Hey, everybody, the New York Times has discovered San Francisco again! And this time it isn't about the Mission. Well, almost. The gray old lady sets its book-sniffing sights on NoPa — known to locals and decent human beings as "Divis," "the Panhandle," "Western Addition," or even "you know, near Alamo Square." But never, ever "NoPa." The travel piece even has the unmitigated gall to throw shade at Popeye's, claiming that it's out of place in the freshly invigorated neighborhood. Fighting words, folks. Check it:
"Years ago, realtors attempted to gussy up a gritty slice of the Western Addition area of San Francisco — home to wig shops, greasy diners and its fair share of crime — with a catchy acronym, NoPa, after its city-central location, north of the Panhandle. When the restaurant Nopa took over an abandoned Laundromat in 2006, the moniker started to catch on — and it now seems to have officially stuck. Rents are rising, retail options are evolving, and the neighborhood is expanding up, down and around Divisadero Street. Check-cashing joints have become trendy salons; landscaped parklets and do-it-yourself schools have cropped up; and artisanal pies and pizza are making a Popeyes look increasingly out of place. With plans for better bike lanes, a branch of the cult-favorite grocery and ice cream shop Bi-Rite coming this fall, and a Four Barrel cafe and 'toast bar' (called the Mill) opening soon, NoPa is poised to become the next Mission — just leafier and more low-key."
SFist asked associate editor and Divis resident Andrew Dalton for his thoughts on Popeye's and his apparently booming hood. Is Popeye's out of place? "Not at all, it provides balance," Dalton explains. "Also, cheap lunch on Tuesdays." He goes on to add, "We need a noodle place. We're not a complete neighborhood without ramen or pho."
If you want to taste Divis, we strongly recommend you check out Nopa (the restaurant that allegedly helped kickstart the neighborhood's rechristening controversy), Mini Bar, Cafe Divis/Vinyl Wine Bar (their sommelier is from Saison), the aforementioned Popeye's, or just raid Dalton's liquor cabinet and drink all of his limoncello until you blackout.