Saturday, September 17, 2005

Reliable in the news

The recent SF Chronicle article drew traffic and comments to this site.

As a resident and parent in the neghborhood, I am very impressed with the Massis' involvement and commitment to the community. It is important to me to have merchants engaged and raising a family in the neighborhood.

147 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The question is not whether the Massis are nice or even responsible people, it is whether Cortland needs 4 mini-mart/liquor stores in a 5-block stretch. I would encourage them to leverage the obvious good will of the neighborhood and to find support (guidance and, if necessary investors) to set up a shop that provides a unique, new service to the neighborhood. For example, a nice wine/cheese shop. They could also tastefully sell some liquor since Good Life does not.

10:44 AM  
Blogger S.P. said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:00 PM  
Blogger KC said...

I think point is that the Massis are neighbors and merchants with a solid reputation, and they deserve a chance to continue doing business on Cortland. If the neighbors don't generate enough business for 4 mini-marts, then one (or more) will fail. But, knowing the Massis, I doubt it will be their business. More likely the Lamas will find the locals giving them a cold shoulder.

But I'm basically a small-l libertarian. I don't like it when folks try and limit and obstruct other people's initiatives. There is no problem with public drunkenness on Cortland, or other problems stemming from liquor sales, so why not give the Massis a chance to carry on?

1:03 PM  
Blogger S.P. said...

I agree with K.C.

I think Skips Tavern is responsible for more public drunkendness than any of the liquor stores on cortland.

1:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A wine and cheese shop? Are you kidding me? What do you think goodlife grocery provides?

I think the question IS about whether we have nice people running businesses in the community. I worked for goodlife grocery for almost a year and the people running that place are racist, sexist, and just plain mean people. Yet they come off as great people because everyone in the community appreciates their services (an up-scale grocery store).

When you can hide the fact that you are a bad person is that okay as long as your service fits into the needs of the Bernal residents?

1:48 PM  
Blogger cabbie said...

First of all, the Massis don't live in Bernal Height and the Lama's have lived in Bernal Height since 1973. The Lama's have owned businesses on the hill for years and have been active participants in the community. The had Reliable Grocery for 17 years, Lama's Kempo Karate for 10 years, Jinjee flowers for 5 years and King Tut Deli for 3 years. I think before we turn a cold shoulder to the Lama's, we should get all the facts, like the fact that Massis knew they were not getting their lease renewed long before they signed the lease, and that they have another store in the avenues as well as an Ice selling business. The Massis have been bad-mouthing a very nice family and the community deserves to know the whole truth and not just the Massis side of the story, remember there are two sides to every story.

5:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Jad Massis loves Bernal Heights so very much, why doesn't his family still live in the neighborhood?
I don't think a new liquor store directly across the street from the library and the playground is viable for this neighborhood for so many reasons. Traffic will be a nightmare and dangerous to children coming to and from the library and playground. Those who still live in this neighborhood and who's children ACTUALLY are growing up in this neighborhood, know this.

6:00 PM  
Blogger eix said...

I can't agree with what KC said about the Lama family. When they ran the store I remember the kids making deliveries to elderly neighbors & handicapped customers, letting some customers buy groceries and pay when they got their next check, keeping the store open after the quake in 89 so I could get candles and batteries for my flashlight.
In fact, isn't Chuck Lama, the original owner of Reliable Grocery, one of the people painted on that great mural of all the wonderful people who made Bernal a great place to live? I don't think anyone portrayed on that mural will be given to cold shoulder by anyone who has a sense of history of this unique neighborhood.

6:12 PM  
Blogger KC said...

Let me try to rephrase my comment. I have nothing against the Lama family. I did not recommend anyone give anyone the cold shoulder. I was making a point about letting patronage determine if 4 coner stores can survive. I also think that the Massis have built up a lot of good will and loyalty in the neighborhood.

For the record my kids, 11 & 14, have lived their entire lives here. 'Annonymous' apparently thinks that gives me some special standing in this discussion. But I don't. I'm quite happy that there is a healthy main street that has sprouted on Cortland. Unfortunately, because of the healthy businesses, we have a lot of traffic. But all in all, its good to see Cortland come alive. Lets hope it continues and we get more interesting business to fill in vacant shops like the old dry cleaner, the old locksmith... Opening another corner grocer is not going to generate more corner grocer business, so I doubt it will generate any more car trips to the business district. Frankly, any other new business that might go in there is likely to rely more on car based patrons.

The traffic issues are real, but they have little if anything to do with Reliable.

6:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

just flipping thru and read all your comments, a question came to me, who are you people to interfere in other peoples business . this is really about 249 cortland continuing to be a grocery liquor has it has been for years over 15 for all you newcomers. and if there is a new license that needs to be questioned shouldn't it be 439 cortland that has never been an abc licensed location????and really is in the middle of the family friendly businesses....
new bernal residents, check your facts before you give your opinion remember what happens when you assume.

9:51 AM  
Anonymous rachel said...

I'm just writing to say that the Lamas are a wonderful family who could not possibly be more devoted to children. My son took karate from Moe for years (karate studio moved off Cortland for economic reasons to St. Mary's Rec, and recently to San Bruno.) These are not big business landlords, just another family struggling to support a bunch of young kids in the city.

11:18 AM  
Anonymous Former Bocana Resident said...

I have heard of the situation that reliable grocery is now in. I must be honest and say that I am astounded. Until 6 months ago, I lived on Bocana Street for 24 years, my son still attends school in Bernal Heights.

I have read many comments in support of Joe and his families desire to remain in Bernal Heights. I find it challenging to understand where these comments are coming from. Do any of you really know Joe? Do any of you really know what Joe is all about? Or, are your comments made simply because you have exchanged nothing more than pleasantries with him while patroning his store?

Well, first of all, he wouldn't be a very good business man if he were anything other than pleasant and friendly to his customers. He wants you to return to spend your money. I don't think that is a reason to support him.

Everyone wants to discuss what he has given to the neighborhood. Personally, from my experience with him, I don't believe he's given anything to the neighborhood. In fact, he moved away from the neighborhood the first opportunity he had. Is that
the loyalty you speak of?

This man purchased stollen property from a known drug addict years ago. A police report was filed and the merchandise confiscated from his store. This man also didn't want "to get involved" when a long time customer and nieghborhood resident was being robbed and ran into his store to seek assistance. He wouldn't call the police when asked in broad daylight. Needless to say, he lost a loyal cutomer as the result of that incident.

People can say what they will about the Lama's, but the Lama's established themselves in Bernal Heights many years before Joe ever heard of "Bernal Heights". He did nothing more than take over a store that was already established and already had a loyal customer base. That was built by Chuck Lama.

Joe may claim to be victimized when in reality he's getting a taste of his own medicine and is finding it to be very sour. He himself has protested the dreams of other small business entrepreneurs and has fought against their dreams.

To summarize, I don't think anyone should fault the Lama's for wanting to regain control of a business they started so many years ago. If it had not been for the health of Chuck Lama, Joe may have never ended up with the store to begin with.

I urge everyone to really know what they are saying before they say it. Not only is Joe not a saint, in my opinion, he's not a good man!

12:54 PM  
Anonymous former Bocana resident #2 said...

I later realized that I forgot to add I personally know the Lama's and have for 20 years, just as I have known Joe for 15.

I agree with another person who said it's not about 249 Cortland. Reliable Grocery has been at that same location selling liquor for the past 30 years. It's about 439 Cortland becoming another liquor store.

