467 episodes

A weekly podcast about the artists, activists, and small businesses that make San Francisco so special.

Storied: San Francisco Jeff Hunt

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.8 • 38 Ratings

A weekly podcast about the artists, activists, and small businesses that make San Francisco so special.

    Mitchell's Ice Cream, Part 1

    Mitchell's Ice Cream, Part 1

    This oh-so-San Francisco story begins with two brothers and a dairy farm at Noe and 29th Street.
    Larry Mitchell and his older brother Jack opened Mitchell's Ice Cream in 1953. Five years earlier, the building that now houses the well-known ice cream shop was going to be torn down for the widening of San Jose Avenue. The Mitchell family fought those efforts and a compromise was reached—The City would turn and move the building. The old liquor store that had been on San Jose was no more.
    That space sat empty for a couple years until Larry Mitchell decided that he wanted to do something with it. His parents had a small dairy farm on Noe and 29th Street. There was a parlor called Garrett's Ice Cream out on Ocean Avenue that was doing well. Larry and his brothers saw an opportunity.
    A salesman from Foremost Dairy taught them how to make ice cream, which they sourced from Foremost. Larry, his brothers, their dad, and some friends built the store out and it opened on June 6, 1953.
    Initially, it was a small operation. But in 1956, they built a bigger, newer freezer, and it just took off from there. Through the years, they've done their best to keep up with demand. The ice cream has always been made on-site.
    Larry Mitchell's oldest daughter was already alive when the shop opened. His second daughter, Linda, who joined us for this episode, was born in 1954, a year after the store began operations. His youngest kid, Brian, who also appears in this episode, was born in 1961. Today, Linda Mitchell and Brian Mitchell are co-owners of Mitchell's Ice Cream.
    Marlon Payumo, Mitchell's operations manager, is originally from the Philippines. He left his homeland with family in 1987, first landing in Guam, then on to San Francisco in 1988. Marlon had been in The City for two weeks when his friend came to visit him at his aunt's house, where he was staying. The friend brought some mango ice cream and a job application. Marlon interviewed, got the job, and has been with Mitchell's ever since. He was 19 when he started.
    Mitchell's was already popular when Marlon came on. Linda, Brian, and Marlon all agree: The long lines were even worse then! We talk about the frozen yogurt craze of the Eighties and how they dabbled in it but let it go to refocus on their crown product—the ice cream.
    Linda started working at the family business in 1991. By then, they were the only ice cream shop in the Mission, but their product wasn't in many stores just yet. Brian started back in 1979 after high school. He went to college on the Peninsula and worked at the shop on weekends. He got a degree in business management and came on full-time in the early Eighties.
    Linda's story of how she ended up at the family business is that their Aunt Alice, who had been Mitchell's bookkeeper/customer service rep for some time, was retiring. Linda had worked in banking for a while, and she'd lived in Florida and Texas, but it was time to come home. Linda took over their aunt's job.
    In the early Nineties, Mitchell's had about 30 employees. Today, that number isn't too much higher—they estimate it at around 40. They succumbed to the coffee/espresso craze of that decade. But that, too, didn't last long.
    Check back next week for Part 2 and more on the legacy and history of Mitchell's Ice Cream with Linda, Brian, and Marlon.
    We recorded this episode at Mitchell's Ice Cream in February 2024.
    Photography by Jeff Hunt

