Exploring Third Street
Have you ever found yourself, on a sunny Sunday maybe, wondering what to do with yourself? Sure, you could head to the store, run some errands, grab a drink at your neighborhood bar, maybe do some laundry, but what if you find yourself looking for a dose of adventure and exploration just big enough to fit into a lazy afternoon? Where can you go? Napa is a far drive, especially with all the day trippers on the road. Santa Cruz is the same, and always slightly less appealing by the time you've sat in traffic to get there. Where could you go?
Third Street. You go to Third Street. Easily accessible by MUNI/Lyft/Uber/Car (there's even parking!) or a decent walk along the Embarcadro, past AT&T Park and through Mission Bay, Third Street is urban, gritty, cool, quirky and full of surprises.
Excellent wine? Try Sutton Cellars. BBQ, beer and vintage details? Smokestack at Magnolia Brewery. Southern-style brunch? Hard Knox Cafe. There's artisan ice cream at Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous. There's a great old school butcher shop tucked away on Illinois Street in an old warehouse called Olivier's Butchery. There's a climbing gym and condos and old warehouses. It's an area in flux. The old brick and timber buildings have lived many lives, and are currently in the process of being re-born. Pier 70 is undergoing a major renovation, which when complete will forever change this sleepy, special corner of SF.
The Dogpatch isn't the industrial hub it was 75 years ago. it's not the deserted wasteland it was in the 90s. It's been injected with new life over the last decade, and yet still feels authentic. It manages to be trendy and cool without being pretentious. It feels open like no other part of SF, but also like a closely knit community. Spend some time in The Dogpatch, and you might even find yourself venturing south into the hidden gem that is The Bayview. Who knows, anything is possible!
So, next time it's Sunday and you're looking for a way to fight of the Sunday Scaries, head out to The Dogpatch, and explore before it changes all over again.
Update 1/2019: While I still love the Dogpatch, and I love driving down to Third Street on a sunny Saturday, a lot has changed. New development at Pier 70 is quickly making progress and the new Warrior’s arena is nearly complete. But, what’s most different are the businesses. Sutton Cellars closed and moved. Magnolia Smokestack was renovated (buh-bye beautiful patina) and the menu fully re-vamped. The butcher shop is still a gem, but there’s something about the ice cream at Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous that isn’t the same. Here’s hoping more cute local shops and boutiques open up and we don’t lose the unique businesses that make SF special.