I also agree with another person who said new residents who don't know the history should refrain from commenting.

Nadia Lama has been in the nrighborhood since she was born. She knows most everyone in the neighborhood and has a great disposition. Allow her to keep her families tradition going.

Joe should leave them alone and open a store in the neighborhood where he currently resides. Maybe he'll make a killing there!

4:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Instead of taking what everyone have said to be truth, I suggest you take the time to ask Joe himself. I'm sure he could clear up a few of your questions. As someone said earlier, there are always two sides to a story.

8:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree with you more. However you forgot a small detail, for you to get both sides of the story - you must speak to both sides, how do you expect to get the truth otherwise????????

9:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that this should be about having a liquor license at the current clothing store location on the 400 block of Cortland -not at 249 Cortland which has been a grocery store for more than 75 years. My concern here would be the hypocritical behavior demonstrated by Massis. Didn't he protest a new liquor license going into that very location a few years ago? Why did he protest then only to turn around a apply to move his license to the same location. Why was it a bad idea then and it's a good idea now?
My second concern would be with his disregard to the law in selling liquor to minors. I've worked selling liquor most of my adult life and I've never been cited for selling to minors - regardless of if I had the flu or was healthy. I'd prefer the license to go to a family with a history or no selling violations and a history of living in the neighborhood.

12:53 PM  
Blogger seta said...

Monday, September 19, 2005
In 1977, my family and I moved to the Bernal Heights neighborhood. We resided at 262 Bocana which is next door to Reliable Groceries. We became good friends with the Lama family and still today keep in touch.
Today, at the age of 35, I still visit the store, yet notice the change in atmosphere. As a young girl, I along with so many others would frequent Reliable whether it was for a soda, chips or even little necessities as in toiletries. I have known the Lama family for years and acknowledge some negativity towards them during this controversy. These comments and such are false statements due to they have owned this store for the past 17 years before their father had his knee injury. This family would always welcome patrons who would frequent the store at all hours of the day.This "welcome" is well missed. One would feel so to say the "family oriented" environment which Chuck Lama had surrounding the store and everyone who came there.

Now that I moved out of neighborhood, I do visit it quite frequently. I personally know the Lama family and a close acquaintance of Nadia Lama who is the youngest of the 6 children.
Having Reliable Groceries, run by the original owners, will bring back a more "lively" atmosphere. A long time resident of the Bocana / Cortland store will let you know its not the same walking in the store as it was back in the day as we all grew up.

Having another liquor store 2 blocks across from the library, playground and near a bar where there is another liquor store down a few blocks and another tavern across the way would not be tolerable by most. Its comfortable to walk with your children to Good Life, library, playground n such surroundings not to leave out St.Kevin's Church. My opinion ... Joe should just hand over the lease,walk away from the neighborhood and tend to the business he is currently trying to establish at another location. Joe has his patrons he made there, yet the Lama's will have the old patrons who still today will walk by and question one another," when are they going to get that store back I miss them!".. Any questions?
posted by seta at 10:03 PM 0 comments
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1:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have know the Lama family for many years and am surprised by the portrayal of them as trying to "take away" the current tenants' store. From what I understood, he's known for years that the lease was going to be up at the end of November. If the family wants to now resume running the business - that is their decision to make. The Lama famiy has been a huge contributor to the Bernal Heights neighborhood. I fully support their decision to come back to running the store. It will be nice to have them continue on from one generation to the next.

2:26 PM  
Anonymous NADIA LAMA said...

Dear Bernal Heights,

Hello. I would like to introduce myself to you all. My name is Nadia Lama. Those of you who have lived here over 15 years know me well. Those of you who have been here under 15 years please allow me to give you a little history about myself.

I turned 2 years old living in the house on top of 249 Cortland Avenue. I started working in the store at age 7. I would get paid $20.00 a week for sweeping and mopping the store. The older I got the more responsibility my father gave me. Eventually I was allowed to run the store with my older brother Moe by my side. I was 17 ( a senior in high school) when my father injured his knees and decided to lease out the store. All my siblings had their own careers and I was too young to run it myself. So my father decided to lease it out for 15 years with the condition that there would be no extension on the lease, knowing by then I would be old enough to run it. Now I am 33 years old, still living in beautiful Bernal Heights and raising my 2 daughters here. I have such fond memories of growing up in the store and have been dreaming of sharing this experience with my girls. Working in the store was not a "job" to me. I felt as if I was hanging out with family everyday. To this day, whenever I walk down Cortland, people greet me with huge smiles and after asking how my family is doing their next question always is, "When are you guys coming back? We miss you!" It's nice to know that the people I consider extended family are awaiting our return as much as we are!

I appreciate the passion all of you are showing regarding this situation but you have to remember there is a rich history that goes back over 32 years. I invite you to seek out long time residents of Bernal Heights who remember when the Lama family ran 249 Cortland Avenue and ask them to share their memories of us with you. I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised at what they have to say.

Before ending this letter I would like to clear up 3 points that were stated in a previous posting as facts:

1. The license which we are "importing" into 249 Cortland Avenue is not from an existing business we own. It has been recently purchased thru a license broker. This is public information which can be obtained thru the Dept. of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

2. We are not an "absentee family". My sister and I live on Bocana Street with our families and my brother lives a block away with his family. My father just recently moved away because of his knees he required a ranch style home.

3. We are not the ones who started the opposition against Mr. Massis. If you call Carolyn Jones at the Chronicle, she will tell you that it was parents of small children who are concerned with the new location of Mr. Massis’ new store. We have nothing against Mr. Massis and wish him all the best on his new venture. Everyone, including me, should have the freedom to pursue their dreams.

Thank you for your time.
Nadia Lama

4:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been reading all these comments that people have been saying...and i have one question I would like to ask is this, what is Bernal Heights turning into? I've lived here 30+ years and have known the Lamas the same amount of time, all that was said was false these people treat everyone like family and equals; and they are considerate about other peoples situations. This neighborhood was a very family orientated place at one time to live and now all people seem to do is take side and cause problems for one another, thats not what this life is about! Mr. Massis "Joe" needs to quit lying to himself and others about the whole situation, we are not in a foreign country to be getting so greedy! and you know what i mean! this situation has gotten very carried away. can't we just all get along?

5:48 PM  
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2:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heh, I find it funny that everyone says they're such good friends with "Joe" but none of them say his real name. Is Jad really THAT hard to pronounce? Oh, you didn't know his name was Jad? Yea, you guys must be EXCELLENT friends!

10:07 PM  
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10:12 PM  
Anonymous Antoinette Lama said...

Dear Neighbors, We as a family and merchants of many ventures know when there is a hot issue on the strip. And for the first time - we are it.
Tonite at 6 pm there will be a BHNC meeting open to the public. The Lama family will be there to listen and also be heard. We invite those who have taken the time to write in this great post your comments and concerns and compliments. We have been serving you for a long time not only as residents, business owners, but also as consumers. give us a chance so we can continue with this tradition. We look forward to seeing you there. Antoinette
(aka - Jinjee Flowers and Gifts - A+V Market and now Bernal Realtor)

10:01 AM  
Anonymous Antoinette Lama said...

