EXCELSIOR OUTER MISSION
The Excelsior District is located along Mission Street, east of San Jose Ave, south of Interstate 280 Southern Fwy, west of John McLaren Park, and somewhat north of Geneva Avenue.
Many of the area's streets, those named for the capitals of countries, and its avenues, those that are named for the countries themselves, were done so by Emanuel Lewis and his daughter Jeannette. Emanuel built 200 houses which sold as a result of the 1906 earthquake. On the west side of the district, which is also known as the Mission Terrace, many of the streets were named after American Indian tribes.
In the 1980s, the neighborhood became predominantly Latino with the arrival of refugees from Central American wars and immigrants from Mexico.
Today this laidback, culturally diverse neighborhood combines colorful murals, coffee houses, plenty of fresh produce and a plethora of affordable eateries.
EXCELSIOR OUTER MISSION
Excelsior Outer Mission Merchants Association
What helped you decide to open in the Excelsior Outer Mission District?
When people say "The Excelsior" there is often confusion between the Excelsior District (D11) and the Excelsior neighborhood which extends roughly from Trumble to the San Francisco County line and from Junipero Serra to McLaren Park. The Excelsior District includes Crocker-Amazon, Excelsior, Cayuga, Mission Terrace and Outer Mission.
EOMM (Excelsior Outer Mission Merchants) supports the commercial area around the Geneva and Mission intersection in cooperation with OMMRA (Outer Mission Merchants andResidents Association) to the south and EAG (Excelsior Action group) to the north. Geneva and Mission has a number of small businesses that are over 20 years old. They and their customers are passionate about the adjacent neighborhoods but feel like they've been missing out on the economic improvements and city services. We needed to pull everyone together to bring safety and cleanliness improvements to the area.
What is your most memorable experience since opening?
There are two actually:
We were able to connect two businesses with SF Shines Grants for facade and awning improvements. Once the other merchants saw what a difference that made they started how they could get funding for their storefronts. Now we have FUF Sidewalk Gardens, City plantings on the center median on Geneva.
We shut down a nearby drug house by partnering with Ingleside Police Station, the City Attorney's office and the adjacent Neighborhood Watch as well as other community groups in D11. Our seniors can safely walk around the neighborhood and parents let their children play on the sidewalks without fear of confrontation and health concerns. We have continued to partner with these groups to shut down other illegal businesses in the area.
What is your favorite restaurant, business or shop in the neighborhood?
The Dark Horse Inn, founders of our merchants association, has to be be the favorite not only for their community leadership but also for their innovative pub cuisine and craft beer selection. Through EOMM's efforts we have had several neighborhood firsts such as Movies in the Park at Balboa Park and extending Sunday Streets all the way to Geneva.
What makes the Excelsior Outer Mission neighborhood different from other merchant corridors in SF?
Geneva and Mission is a gateway to other parts of the city. Over 100,000 vehicles and 80,000 SFMTA riders come through our area on a daily basis. Dining here provides an intersection of diverse cultures ranging from Peruvian-Chinese, Cuban, Salvadoran, Mexican, Vietnamese, Philly Cheese Steaks. We still have a local barber shop, a cobbler and a locally run pharmacy. Recently 2 martial arts schools, a Botanica and Youth Art Exchange have moved into previously vacant storefronts. There are several large green spaces such as the Crocker-Amazon Soccer Fields, Naples Green and McLaren Park.
We have a lot of big spaces, over 2500 sq, which are difficult for one small business to fill. We're looking for creative ways to create co-operative and shared spaces where complimentary businesses and artists can share facilities.
What do you hope for the future for the Excelsior Outer Mission District?
We've made a good start but we need to continue growing to the point where we're creating jobs in the neighborhood. We aim to be the kind of merchant corridor where a family can walk down and find something for everyone. We need a deli, breakfast joints, ice cream parlors, fine dining and places where kids can hang out after school. We need artists studio spaces, startups and a variety of clothing stores.
We need redevelopment on a small scale in order to build community support. Many of our spaces have been closed for a long time and are in need of significant upgrades to make them restaurant-ready, ADA compliment and inviting.