An architect’s classic but understated homes

An attractive grouping of E.E. Young’s work graces the southwest corner of Octavia and Jackson.

An grouping of E.E. Young’s work graces the southwest corner of Octavia and Jackson.

LANDMARKS | BRIDGET MALEY

Architect Edward Eyestone Young became known for his collaborative work with speculative housing developers during the first few decades of the 20th century. Designing and building houses primarily on San Francisco’s north side, with a particular focus in Pacific Heights, Presidio Heights and along Lake Street, Young established strong relationships with some of the city’s important developers. Several homes were often crafted in a small group, each with a similar floor plan but with varying facades.

Three of Young’s more distinctive Pacific Heights collections still stand at the corners of Octavia and Jackson, Divisadero and Green, and Presidio and Jackson.

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Triumph of the new Elite is its bar

Photographs of the new modern Elite Cafe for John Storey.

Photographs of the new modern Elite Cafe at 2049 Fillmore by John Storey

SALOONS | CHRIS BARNETT

For months — long past its supposed July opening — the windows were papered over, thwarting sidewalk squinters who wanted a peek at the new Elite Cafe, wondering whether the new owners would preserve all that magnificent mahogany, the private booths, the historic bar and the New Orleans influenced menu.

In early October, the paper came down and the 35-year-old eatery made its latest debut. The Elite Cafe has been reborn as a sleek, sophisticated midtown Manhattan restaurant with a revived slate of French Quarter offerings, but only faint traces of its Art Deco past.

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New Fillmore arch proposed

A new public space at Fillmore and California could eventually include a restored arch.

A new public space at Fillmore and California could eventually include a reimagined arch.

A NEW PUBLIC  SPACE would be created in the heart of the neighborhood at Fillmore and California under a proposal that will get its first public airing on November 15.

The plan would incorporate the Fillmore Stoop parklet in front of Delfina restaurant on California Street and extend it eastward into a landscaped area with public seating in the parking spaces and sidewalk fronting the Preston Apartments, Smitten Ice Cream and Dino & Santino’s pizzeria.

The ambitious plan calls for the eventual re-creation of an arch over the Fillmore-California intersection, inspired by the metal arches on Fillmore in the early 20th century erected after the 1906 earthquake and fire. The arches came to symbolize Fillmore Street and remained in place until 1943, when they were removed for scrap iron during World War II.

Leaders of the Fillmore Merchants Association earlier this year raised the idea of expanding the parklet, created by the neighborhood design firm Siol. Siol’s team has been interviewing local residents and merchants to come up with a design strategy for future public seating, signage, lighting and landscaping.

A neighborhood party to unveil the plan will be held on Tuesday, November 15, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Dino’s at 2101 Fillmore.

Marching against ageism

The Age March takes place on December 4 on Union Street in San Francisco.

The third Age March takes place on December 4 on Union Street in San Francisco.

FIRST PERSON | BARBARA ROSE BROOKER

My idea for an Age March began with a dream.

I dreamed there was an end to age discrimination and segregation — and that men and women of all races and sexual orientations marched to celebrate their ages. I led the marchers along with several other people, holding a giant red banner emblazoned with the words “Age March.” Accompanied by jazz musicians, we marched a mile as we chanted, “Celebrate your age! Don’t lie about it!”

And then I woke up.

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Boulange Fillmore may finally reopen

There's a new awning, but nothing more at 2047 Fillmore.

There’s a new awning, but nothing more at 2043 Fillmore.

It’s been over a year since Pascal Rigo reclaimed the space at 2043 Fillmore he’d sold to Starbucks as part of a $100 million deal.

Since then, even as he reopened a reinvented Boulangerie around the corner on Pine Street, the windows on the Fillmore cafe have remained papered and the French blue paint has faded. Now Rigo says he’s finally ready to roll.

“It’s going to be a slightly different Boulange,” he says. “No open face, because they are all going to be available at Pine. But great fun sandwiches in a different type of bread and a lot of beignets, as well as soft serves.”

Much of Rigo’s recent attention has been focused on baking for Trader Joe’s and Costco in the massive production bakery he reacquired from Starbucks.

An Art Deco treasure is diminished

The original blueprints from 1932 show the elaborate Art Deco detailing of the facade.