Dear Neighbors, We as a family and merchants of many ventures know when there is a hot issue on the strip. And for the first time - we are it.
Tonite at 6 pm there will be a BHNC meeting open to the public. The Lama family will be there to listen and also be heard. We invite those who have taken the time to write in this great post your comments and concerns and compliments. We have been serving you for a long time not only as residents, business owners, but also as consumers. give us a chance so we can continue with this tradition. We look forward to seeing you there. Antoinette
(aka - Jinjee Flowers and Gifts - A+V Market and now Bernal Realtor)

10:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Personally, I love the Lamas. They are fine people but this issue is about whether there should be another liquor store be on Cortland

There is lots of places to get liquor along Cortland: 3 saloon, presently 5 Type 21 Liquor store, 2 grocery stores that sell beer and wine, and we have numerous restaurants that server wine and beer. There is already overcapacity in this neighborhood concerning liquor stores.

Those of us who live within 100 feet of that property are aware of the problems that are experienced with liquor stores. My neighbors and I call the police frequently to ask them to drive by to help clear out young people congregating there at after 9pm during the week.

My neighbors and I pick up litter from that liquor everyday in the morning when we walk our dogs, go to work, or go jogging.

I see Joe out there cleaning up the graffitti, I clean graffitti, and my neighbors clean graffitti. We know the same kids that tag the our property are the same kids who hang out in front of that liquor store.

The Lamas say they want to convert 249 Cortland as a Grocery store. Grocery stores do not need to be open from 8am to 2am. Liquor stores with too much competition need to stay open that late.
But they want to establish a liquor store because there is more money in booze and cigarrettes than carrots or lettuce.

The Lamas are great business people, they have owned many businesses on Cortland. The family probably owns 249 Cortland outright with no debt. How difficult would it be for them to figure out another business?

4:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How difficult would it be for you to check your sources? The hours are not going to be 8am to 2am. Before you accuse, make sure you have the facts straight, and make sure you have them from the source.

3:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are right, they should plan another business. Here are some ideas:
a tatoo parlor
a Harley Davidson store
a smoke shop
an adult toy shop
These don't require a license and would add a new element to our wonderful neighborhood.

3:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The hours posted on the application outside Reliable say 8am to 2am.

Regarding your suggestions for potential businesses:

a tatoo parlor -- Need to get to the Health Dept. to ok that.

a Harley Davidson store--Maybe

a smoke shop-- there are zoning
laws in place that make that more rigurous than a Liquor License.

an adult toy shop--Zoning will not allow that on our hill, its too residential.

Here are other suggestions for a business that may work on Bernal:

*shoe repair store
*bagel shop
*upscale deli
*used bookstore
*use the store front for office space such as real estate or for a lawyer.
*copy store

9:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There has been a grocery store at that location longer then any of us have been alive, why not would you want it to change? Honestly, it's been a store since the 20's or something...doesn't anyone have any pride in the history of their neighberhood?

2:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i haven't checked recently but i am pretty sure there are no hours posted on the application.


*shoe repair store, i don't think there is a high demand for that type of service

*bagel shop, maybe

*upscale deli, doesn't Good Life offer that

*used bookstore, one down the street

*use the store front for office space such as real estate or for a lawyer, there is a real estate office directly across the street

*copy store, remember Fax This??? that didn't survive on Cortland

i am having so much fun deciding someonelse's future! aren't you?

10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am having as much fun determining someone's future as someone is trying to sell the neighborhood a grocery store when really they are putting in another liquor store.

And a liquor store (or another one) negatively impacts the neighborhood. The folks who live there know this. SIMPLE.

the fact is Cortland does not need another liquor store (Type 21 license).

*there is one at Bayshore and cortland.
*there are two down the block from Martha Brothers.

*there is the GoodLife.
*there will be Reliable
*There is one at Mission and Cortland.
*And now the Lama family wants to have one issued at 249 Cortland.

That is a lot for any neighborhood. If Cortland is going to continue to be an attractive destination or just a liveable neighborhood, it will need more than liquor stores to sustain it. It is really simple.

2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the hours that are quoted here 8am to 2am was listed on the sheet that Jesus Guiterrez from ABC sent the neighbors notifying them of the application.

2:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get your facts straight...Good
Life does not have a type 21 and Reliable has not been approved yet.

9:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please get your facts straight.

The Good Life does have a Type 21 License,feel free to call them.

Reliable has not got their license yet for their new location but they do have one now.

The new liquor store that is attempting to get a license at 249 Cortland does not have a license yet.

10:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Important question:

Why do the Lamas want to put in another liquor store? Why not just stick with a grocery store?

10:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

isnt' that what it is now...a grocery/liqour store?

12:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does it matter what 249 Cortland is today? That merchant is vacating.

What I would like to debate and discuss is what can 249 Cortland be?

8:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's been a liquor/grocery store for 80 some odd years, why would you want to change it now? Admittedly, I want to know if I really want another liquor store so close to the bank...wouldn't that be problematic? I'd have more of a problem allowing a merchant who has a record of selling alcohol to minors to be allowed a liquor store across the street from a preschool then allowing a liquor license to stay at 249 Cortland. But maybe thats just me? 80+ years of history? Or minors with alcohol? Seems clear to me.

11:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding 249 Cortland, the 80 odd years angle ...I am having problems wtih your math. Are you saying they sold liquor during prohibition? My grandparents' bootlegger lived in North Beach, not Bernal. Was 249 Cortland a gin house?

And you are right. There should not be a liquor store across the street from a preschool. In fact that is listed on ABC's website.

Getting back to that 80 yrs angle...I think we can find better traditions to retain and observe than keeping a liquor store around. That is like saying we should keep a bordello open or keeping America's tradition of racism alive.

10:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BTW, please distinguish between a liquor store and a grocery store. You continually confuse these two issues. Obviously the Lamas are more interested in the Liquor store because there is more money there.

10:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe it was just a grocery store back then, not a liquor store.

For the 15 years Jad had the store, no one had a problem with a liquor store there. The 17 years the Lamas had a liquor store there, no one had a problem. Why now?

11:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are constantly stating what the Lama's are doing as if you know first hand....have they told you they want a liqour store to make more money? I think you should really know what's going on before you come on here making statements that aren't even true!

8:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the fact is Cortland has changed. Residents are not interested in another liquor store. I see no reason to reiterate those reasons which were already posted earlier.

What is also continually noted here and elsewhere is the Cortland Corridor has many stores with a Type 21 liquor license :
there is one at Bayshore and Cortland.
*there are two the liquor store across from Martha Brothers.
*there is the GoodLife.
*there is Reliable
*There is one at Mission and Cortland.

This does not count the 3 bars nor does it count the grocery stores that sell wine and beer.

You are correct that I am assuming the Lamas want to have a Type 21 Liquor license to make money. I cna't imagine any other reason for a type 21. Please let me know if this is a wrong assumption.

Maybe you can tell me what benefits another liquor store will bring to Cortland. I haven't heard anyone discuss that.

1:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think everyone is too focused on the "liquor" aspect. I believe they are planning to keep it as a grocery store that also carries liquor, which requires a type 21 license.

Hearing comments around the neighborhood, somebody said they were happy it was going to remain a grocery/liqour store because their elderly mother lives on Bonview and walking around the corner is much easier than Mission(3 blocks down) or Pay Little(3 blocks the other way). I'm sure if you ask anyone that lives so close to Reliable they would say the same, they are used to having a store so close to home.

I live a block away and Reliable is the place I go whenever I run out of milk or other necesarry items. I would hate to have to go to Mission street or the lower part of Cortland where there is so much foot traffic and never any parking!

