Third Street Stroll …

by Rochelle Metcalfe

GOOD NEWS! Especially for VISITACION VALLEY and SUNNYDALE residents – the opening of GROCERY OUTLET Supermarket, located at old Bayshore and Sunnydale, across from the car wash. The T-Third Street Muni line ends at Sunnydale platform. May 1, the bargain market opened to much enthusiasm. Heard nothing but RAVE reviews. The store is independently owned by DEREK AND GINA NAVARRO, who live in Visitacion Valley.

Unbelievable, but it’s been at least two decades since the area has had a MAJOR market. About two weeks after the opening, drove over to check out the store which has ample outdoor parking. Noticed the market is customized to suit the community – Asians, Latinos and Blacks.

FINALLY, the old SCHLAGE LOCK factory site on old Bayshore will soon be under construction! In a joint announcement, standing on the grounds of the blighted area, San Francisco MAYOR ED LEE and SUPERVISOR MALIA COHEN (District 10) spoke to a gathering of community leaders; construction expected to start next year in developing a new mixed-use community – market rate and affordable housing and retail. Schlage Lock closed in 1999; many jobs were lost – idled for 10 years or more. The factory had been operating since 1926.

Kathy-Ford-owner-Fords-Grocery-Oakdale-Lane-by-Rochelle, Third Street Stroll ..., Culture Currents
Kathy Ford tells of her parents, Eugene and Laura Ford, who founded Ford’s Grocery in 1971 – in a building built in the 1800s, at Oakdale and Lane in Hunters Point. – Photo: Rochelle Metcalfe

MOVING on to FORD’S GROCERY STORE, corner Oakdale and Lane.

While waiting for the SPECIAL Muni cable car to take me to the 25th anniversary of the Hunters Point Shipyard Art Show (one stop pickup in front of the store every 15 minutes), walked in and met KATHY FORD, friendly lady who shared her parents, now deceased, EUGENE and LAURA FORD (their image painted on the outside exterior), owned the neighborhood store since 1971, but the place has been there since the 1800s –  NOW that piqued my attention! Ms. Ford is carrying on the tradition! I liked the friendly VIBES – WILL RETURN!

Later, when telling NITA HINES about my visit, she called the store “a COMMUNITY STAPLE”! I would agree. From what I’ve noticed, Mom and Pop stores are hard to find in the Bayview Hunters Point area.

The sun shined bright that day, gave off a cozy feel. The sight of MR. DAVID FLOYD, a lively gentleman who is at the spot every day, usually sitting outside in front of the store, smiling, chatting, waving to cars passing by, shared he’s been living in the Bayview since 1956! A painted picture of him splashed across the side of the building.

OH MY GAWD! MISS APRIL’S got it going on there at her Auntie April’s Restaurant on Third. Keeping it LIVE – JAZZ AND GUMBO the FIRST Sunday in May; THIS month, BLUES ‘n’ BARBECUE – WHAT YOU SAY!!! Live performance by ALVIN JETT and 3rd Street Project Band!

The FIRST Sunday in May was OFF THE HOOK, crowded with well-dressed, heeled folks; elegant glass bowls overflowed with seafood gumbo; restaurant reconfigured floor space to accommodate small tables (seating four); decor –  black tablecloths, excellent table setting. Guests were served individual appetizers on fancy glass plates, complimentary wine and several dessert choices. Waitresses dressed in black AND THE LADY OF THE HOUSE, MS. APRIL, shapely in eye-catching black dress, high high heels, hair in foxy style, flashing a pretty smile, greeting her guests. MAESTRO CURTIS (keyboard/vocals) and noted Bay Area JAZZ musicians performed – kickin’ it! I loooved the action!

Among the diners were family members – LARONDA “SUG” SMITH (owner Sug’s Entertainment Center in Daly City), husband FRANK FRANKLIN; PETE SMITH; Supervisor MALIA COHEN (District 10) and campaign manager. A week before Mother’s Day, Saturday morning Food Bank giveaway, Malia passed out GORGEOUS HANDBAGS in front of the Network for Elders office on the corner of Third and Armstrong.

MARVIN ROBINSON, DAP in Blue vine – hatless, almost didn’t recognize the brother – usually see him working hard in his 3-street Dollar Store, wearing a cap. Brother Marvin is BACK on radio – Sunday mornings on KBLX-FM 5:30 a.m. talkin’ about the BAYVIEW comm

Maestro-Curtis-performing-at-Auntie-Aprils-Jazz-and-Gumbo-Feast-by-Rochelle, Third Street Stroll ..., Culture Currents
Maestro Curtis performs at Auntie April’s Jazz and Gumbo Feast. – Photo: Rochelle Metcalfe

ANDREA BAKER, publicist-consultant, great supporter of Bayview Opera House and Bayview merchants. Ms. Baker knows fine cuisine. Back in the day, she and her mom operated GEVA’S fine Caribbean restaurant in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley.

CHECKING out my favorite spot – 7-Mile House Sports Bar and Grill, on a recent Saturday night. Standing tall center stage, flamboyant guitarist LLOYD GREGORY and hip musicians – Janice Maxie Reid, (the lady gets down on the keyboards and vocals); Joe Thomas (bass), Willie Jordan (drums), and SPECIAL guests – vocalists Darlene Coleman and Denise Mininfield (both back from a China tour). Gregory and friends literally BLEW THE ROOF OFF DA the popular legendary spot, located on Old Bayshore and Geneva!

Place was packed with folks like – twosome CHRISTINE HARRIS of Jazz Heritage Center on Fillmore and artist THOMAS TANDY; the SUIT MAN – KEN WILLIAMS celebrated his birthday with his LADY C.C. and friends BILL RAINE and his sweet lady, SUZY TYNER. .

JUNE BE KICKIN’ with festivals – In the Bayview, JUNETEENTH celebrated on 3rd Thursdays, June 19 … Juneteenth on DA MO, ONE DAY ONLY, Saturday, June 14 … San Francisco’s popular STERN GROVE on June 22, SMOKEY ROBINSON and PATTI AUSTIN – FREE!



Email Rochelle at