The blueprints from 1932 show the elaborate Art Deco detailing of the facade.

ARCHITECTURE |  THERESE POLETTI

In the spring, neighbors and patrons of the Elite Cafe were dismayed to hear that the 35-year-old restaurant had been sold, fearful it would fall victim to the current depressing trend in San Francisco of gutting historic interiors down to the studs.

But news that the buyer was a group headed by San Francisco restaurateur Andy Chun, who was responsible for a sensitive 2014 remodel of the historic German beer hall Schroeder’s in the Financial District, reassured patrons who cherished the Elite’s Art Deco interior. Chun said his plans were to keep much of the Art Deco interior intact, but with a contemporary interpretation of the decorative style popular in the 1920s and 1930s.

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A bonsai tree as old as Japantown

David Thompson and the century-old bonsai.

David Thompson and his century-old bonsai.

WHEN NEIGHBORHOOD RESIDENT David Thompson read about plans for a Zen rock garden at the southern end of Cottage Row to commemorate the 110th anniversary of Japantown, he had an idea: That might be the perfect place for his century-old bonsai tree.

The tree has been in the same family since it was brought from the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exhibition and planted in their garden designed by legendary gardener Makoto Hagiwara, who also created the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park. Thompson, now its guardian, has been searching for the right home for the tree’s second century. He has been connected with the Japanese landscape designers planning the Cottage Row Zen garden.

An artist on Cottage Row

Sutter Marin’s Sister, Dear Sister, There’s a Rabbit in Your Garden, painted on Cottage Row.

Sutter Marin’s Sister, Dear Sister, There’s a Rabbit in Your Garden.

By BUD JOHNS

The recent news of a possible Zen rock garden on Cottage Row brought back memories of the late Sutter Marin, the Beat era artist and poet who was a garden lover and the only Cottage Row resident I’ve known.

My wife and I live with one of Marin’s paintings, Sister, Dear Sister, There’s a Rabbit in Your Garden. After years of hearing little about him, we learned recently of “The Beat Went On: Late Works by Sutter Marin,” an exhibition featuring his work and others of his milieu at Santa Rosa’s Calabi Gallery, with a ruth weiss poetry reading and jazz accompaniment.

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The Fillmore’s history of displacement

Monica Lundy, Visiting Team (in San Francisco)

Monica Lundy, Visiting Team (in San Francisco)

ART | LUCY GRAY

You visit the exhibition. The first picture you come to, you see the woman’s mouth open and she’s waiting — maybe waiting to hear what you have to say, that cigarette poised between her fingers. It’s Billie Holiday, looking radiant, in Awaiting Arraignment. Created by Monica Lundy out of 22 karat gold, white gold, coffee and ashes, Holiday shines, her eyes saying: “I’ve been caught, but not for long.” She’s the opposite of someone who lived in the Fillmore and got displaced; she just came to sing for a night or two and got incarcerated.

Next to Holiday there’s a picture of three people at a booth at Jack’s, the first bar in the Western Addition built for an African American clientele. There’s a beautiful woman with sass, looking right at you, toasting you, with her money spilled out on the table, daring you to disrespect her and her fox fur. The men on either side of her are more like ghosts with protective fury in their eyes.

Feeling for these people is beginning to grab you by the throat and ask you what you’ve done to make it happen, or what you can do to make up for it now.

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‘Pacific Nights’ at the Lion Pub

A stained glass window at the Lion Pub at 2062 Divisadero.

A stained glass window at the Lion Pub at 2062 Divisadero.

LONGTIME LOCAL business owner Kelly Ellis has died after a long illness and his Lion Pub at 2062 Divisadero is now closed after 48 years.

The Lion Pub holds a storied place in the city’s gay history, tucked discreetly off the beaten path in a jungle of greenery at Divisadero and Sacramento. More recently, it catered to a mixed neighborhood clientele.

In a 2015 bar column headlined “Pacific Nights,” the Bay Area Reporter recalled the Lion Pub as one of three gay bars in the neighborhood. In the 1980s, it was “the domain of that now rare commodity known as the sweater queen.” But after the onset of AIDS, “The decline of the gayborhood in Pacific Heights and environs was remarkably swift.”

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MORE: “Pacific Nights: The Lion Pub and other lost gay dens