I know they are planning to give the place a face lift and are also open to carry any new items requested by the neighborhood.
I also heard they plan on delivering groceries to the elderly just as Mr.Massis does currently. How many stores offer that?

My daughter just turned 9 and I was waiting for the day that she could walk to the store on her own.
I LOVE having a store so close to my home and would hate to see it go.

1:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If everyone is so adamant about not having another liquor store, why isn't Mr. Massis getting any resistance towards the liquor store he is opening?

2:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know its interesting how everyone is not focusing on a grocery store. If you kept it to a grocery store, there would be no resistance. Trust me.

I don't know why Joe is not getting resistance for the new location. In fact, I don't care. He has proven he is receptive to neighborhood pressure to clean up his place.

All the push back from the Lama family shows me they are not very interested when the Bernal Residents disagree with them.

I find that is not a good way to build goodwill and business in a store that is supposedly trying to retain "local business."

3:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a little confused by your response..the plan is to keep it as it already is. What is so wrong with a grocery that offers liquor? Just as I run in there for milk I also run in for spirits when I have unexpected company dropping in.

Also could you clarify "all the push back from the Lama family", I"m not sure what that means.

3:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can anyone here tell me what you are thinking when you hear "liquor store"? That they only sell liquor?

4:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I would expect you live several blocks from 249 Cortland and you refuse to believe the crap the rest of have to live with. Please look at posting that was done at 4.43 pm. That must of been one of my neighbors who lives close to 249 Cortland.

Just in case you don't want to scroll up here is the part that really struck home:

"Those of us who live within 100 feet of that property are aware of the problems that are experienced with liquor stores. My neighbors and I call the police frequently to ask them to drive by to help clear out young people congregating there at after 9pm during the week.

My neighbors and I pick up litter from that liquor everyday in the morning when we walk our dogs, go to work, or go jogging.

I see Joe out there cleaning up the graffitti, I clean graffitti, and my neighbors clean graffitti. We know the same kids that tag the our property are the same kids who hang out in front of that liquor store."

This is what I think of when I hear liquor store.

5:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks but that didn't answer my question.

5:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The garbage and graffitti is all along Cortland, the "liquor store" can't get all the credit for that. There is graffitti at the library and the playground behind it as well. I see beer bottles all over that block and the block where Good Life is and there are no liquor stores there. Kids "hang out" at the corner of the library(infront of playground) and there is no liquor store there. I have also seen kids starting to "hang out" on the corner of Wool street..no store there either. Garbage and graffitti are serious issues but blaming the liquor store is hardly the answer.

5:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok, enough, you are all out of control. you people are not being real. giving credit to joe for saving our neighborhood. maybe we should call him "super Joe" since he single handledly saved us all from the Lamas. what is wrong with you all, 15 years ago there were no businesses on cortland. there were drug dealers in every corner, and the lamas did their contribution to get rid of them by eliminating the pay phone in front of 249 cortland as well as helping the merchants to get rid of them all up and down cortland. they took care of the neighbors, and always were on neighborhood watch even when it didn't have a name yet or didn't affect them directly, they were great grocery owners just like super joe.
today less desirable people as you refer to them, can no longer afford to live in bernal heights, thats why they are not there, not because of Super Joe. Yes, they were wonderful people and we hate to see them go, but the bottom line they are the new business on cortland. they are the ones who are going to create future problems for us with their new location. they are the ones who would add to the no parking, double parking, graffiti,people hanging in front of the store while you go to the bank, thanks to him we will have yet another reason to watch over our shoulders. why can't we just say good bye, thank you for your wonderful service and we'll miss you like we do to every other merchant whose lease is up............ why are you not debating his location being close to everything that is associated with family(bank, library,pre-school,park). When the old reliable location is isolated, has parking, has zoning, and is already stablished. why are we set in supporting super joe when he is in the wrong by challenging the lamas and relocating his business 2 blocks away. btw he does have places to go, check his other 3 liquor licenses in his other grocery stores, feel free to ask him, or check abc public records.. we all have opinions and have the freedom to express them, but when we are blinded by a lie we were sold we need to stop and think about this. who is the villain here really... and stop using the hours of the store as an excuse.i know that it is procedure to list maximum hours and that negotiations are available, we cannot base our opinion on something that we can have abc enforce, like shorter hours per example, lets stop playing god that is what feeds super joe and his lie of making all of you believe the lamas is the new location instead of his.

9:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Garbage, loitering and Graffitti are one thing but you can expect more when you have another liquor store. It will continue to come down here on Cortland after we all rolled up our shirt sleeves to clean up the neighborhood. I only speak from living in close proximity to 249 Cortland.

I am not sure what Bernal was like 30 years ago but I have seen it improve drastically in the 15 years I have lived here. That means not as many loud cars doing donuts in the street, less gun shots, less firecrackers going off on the 4th of July, less stereos blasting in the late night, fewer muggings, less cars being broken into, less screaming and yelling and bottle throwing at my building and my neighbors.

I think the neighborhood can continue to improve and be an easier place to live. I would like to continue to live here and raise my kids. One more liquor store is not going to improve the neighborhood.

9:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's next...Book Burning??

10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

People who think they worked so hard to "clean up" the neighborhood in the past 15 years make me laugh!!! You would have NEVER survived living here 20-25 years ago. You don't know what rough really is!

10:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another liquor store? It's already a liquor store! If you live in close proximity to 249 Cortland, it wouldn't be any kind of a change! It would be a different family running it, different people working it, but it would basically be the same thing still. What you need to worry about is the new location where Cotton Basics used to be.

10:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

our real problem is Cotton Basics being transformed into a Grocery/Liquor Store. no matter who the owner is....
so what if the Lamas are bringing in a new license. it is coming to an existing grocery/liquor location. lets focus our energy on the real NEW business... the new reliable at the cotton basics location....NO MATTER HOW YOU COAT IT- -439 CORTLAND IS THE NEW BUSINESS AND 249 CORTLAND IS THE EXISTING GROCERY/LIQUOR OF OUR NEIGHBORHOOD.

10:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

our real problem is Cotton Basics being transformed into a Grocery/Liquor Store. no matter who the owner is....
so what if the Lamas are bringing in a new license. it is coming to an existing grocery/liquor location. lets focus our energy on the real NEW business... the new reliable at the cotton basics location.....no matter how you coated = its still the new business on the block.

10:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

please do not duplicate your comments -we got it.

439 NEW BUSINESS/bad

249 OLD/EXISTING/good

told you we got it!!!!!!!

10:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually you are incorrect. 249 Cortland and 439 Cortland have to go through the same hoops as any new liquor store. You seem to think there is some entitlement or right that to 249 continuing being a liquor store. Getting a license is not a formality, its a state mandated process. Please respect that.

11:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the point being that there is already the same business at 249, there wouldn't be any significant changes to the area, unlike the current location of Cotton Basics, which will change drastically.

2:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone who has issuses living next to a liquor store , why did you buy a house next to one in the first place!?!?
If Mr. Massis would have continued his lease, this whole arguement would be a moot point. He could have possibly been there for another 15 years....what would you focus your anger on then?????????

10:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the hoops may be the same but the end not.

you're saying you do not have a problem with cotton basics becoming a grocery/liquor and becoming the center of cortlands new future problems. we need to step away and see the real picture. the hoops are not important,is the end result that all of us will have to pay dearly 5 years from now, when all is forgotten and the new reliable becomes just another liquor on the corner of wool.

it seems to me that no one is addressing the real issue. do we want Joe or anyone else next to the bank? playground?pre-school and three bars? are we ready to bring more noise,graffiti,loiteringto an area that we finally have some nice restaurants and outside monies being spent in ?our growing lovely bernal? do we?

we need to look in front of us before we continue making all this irresponsible comments. the future of a liquor store in the middle of our little shopping center and family activities is not the bernalheights i want to live in.
why do you????

10:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

our real problem is Cotton Basics being transformed into a Grocery/Liquor Store. no matter who the owner is....
so what if the Lamas are bringing in a new license. it is coming to an existing grocery/liquor location. lets focus our energy on the real NEW business... the new reliable at the cotton basics location....NO MATTER HOW YOU COAT IT- -439 CORTLAND IS THE NEW BUSINESS AND 249 CORTLAND IS THE EXISTING GROCERY/LIQUOR OF OUR NEIGHBORHOOD.

10:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

our real problem is Cotton Basics being transformed into a Grocery/Liquor Store. no matter who the owner is....
so what if the Lamas are bringing in a new license. it is coming to an existing grocery/liquor location. lets focus our energy on the real NEW business... the new reliable at the cotton basics location....NO MATTER HOW YOU COAT IT- -439 CORTLAND IS THE NEW BUSINESS AND 249 CORTLAND IS THE EXISTING GROCERY/LIQUOR OF OUR NEIGHBORHOOD.

10:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

our real problem is Cotton Basics being transformed into a Grocery/Liquor Store. no matter who the owner is....
so what if the Lamas are bringing in a new license. it is coming to an existing grocery/liquor location. lets focus our energy on the real NEW business... the new reliable at the cotton basics location....NO MATTER HOW YOU COAT IT- -439 CORTLAND IS THE NEW BUSINESS AND 249 CORTLAND IS THE EXISTING GROCERY/LIQUOR OF OUR NEIGHBORHOOD.

10:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

our real problem is Cotton Basics being transformed into a Grocery/Liquor Store. no matter who the owner is....
so what if the Lamas are bringing in a new license. it is coming to an existing grocery/liquor location. lets focus our energy on the real NEW business... the new reliable at the cotton basics location....NO MATTER HOW YOU COAT IT- -439 CORTLAND IS THE NEW BUSINESS AND 249 CORTLAND IS THE EXISTING GROCERY/LIQUOR OF OUR NEIGHBORHOOD.

10:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

our real problem is Cotton Basics being transformed into a Grocery/Liquor Store. no matter who the owner is....
so what if the Lamas are bringing in a new license. it is coming to an existing grocery/liquor location. lets focus our energy on the real NEW business... the new reliable at the cotton basics location....NO MATTER HOW YOU COAT IT- -439 CORTLAND IS THE NEW BUSINESS AND 249 CORTLAND IS THE EXISTING GROCERY/LIQUOR OF OUR NEIGHBORHOOD.

10:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just wanted to make sure you really got it!

10:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have children and have lived in bernal heights a long time and do not drive. the only store close to us is the reliable market. old one. I cannot believe the inconvenience you are all willing to put us thru by eliminating the one store we can get to on foot, what happen to our rights and benifits on this side of the hill.Bernal Heights has always being known for being an activist neighborhood and fair to the small business. Do you remember when they wanted to close our bank. and together we managed to change the outcome. we are you know to help us fight to keep our corner grocery/liquor store intact. this has been a family owned business as long as I can remember, why do you really want to move it. I like the Lama family and I also like Joe. but I need a corner store by me as do all the neighbors from the area including Bennington, Elsie,Virginia,Park,and Bocana,Bonview, Eugenia, etc, have we asked them how they feel about losing their corner store. I do not know of any grocery stores in San Francisco who do not have a liquor license and do not understand the problem, the only thing I understand is that we will be changing the dinamics of a neighborhood and inconvenience 100's of neighbors to move a store to a space it doesn't belong in..

10:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AMEN!!!!!

11:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought people on here were really into discussing different opinions and being open to really thinking about the situation from all views but you seem to be one sided and whenever a good point is made you totally ignore it and just repeat the same tired old excuses. I thought I was dealling with mature open minded people...too bad I was so wrong about you.

11:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

suddenly we are close minded because we disagree with your opinion... get a life.

12:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My point exactly....IMMATURE!

12:52 PM  
Anonymous FED UP said...

On at least 3 different posts people have mentioned that they rely on a store so close to home. That last person had a great point, what about all the other people (Bennington, Elsie,Virginia,Park,and Bocana,Bonview, Eugenia, etc)who aren't lucky enough to know about this blog. We can't just listen to the 3 angry people who live on the 249 block!

1:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it a funny coincidence that once Mr. Massis found out that his license wasn't going to be renewed, he made it a top priority to make sure the neighborhood liked him, indcluding acts like joining the neighborhood center. Now, maybe he just felt a certain affinity for the neighborhood that he didn't feel during the 10 years before that he worked here, or the period when he actually LIVED in Bernal, or maybe he planned on something like this happeneing?

1:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My family lives on the other side of the hill
(Elsie street) and I do not want the Liquor/Grocery moved two blocks further away us. I have teen age children and feel bad enough having them walk the two blocks wondering if they are coming back.lets worry about real issues - safety in our neighborhood for our children. not another family owned business.

2:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also live on Elsie and do not like the idea that I can only get wine,beer or spirits at Safeway. Whenever I entertain I rely on the corner store for last minute staff and I feel better supporting my neighborhood grocery instead of a chain like Safeway.

8:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to the person who wrote about the various abc licenses held by Joe in his "other" grocery/liquor stores.

You were right!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ps I also noticed he purchased all of them in the last 5 years.

8:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has anyone picked up the New Bernal Journal lately.

10:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I DID AND THEY FORGOT TO BE BIAS AS THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN. ITS JUST WENT ON ABOUT JOE AND ALL HIS SUPPORT BUT FORGOT TO MENTION THE THINGS THAT REALLY MATTER TO US..

JOE BRINGING THE TRANSFERRED LICENSE INTO COTTON BASICS WILL MAKE 6 ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE LICENSES IN ONE BLOCK.
WE CURRENTLY HAVE, THE GOOD LIFE, SKIPS, LIBERTY CAFE, WILD SIDE, AND THAT PLACE NEXT TO THE BANK.

AS I SAID BEFORE - IS IT ME OR IS THAT TOO MANY???

10:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got a chance to read the article about Joe and his family. I was very surprised not to read anything in regards to how the Lamas are feeling with all this controversy. Why weren't they featured as well??? did anyone approach them and they refused to make a comment? I see them all the time, it is unlikely that not one of them was available.

11:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, I agree.
I see the Lamas at the Bank, Deli Pub, Library,Parks, Martha's Coffee,the BHNC, Church, Ice Cream Place, Good Life - But not in the Bernal Journal.

11:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would support another use of the Cotton Basics site, instead of just another grocery/liquor store. I sould support a medical marijuana club before restrictions become too difficult and restrictive in San Francisco. Another alternative would be an alcohol rehab center, or perhaps a methadone clinic.

9:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't there a marijuana clinic down on 29th and mission? And honestly, the crowd that would hang around those buildings would be much worse then the ones from a liquor store.

8:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

here is a simple solution:
Keep the grocery store at 249 Cortland. If anyone wants liquor they can go to Reliable down the block.

3:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why would someone want to go to 2 different stores? We like to get our shopping done in ONE place.

3:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Honestly, I don't understand why everyone is trying to control other people's businesses...How about we let them both do as they want with the buildings they own/lease and not try to enforce our views of a perfect Bernal on to their shoulders.

6:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the wise words. Finally someone writes the truth about the situation.

9:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is off the subject, but does anyone know what is up with Charlies and why the sign and name change?

11:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

they are new owners and it is now calles the chez lounge

3:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wise words?

Not really. With all the liquor stores along Cortland expect to see more loitering, littering, graffitti, loud noises, and drunken behavoir at that corner.

That is why neighbors do have an opportunity to voice thier opinions regarding liquor stores. And that is why those licenses are regulated.

4:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know tobacco causes more deaths in this country than alcohol does....why aren't all you holier-than-thou blog readers protesting tobacco sales? After all, won't it be easy for all the kids visiting the library and the playground to be able to buy cigarettes at the relocated reliable. After all, Joe's liquor license was previously suspended for selling liquor to minors, I'm sure that pesky little law about selling cigarettes to minors is just a suggestion.
Most of you are missing the point - the cotton basics site is TOO CLOSE to the playground and library. Of course, unless you want your children to have access to liquor and cigarettes. Let's spend more time protesting Home Depot rather than focusing on the real issue here.

1:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know when will the hearing for the new Reliable take place? Also, what happened with the old reliable?

9:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some interesting information on everyone's favorite grocer and good buddy - 2 sets of fines and suspensions for selling to minors

License Number: 253768 Status: ACTIVE
Primary Owner: MASSIS JAD
ABC Office of Application: SAN FRANCISCO
Reporting Agency: SAN FRANCISCO P.D.
1) Charge Date: Section Violated: 24200(a&b)
Charge: GROUNDS FOR ACTION
2) Charge Date: Section Violated: 25658(a)
Charge: SALE TO MINOR (DECOY)
Proceeding Status: COMPLETE Decision: SUSPENDED
Suspension Days: 15 Stayed Days POIC/Fine: 2295
Suspension Start Date: Suspension End Date:
Violation Date: Reg. Number: 03055221 Cleared On:14-OCT-2003
Reporting Agency: SAN FRANCISCO P.D.
1) Charge Date: Section Violated: 24200(a&b)
Charge: GROUNDS FOR ACTION
2) Charge Date: Section Violated: 25658(a)
Charge: SALE TO MINOR (DECOY)
Proceeding Status: COMPLETE Decision: SUSPENDED
Suspension Days: 10 Stayed Days POIC/Fine: 2184

4:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's some more facts - apparently Jad & his wife hold two other licenses in addition to the one currently used by Reliable Grocery. Even more interesting is the fact that both of the other licenses were obtained after Mr. Massis knew his 15 lease at 249 Cortland would not be renewed.

License Number: 371138 Status: ACTIVE
Primary Owner: BARAKAT GLORIA ISSA YOUSEF
ABC Office of Application: SAN FRANCISCO
Business Name
Doing Business As: DAVES FOOD STORE
Business Address
Address: 1601 20TH ST Census Tract: 0227.02
City: SAN FRANCISCO County: SAN FRANCISCO
State: CA Zip Code: 94107
Licensee Information
Licensee: BARAKAT GLORIA ISSA YOUSEF
Licensee: MASSIS IRMA JAD
Licensee: SALAH SALAH RAFAEL
License Number: 395354 Status: ACTIVE
Primary Owner: MASSIS JAD
ABC Office of Application: SAN FRANCISCO
Business Name
Doing Business As: RICHMOND MARKET
Business Address
Address: 3950 BALBOA ST Census Tract: 0479.01
City: SAN FRANCISCO County: SAN FRANCISCO
State: CA Zip Code: 94121
Licensee Information
Licensee: MASSIS JAD
License Types
1) License Type: 21 - OFF-SALE GENERAL
License Type Status: ACTIVE
Status Date: 17-JAN-2003 Term: Month(s)
Original Issue Date: 17-JAN-2003 Expiration Date: 31-DEC-2005
Master: Y Duplicate: 0 Fee Code: NA
License Type was Transferred On: From: 346212


So this business owner has had his license at 249 Cortland suspended twice, owns numerous other licenses which means he can't devote his full attention to any criminal element outside his store, and he wants to move his location directly across the street from a children's playground? Do the parents of Bernal Heights really want this?

5:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jad would NEVER break the law! He would rather die! It's those damn dirty Lama's with their impeccable record who need to be watched...

7:33 AM  
Anonymous Damn Dirty Lama said...

I have been very entertained by your comments during the last couple of months.
This last one is my favorite. Damn us for keeping an impeccable record for 32 years. If this is bad and dirty, then you're right.. we are guilty.... thank you for the clarification...

10:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Admittedly, you failed to see the sarcasm in it.

3:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

its time bernal residents took matters in their own hands...its time for residents to say no to liquor stores. Neither Lamas nor Jad. Both of these families are very nice but Bernal has transitioned into an area that needs new services beyond more liquor and booze.

its that simple. someone scoffed at a wine and cheese store but frankly that is what we have turned into. and i think its not too bad.

9:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are records showing there was a Reliable Grocery since the 1800's, thats over 100 years of history. There has been a liquor license there as far back as ABC records go (40's-50's). Honestly, if someone wants liquor, not having one close by isn't going to stop them. With Safeway so close, Walgreens, and the other corner stores close by, it's not making it unaccesible, you're enforcing your views of a better Bernal Heights onto other people. Kinda like the Nazi's did with the Jewish. Harsh comparison, but how do you think the Lama's feel? Here they are, thinking after 15 years they're going to be able to get the store back, and be nice and happy running their store, but Jad pulls a 180 and says he's keeping the liquor license and store name (he had made an agreement with Chuck Lama to sell it back after the 5 years). It was complete subterfuge, and was not expected at all. The Lama's only mistake was trusting Jad, so why are we punishing them? Like it was mentioned before, they aren't the ones with the liquor license infractions.

I say live and let live.

10:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is about Bernal residents playing monopoly and thinking they own the board. A grocery store has existed on 249 Cortland since the 1800. There are no records anywhere that this grocery's location has added to our crime activities, increased the membership of AA or decreased the value of our properties (which is what really concerns us) then why are we opposing this from happening.

I also would like to comment on the person that feels we are heading into becoming a Noe Valley or Potrero Hill.

This will never happen.

We in Bernal Heights are proud of all the changes that have taken place. However, we have proven over and over that we are not the small boutique and fancy shops type of neighborhood, if you have been here for a while you will remember all the cute shops that opened and closed because they couldn't survive, there were many. We are a conscious and frugal neighborhood and do not like to throw the big bucks in our own back yard for that we drive to Noe Valley and Potrero Hill while our own businesses are struggling to make ends meet. Talk to the smaller and newer merchants they will confirm what you do not want to see.

Once you learn to spend your money on Cortland maybe then you can earn the right to dictate its' outcome. .

2:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone linked these earlier, and I know its probably too late to change anything, but here.

http://www.abc.ca.gov/datport/LQSDATA.asp?ID=253768000

Jad's record for Reliable. 2 infractions that got him suspended each time.

2:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well after months of going back and forth and trying to decide if Joe was done wrong by the Lamas I thought I had finally figured it out. The Lamas were the bad people, isn't that what we all believed anyway. Something happened to make me re-think my loyalty. Joe came to all of us and told us he had to move and that he had a new place effective 11/1/05 and that he would be moving on the 17th. He even had this posted and written up in the paper. Now I walk down the street and see that he has not moved out. why is that, is he doing it unpurpose to annoy the Lamas. Why not give up the store as he was supposed to on 11/17/05 just like he told us all he would.

I walked by this morning and to see such a mess inside Reliable really upset me, to see the store closed and most of all not vacant.

My sympathy goes to the Lamas who for the last 3 months had to prove and defend themselves. Now they have to deal with Joe not giving up the store, it makes me wonder if he is doing it to continue to complicating their lives or just to get even, either way, its the wrong thing to do.

I was wrong to judge and take sides. I apologize to the Lamas and hope Joe leaves 249 Cortland soon and not in such a mess.

9:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Still unclear why this has to be black and white issue--with either Jad or the Lamas in the role of good or evil?

Also, you say Jad "came and spoke to us"; are there public meetings on this topic?

9:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to the comment above. Yes, public meetings were held, petitions were signed - over a 1000 signatures, an article in the San Francisco Chronicle written 9/17/05 by Carolyn Jones, signs posted everywhere. The answer is yes, it was made public knowledge and very controversial at that. it is black and white.

9:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apparently Jad is showing his true colors now as the earlier poster suggested. His lease was up almost two weeks ago and yet he refuses to relinguish the store at 249 Cortland.
We all see the construction going on at the new site with Jad in and out of the building so it's not like he doesn't have the time to clear his mess out of 249 Cortland. And leaving the lights on? Does he actually think running up a PG&E bill will accomplish something? What reason could he possibly have not to fulfill his obligation to vacate? It's much like the old playground story - if I don't get my way, I'm taking my ball and going home. Yep, that's exactly what Jad's doing.
I just hope all those neighbors who sang his praises during this fiasco now see his true colors.

1:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think they are...which is why no one is speaking up. Good thing this is all anonymous, otherwise there would be some faces I would laugh at.

6:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh for heavens sake! Where was all this energy and passion when Home Depot was pushing its way into the neighborhood with a too-big store?? Home Depot will have a much more devastating effect on Cortland than a grocery/liquor store--no matter who's running it!

...and on our neighborhood quality of life, public safety, the well-being of our children, and everything else that matters. As a mom, I have to say I'm more much concerned about what's coming with Home Depot than with Reliable Whatzit.

1:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I sure as hell saw the Home Depot protests - I don't know how you could miss it. However, perhaps those loud protests didnt' represent the majority of Bernal Heights. As a resident since 1983 and a parent, I welcome Home Depot to the neighborhood and the city. Home Depot will bring two things to this city, $500k in tax revenue that currently goes to Colma (you know, the town with a population of 6000 and 5900 of them are dead). Ever go down there to shop? So do your tax dollars. Notice the nice new roads and city buildings they've got? Yep, tax dollars, SF is broke, we need that 500k. The other thing SF needs is decent jobs for young adults. Home Depot will provide that. Perhaps traffic will suck a bit more on Friday afternoons - we long time residents put up with the added traffic when the freaking yuppies moved in with their SUVs bigger than half the homes in the neighborhood - a few more on Cortland won't bother me.
But, I digress.......

To the previous poster, As a mom, you should be more concerned with someone who has a consistent record of selling liquor to minors relocating so close to a library full of kids rather than worry about a store selling home improvent supplies. We all know how D A N G E R O U S curtains and plungers can be!

2:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So many personal attacks and "you-shoulds." Not a very convincing way to make your case, but that's been the tone of this "community" conversation each time I've looked in.

I've lived here 12 years, and I've never witnessed nor had an experience with Reliable, the Massis, or the Lamma family and any of their liquor sales that comes close to the horrors you're waving at me.

$500K and a handful of seasonal & part-time jobs don't mean much against all the SF money, businesses, and real and potential future jobs that will be bleeding away to Home Depot Central in Atlanta. That's an incredibly valuable piece of real estate down there--one of a kind with its size, freeway access, and such. It's a pity to see that thrown away on such a mirage of supposed "benefits."

My kids have had serious close calls with the already congested traffic on Cortland--and never when they haven't been paying attention or watching out for themselves. People already ignore the speed limit, stop signs, and crossings--so many more cars mean so many more dangers. My kids have never had a problem with anything or anyone inside or outside the old grocery--or Skip's, the Wild Side, or Charlie's, for that matter.

As a mom, I'm scared by so many unsafe drivers, more smog, and bad businesses crippling our local stores.

6:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just curious, what do you propose to put in the former Goodman Lumber location if not Home Depot?
The 100 jobs promised by Home Depot - what do you propose to replace those?
You're worried about money "bleeding" to Atlanta. Do you apply that logic to every purchase you make? It must be difficult to get everything you need without your buying dollars "bleeding" to locations outside San Francisco.

2:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quick answers because I have to pick up my kids:

1. I heard that Cole Hardware was interested in the site, and others, but because Home Depot has locked up the lease for several years, interested parties weren't willing to invest in expensive and speculative site plans. I can imagine lots of businesses--even chains--that would be better suited in size and scope to a heavily congested urban area like that site.

2. Cole Hardware countered the 100 part-time/seasonal jobs by organizing a local business coalition and Job Bank, with a commitment for 350 jobs. This will not happen when Home Depot knocks out local businesses, as it's done elsewhere.

3. I shop locally in most major areas of my life--Alemany Farmers Market, Rainbow, Good Life, Cole, Heartfelt, Red Hill Books, Chloe's for my youngest, craigslist for many items, etc. (Walgreen's is a sad exception.) But it can be easily done with some thought and care! Give it a try!

4:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But I'm sure you're driving to these places in your nice little Korean car, wearing clothes made in Taiwan, and watching shows on your Japanese TV. Don't be a hypocrite..judging people for something you do as well is idiotic.

6:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good grief! Now you're confusing manufacturing, which is a whole different conversation, with support for local retail. And I haven't judged anyone about shopping or choice of products. You'll recall that I gave you my favorite stores in response to your remark about how hard it must be to shop in local businesses.

I never intended to judge anyone on where they shop, so I don't think I'm a hypocrite. I raised my concern about the presence of the non-local store, safety issues for our kids, etc. Once the store is open, people will shop there--it's not their fault that the choice has been made practically inevitable by artificially low prices and potentially shrinking choice as local businesses close. (Workers without benefits tend to rely on public health services, for instance.)

You move past most of my responses to your arguments/attacks and focus on one, often new, accusation each time. We're not convincing each other of anything--and the negativity is hard to take. So let's let bygones be bygones and allow people to continue debating the grocery/liquor store, family allegiance issues.

8:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know when ABC will be meeting to allow people to speak about the 249 Cortland License?

9:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If that's still you, the person quarreling with me, the mom who's concerned about traffic, safety, and the health of local business-- then I want to thank you for your concern over the state of my employment. No need to worry, I already have a job--I'm a CPA working full time with a consulting firm.

1:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love Antoinette Lama
Do you marry me?
Go lama's go

3:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is Joe still occupying the old Reliable? its been over 30 days since he was supposed to move out!

Were are the Lama family, why are they not working on the 249 Location?

7:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No more 249 location,we don't need
anymore liquor store there.

The neighbors or 99% don't want it.

1:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alert! Alert!