    • 22 min
    Photographer Chloe Sherman, Part 2

    Photographer Chloe Sherman, Part 2

    In Part 2, we hear about Chloe's first photo show, which took place at The Bearded Lady. Chloe describes The Bearded Lady as a hub, a place to do and get everything you could possibly need. It and the Kiki Gallery next door were both on 14th Street near Guerrero.
    Another queer artist, Cathy, liked Chloe's show and suggested that she go to art school. And
    so Chloe got into San Francisco Art Institute. She had a darkroom at her home and sometimes printed at Harvey Milk Photo Center in Duboce Park. But she was able to do so much at her school.
    At this point in the podcast, Chloe and I talk about photo editing and what that process was like in the analog film days. I name-drop Photoworks and Chloe mentions the photo labs at Macy's, then we end with Chloe's acknowledgement that people are embracing film again.
    I ask Chloe about the 2000s. Her daughter was born and they left The City, finding a new home in the East Bay to raise her kid. With the shift from film to digital, Chloe struggled to keep up and her life priorities changed.
    We talk about so many places that were important to the queer, dyke, and lesbian scenes closing in the Millennium. People from that scene started having kids and some pursued careers in other cities. Many wanted more space and couldn't get it in The City. The Dotcom boom happened, and folks were bought out or got priced out.
    That leads to a sidebar on the recent resurgence we're seeing here in San Francisco. There's Mother Bar of course, where we recorded, and Chloe mentions other new queer art spaces like Schlomer Haus Gallery. We wonder whether the pandemic was a correction event.
    The conversation shifts to how Chloe's photo book, Renegades, came about. Early in the pandemic, when everyone stayed home, her daughter came back from college to live with her. Her daughter saw Chloe's photos and told her to start an Instagram account. She did, but of course her daughter set it all up.
    They scanned many, many photos and started to post. The reaction was endearing and intense and overwhelming, she says. Chloe says it was like a high school reunion, with so many of her friends from the Nineties reemerging in her life on social media.
    The aforementioned Schlomer Haus Gallery saw what was happening and reached out looking for queer artists to show in their new space on Market. And so Chloe got a solo show in 2022. That show, Renegades San Francisco: The 1990s, set the stage for her book of the same name.
    That 2022 experience was still so new to her. But at the show's opening, people reconnected with one another and the work took on a life of its own. Chloe says people were in tears. They took photos of their photos that were in the show. 300+ people attended the opening that night and many of those went to the after party at Mothership Bar on Mission.
    "We all just showed up like nothing ever happened," Chloe says. Younger people at the opening told her, "This is why I moved to San Francisco," speaking to the scenes depicted in Chloe's photos.
    Renegades San Francisco: The 1990s the book is available at local bookstores like City Lights, Fabulosa Books, SFMOMA, and Green Apple. It's also available online. Go to Chloe's website for more info.
    We end Part 2 with Chloe's interpretation of our theme this season: "We're all in it." There's a special shout-out to photobooths.
    Follow Chloe on Instagram to stay up to date on shows and book signings.
    Photography by Jeff Hunt

    • 37 min
    Photographer Chloe Sherman, Part 1

    Photographer Chloe Sherman, Part 1

    Chloe Sherman's eyes are intense, but not the way you might think.
    Chloe, who's been taking photographs since she was young, was born in New York City. Her mom and her mom's mom were both New Yorkers, and her dad was from Chicago, with his family going back generations there. When she in was grade school, the family moved to Chicago, where Chloe was raised by aunts and grandparents as well as her parents, just like she had been in NYC.  
    It was the Seventies and her parents were hippies. They soon headed west, taking their family to Portland, Oregon, where Chloe spent the rest of her grade school days.
    Chloe says the move was fine, but that she felt like more of a city kid, and so it took some adjusting. She and her brother visited back east a lot. He ended up going to college there, and Chloe started school in Connecticut and then Boston before realizing that she'd become a West Coaster.
    We talk about life in Portland, how it's easier to be collective-minded and communal because it's more affordable than bigger cities. This of course has an effect on who's drawn to cities like Portland. With an abundance of young people, folks tend to band together.
    Chloe ended up going to Portland State. One weekend, she took a trip to San Francisco after reading about our city in a zine she got at Powell's Books in her hometown. We take a conversational detour at this point to talk about zine culture back in the late-Eighties and early Nineties.
    In high school, she had dabbled in dance and music, but knew she didn't want to pursue either performing art. She says she loved art and did some photography, but got more serious about that after high school.
    In those aforementioned zines, she learned all about the bike messenger culture here in The City and was captivated by it. On that weekend trip down from Portland, she visited Lickety Split Couriers, which was Lynn Breedlove's bike messenger company. Chloe ended up working at another messenger for two weeks, but soon gave that up entirely. "San Francisco is instant death if you're not a pro," she says. We talk a bit about bike messenger culture in SF back in the Nineties. The service was essential to downtown during dotcom, but you'd hardly know it these days.
    Breedlove told Chloe, "Go to the Bearded Lady Cafe," which she did. And it changed her life forever. It was there that she found her community. Chloe moved to San Francisco right after that visit to the cafe on 14th Street in the Mission.
    She lived with friends until she finally got her own place in Lower Haight. After Chloe was established here, friends from Portland followed her to The City. Her world was expanding around her. She says that she looks at photos now from back then and sees concentric circles of friends.
    The SF Dyke scene flourished through the Nineties. But then people grew up, got priced out, and The City changed. Many businesses closed with those changes.
    Check back next week for Part 2 to hear more about that thriving, bustling, Mission lesbian scene that Chloe captures so well and so prolifically in her photography.
    Photography by Jeff Hunt

