Joanna Lei: From ‘Zero’ to Bustling Business

Joanna-Picture-(site)

JoJo’s Café on Ocean Avenue is busy. Students from City College, families looking fora quick casual meal, seniors and working folks comprise the weekly clientele. JoJo’s has been serving American and Chinese food in the Ingleside since 2002, when Joanna Lei opened the restaurant with the help of her family. It remains an affordable and vibrant business in an area where there are eight restaurants serving Chinese food in a two block radius. “We don’t want to make the prices too high,” Lei said. “Otherwise some people cannot come in to eat. There are lots of students and families nearby who do not have a lot of money but they need the energy to work, learn, and play.”

Lei’s commitment to serving one and all has earned her many loyal customers. Continue Reading →

School Buys Property Where Urban Farm Currently Exists in Mission Terrace

Garden-(site)

A new growing season has begun at Little City Gardens, a three-quarters-acre urban farm located in Mission Terrace, but this spring will yield more than fresh vegetables, fruits and flowers as the property’s ownership changes hands. Abigail Coburn purchased the Mission Terrace property in late February, according to the San Francisco Assessor’s office. Coburn is a co-founder of a small Waldorf-style preschool and kindergarten that opened in February 2013 and is currently located
in the Mission district. The preschool is run out of one of the teachers’ apartments, along with a private garden, and the kindergarten rents a space at a nearby church and the school aims to develop programs for first through fifth grades as their current pupils grow up. Eventually they plan build its campus in Mission Terrace on the hourglass-shaped lot at 203 Cotter St. Continue Reading →

Crime Hotspot In Need of Community Spotlight

Brighton Holloway

Sometime after 8:00 p.m. on March 20, I was one of a dozen shoppers and employees
evacuated from Whole Foods on Ocean Avenue by the San Francisco Police Department so officers could search of the premises. A gunman was thought to be holed up somewhere inside. Only a few moments before, shots had been fired near the intersection of Holloway and Brighton avenues. Officers responded, detained two armed men and chased another man who escaped. Though a handgun was recovered, the search had to continue. Continue Reading →

Talkin’ Shop with ‘Pissed Off ’ Pete Whitcomb

Pete Whitcomb has a vision for more Excelsior businesses.

Pete Whitcomb really isn’t more pissed off than most people, he’s just known for speaking his mind and the nickname made for a great bar name. “I say what people don’t want to say, in this society where everybody speaks only behind other people’s backs,” Whitcomb said. Whitcomb has owned Pissed Off Pete’s since 2006. Located on Mission Street be-tween Harrington Street and Santa Rosa Avenue, in the same spot where other dive bars have opened and closed for more than a century, he says. The bar is a way for him to be “here for the neighborhood,” he said, and he hopes to cater to the surroundings so that people don’t feel like they have to travel to other districts to have a cozy or entertaining night. Continue Reading →