent storefront at 2134 Polk Street.

What that means is a delay in opening, which will push to Spring 2024 as construction on the space will now include structural work to combine the two storefronts, a buildout of a new kitchen, as well as relocating some stairs, reps for the market say. But, with it comes increased aisle space which should be a nice boon for shoppers, and a newly signed multi-decade lease should keep the store in the area for years to come.

Constant vandalism plagues San Francisco restaurants

Property crime is an evergreen issue for San Francisco restaurants, but the San Francisco Chronicle dug into the question of just how frequently these incidents are happening. One indicator came from a survey conducted by the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, which showed that only 3 percent of 74 respondents did not experience graffiti or property crime in the last month. In the last six months, 10,000 calls were made to the city’s 311 call center for graffiti on sidewalks and commercial buildings. Meanwhile, San Francisco has spent $1 million in grants for vandalism relief for businesses since 2021 with $500,000 added over the summer “to meet demand.”

Bar Crenn is now accepting walk-ins

Bar Crenn debuted its first-ever cocktail list and a new food menu in March, and now Tablehopper shares more changes for the bar: Bar Crenn is now open to walk-ins. Along with the ability to stop into Bar Crenn last minute comes the option to imbibe in an a la carte cocktail and snacks menu, sidestepping the need to opt into reservations for the $125 Bar Crenn Snack Menu or the $300 Le Comptoir Crenn menu, although those are still available for a splurge if you want.

Coffee collabs land at the Caffè

The Caffè by Mr. Espresso just opened in May, and already the Oakland cafe is launching a “chef-driven coffee collaboration” that debuts with two Top Chef alums, chefs Tu David Phu and Nelson German. Starting Monday, September 25 through October 7, Phu’s cà phê sữa matcha, a Vietnamese iced coffee topped with matcha foam, will be available for purchase. From Monday, October 9 through October 21, German’s “Latin fusion coffee” will be available at the Caffè, and 10 percent of proceeds from the drinks will go to Community Kitchens. And if you’d like to meet Phu, he will make an appearance at the cafe on Friday, October 6 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.