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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Fabulous new market in "downtown" Glen Park

Only three blocks from our house. I LOVE that we once again have a market. It has a great deli and fabulous coffee. Love their fresh baked bread as well. Here is a news report on the history of this development (long in coming)

There were no brass bands or balloons or politicians making speeches at this morning's opening of Canyon Market in San Francisco's charming Glen Park neighborhood. But maybe there should have been. The story of the market is a story of San Francisco at its finest and its worst. It began in 1998 when the Diamond grocery store burned down, leaving the neighborhood with no full-service market. Large chains, including Walgreens, eyed the Diamond Street property, located just one block from a busy BART station. Neighbors rose up in protest, not wanting to see their "village" of independent cheese, book, wine and hardware stores, diners and bakeries turned into an Anywhere, USA. The neighbors prevailed. But then the real battle began over what to put in its place. In the end, the project developed into a multi-use development of housing, a market and the neighborhood branch library - but not before skirmishes over parking (the city said there could be none because it was so close to mass transit) and building height and density (neighbors were concerned about altering the character of the neighborhood.) There were lawsuits, problems with the project's financing and the hair-pulling dance with city regulations. The people first tapped to create the grocery store dropped out, frustrated with the delays. In stepped Richard and Janet Tarlov, who have a long history in the food business. He with the Oakville Grocery and Dean & DeLuca, she with Zingerman's deli in Ann Arbor, Mich. The couple showed patience and determination as the opening of the store kept getting pushed back, but this morning their hard work paid off. "It's been an adventure," Janet Tarlov said a half-hour after the market opened, watching customers work their way through the aisles, checking out coffee bar and deli case. "The financing, the permits, working with the neighbors was quite a process." The Tarlovs hired about 35 full-time and part-time workers, most who live in Glen Park or an adjoining neighborhood, to staff the 7,200-square-foot market. "We've come a long way," Janet Tarlov said. "It's been a very busy few weeks."

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