It looks like the former Jolino Jewelers on Cortland, just steps away from the library, park, rec center (in other words, KIDS) has a new establishment coming in that has applied for a liquor license!!

Or is that somehow different? Please advise--I am outrage-ready.

6:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you seen the opulent Christmas Village on display in the window of the new Reliable/Cotton Basics? The twinkling lights and delightful tiny-tiny-ness are a kid magnet!

I saw a child there recently, hands pressed to the glass, staring into the insidious village. The little girl's mom was helplessly trying to move her along.

It's like they're taunting us by trying to draw neighborhood kids hypnotically toward the liquor and porn!

IT TAKES A VILLAGE!

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jad Massis was served with a lawsuit not to long ago after failing to evacuate the premises. After a week or so of asking him to move, the Lama's finally resorted to lawyers. As you can see, 249 Cortland is a mess, and Jad has no problem with that since he's happily working on the new store a couple blocks away. And as you may have noticed if you checked ABC's site, both licenses are still pending, and I'm pretty sure the Lama's want to make sure they have a liquor license before they start working on a store.

7:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope lama will never ever get a liquor license.

11:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two things - to the CPA mom - none of those comments following your response about shopping locally came from me (me of the bleeding comments) - it appears that t he kids are out of school early and posting away.
Secondly, since you support local business then would it be safe to assume you'd support the Lama's desire to return to their store at 249 Cortland since they do actually live and raise their children in the neighborhood?

11:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CPA Mom--I love it! But I have to admit that I spend a fair amount of time shuttling to games just like my Soccer Mom sisters!

I should have realized that we weren't in an exclusive conversation a deux. Thanks for the clarification.

And, yes, you assume correctly. I have no issue with Reliable relocating or the old store continuing. As I said in one of my early notes, my family and I have never had or witnessed any kind of problem with Reliable, Mr. Massis, etc. Regardless of what the record may say--I trust my direct experience.

I wrote in precisely because I don't see this as a big issue for Cortland and because I don't have a particular allegiance in the controversy around these two families. I still think the passion here could have been put to more productive use in the Home Depot struggle.

And what about this new local business that someone spotted in the defunct jewelry store? I'm intrigued to know more.

4:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...

I hope lama will never ever get a liquor license."

Admittedly, I'd like an explanation for this. It's easy enough to throw out comments, but with nothing to back them up, you just look unintelligent and further the point of the opposing party (in most cases)

1:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:00 AM  
Blogger MJ said...

Sorry to have to remove the last few comments. I've been impressed with the passionate, engaged tone of this thread. However, when the comments grow insulting and abusive I'm going to pull them off.

11:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks to the moderator for removing the obnoxious remarks. (Although there are a few more, "Stop writing stupid things..." messages above in the string.)

Reliable Grocery is open for business and looks great.

2:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, it wasn't untill Tuesday that the Lama's finally got the key back, after having to take Jad Massis to court. As you can see, it was just recently emptied, leaving no time for it to be opened before the New Year holiday, which happens to be one of the biggest money making days. Jad Massis only has a temporary license, his original license is still on hold.

11:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the new Reliable Grocery and looks great.
Joe is nice man we should support him,he mades business on Cortland nicer.

1:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more. At this point, as a landlord, I think all the back and forth over landlord/tenant squabbles over occupancy, move outs, etc. is really none of the neighborhood's business.

The neighborhood debate over whether Reliable was the right business to move into Cotton Basics was the topic of the original debate.

And the folks who are concerned about liquor sales on Cortland should now focus on the possible addition of a new liquor license up at the old Reliable.

That said, I don't think either establishment is a problem for the street.

3:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The new reliable does look very nice but I was worried to see the amount of floor space dedicated strictly to liquor sales and not actual groceries. It looks like the focus is strictly on liquor sales which is conter to what Jad's been claiming in this move. Maybe it should be called Reliable Liquor instead of Reliable Grocery. Also, I'm curious, does anyone know why Jad Massis would not turn over the former location until his new location was ready to open? Once his lease was up at 249 Cortland, why didn't he vacate? At this point, it seems like it's an intentional tactic on his part.

8:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jad is NOT a nice man, why don't you people understand. Keeping the original Reliable location in shambles and not giving the Lama's the key is NOT something a nice man would have done. And yes, all the landlord/tenant squabbles are the neighberhood's business. Jad Massis tries to convery this image that he's the victim, that the Lama's are evil, etc etc, and it showed how he really was. He deliberatly waited until AFTER New Years to give up control of the store so he would have less competition. Everytime I drove by the new Reliable he was there talking to someone. He obviously had time to clear it out, but would not.

Jad is not a nice man. He is not a nice merchant. He's manipulative and greedy.

8:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the other person--this is not anyone's business but the people directly involved.

Otherwise we should focus this whole discussion on ALL the merchants on the street, rumors or interpretations about their business practices, and if we think they're "nice" or "greedy"?

Liquor licenses are open to public debate--that's why the city holds hearings and asks for citizens to respond. But the rest of this stuff is just so much gossip.

This is really an uncool way to use a public forum.

"mj" should shut down all the speculation and possible slander on this thing.

9:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since the entire neighborhood saw that Jad didn't vacate the store until after his lease was up - the date of which he made public at neighborhood meetings and flyers he handed out, I don't think that aspect qualifies as "speculation." The violations on his ABC license are a matter of public information and therefore would not qualifiy as "specualtion" or "slander". I think the sad thing is that people in this neighborhood made assumptions and chose to believe them without ever seeking out facts. Look at the fact and you'll see who's "evil" and/or "greedy".
And, what's the point of a public blog if you're going to censor it?

12:17 PM  
Blogger CabbieNamedAxel said...

Speculation and slander? What I state are facts, pure and simple. You can contact me if you wish to check my sources.

8:52 PM  
Blogger MJ said...

Love the debate but the slander and abuse does not advance the discussion. I will continue to pull down abusive posts.

10:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you joe for making cortland and reliable nicer.
I wish you good luck

2:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Bloggers, I thought we were done with the Reliable issue. I guess not.

Joe accomplished what he wanted.
Slander the Lama family, focus everyones' attention on them while he laughed in all our faces by doing what he said he wouldn't. Did I not read in the Chronicle on September 9, 2005 in an article by Carolyn Jones in which Joe explained how liquor is not a big part of his sales, and that he would open the doors with or without a liquor license. His store was ready for the grand opening 12 days before he actually did. Why delay his much looked forward opening until New Years Eve. When he finally got a temporary liquor license....

Many of you have stopped me in the street to comment on his new beautiful LIQUOR store and how it was least 80% liquo and you wondered why he still call it a grocery. Amazing isn't it. I'll bet none of us saw that one coming.

In the same article Joe also mentioned that he was leaving early November, what he did instead is allow his lease to expire, hold hostage the vacant building for over 38 days and only handed the keys to the Lamas because he was ordered to, by a judge on December 27th, 2005.

Would someone like to explain what was the purpose of stripping all shelves, leaving broken windows,removing the awning and lights on the external part of the building and leaving the former Reliable standing only in its' naked frame, both in and out. Specially when he was moving only two blocks away and would continue to have contact with the Lamas on a day to day basis.

These delays and damages created by Joe only confirm his insecurity and ill will. Hope Karma is kind to Joe.

My best to the Lama family who is now facing the task of starting from zero. We are Looking forward to your opening.

With all that said, I truly hope that this is really the end of this controversial issue. Happy New Year.!

11:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said!!

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2:18 PM  

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