During yesterday's Bay to Breakers festivities, the friendly neighborhood grocers at Bi-Rite took advantage of their prime location at Divisadero and Hayes by pivoting their business model for the day. In order to better serve the thirsty hordes of revelers, the store - known for its local produce, sustainably raised meats and carefully curated cheese selection - stocked the place with Tecate tallboys, bottled water, and snacks.
Everything was set up to steer partiers, some of whom had just had their drinks confiscated by police up the hill at Alamo Square, to a refreshing cold beverage. The aisles were blocked by refrigerators to keep the drunks from wandering too far astray and accidentally buying a bag of mixed greens. The deli case was papered-over with a sign directing folks to a selection of pre-made sandwiches. The cheese was all gone from the cooler — replaced by even more beer. And there was no line at the ice cream counter because the scoopers were only serving up pre-packaged pints. Signs advertised cups and bottle openers behind the counter, in case anyone forgot their drinking supplies.
The place hardly even resembled Bi-Rite where, just one day earlier, your editor overheard a retired couple discussing the difference between trawled and line-caught tuna fish in a can. But it all makes sense: Bi-Rite prides themselves on carrying only the best of what their customer base needs, and on Sunday those customers only needed beer, water and maybe some truffle popcorn.
Meanwhile, across the street at Popeye's, things at the fried chicken store had descended into utter chaos. Again.