    • 30 min
    Mark DeVito and Standard Deviant Brewing, Part 2

    Mark DeVito and Standard Deviant Brewing, Part 2

    In Part 2, we pick up right where we left off in Part 1. Mark was walking around the Mission taking down numbers of places with "for rent" signs. A resident in one of those spots leaned out the window and invited Mark in to see the place. Mark reveals that he and his wife still live in that same apartment 20 years later.
    Paul Duatschek lived nearby in the Mission. He and Mark were introduced by a mutual friend at Bottom of the Hill. Soon enough, Paul was coming in regularly to Luna Park on Valencia, where Mark managed and bartended. His new friend kept urging Mark to carry his homebrew at the restaurant, something Paul most likely knew couldn't happen. The same thing happened when Mark opened his own place—Dr. Teeth (now simply "Teeth") on Mission.
    It was around the time of two major events—his 30th birthday and the dissolution of his band (see Part 1)—that Mark decided to branch out. He ended up opening several other alcoholic-beverage-heavy establishments around SF: joints like Wild Hare, Royal Tug Yacht Club, Soda Popinskis, Cease and Desist. But it was at Dr. Teeth that Paul, by now a pretty damn good homebrewer, would pressure his friend.
    The idea was that Paul knew beer and Mark knew how to open places. They hired a branding company to help come up with the name, while they also poured Paul's homebrew at parties. They got a good reaction to the product, but encountered challenges finding a spot. Eventually, Craigslist saved them.
    Today, Standard Deviant lives on 14th Street just off Mission in an old body shop. They signed the lease in 2015, built the place out, and opened in 2016. The brewery produces around 2,000 barrels a year.
    The conversation then turns to San Francisco craft brewing. When Mark and Paul decided to work together, there were about 10 craft breweries in SF (places like 21st Amendment and Magnolia, to name just a few). A year or so later, when Standard Deviant opened its doors, that number had doubled. Mark says of the entire operation that it's about the place as much as it is the beer. I for one can attest to that.
    We end the podcast with Mark's response to our theme this season: "We're all in it ..."

    PS: An exciting bit of news dropped since we recorded back in December. This fall, Standard Deviant is opening its second location in San Francisco’s Pier 70. For reference, we featured this exciting new area of the bayside waterfront back in Season 4 Episode 20.
    We recorded this podcast at Standard Deviant Brewing in the Mission in December 2023.

    • 36 min
    Mark DeVito and Standard Deviant Brewing, Part 1 (S6E11)

    Mark DeVito and Standard Deviant Brewing, Part 1 (S6E11)

    Mark DeVito, co-owner and COO of Standard Deviant Brewing, wouldn't last a day in a police lineup. But it might not be his curly handlebar mustache that gave him away. Mark has an outsize personality, to put it mildly. And back in December, I sat down with him and one of the SDB dogs, Beans, at the Mission brewery for what turned out to be quite the wild ride of a recording.
    In Part 1, we learn about Mark's upbringing in smalltown New Hampshire—Hopkinton, to be specific. It's still a town-with-no-stoplights small. The summers were hot and the winters cold and snowy.
    After hearing about two rather unfortunate stories from Mark's elementary school days, we move on to his teen years. He learned to play drums from a neighbor who taught music at his school. His parents placed him in a preparatory boarding school for high school, where he found an entire room full of instruments where he and his friends could play. And play they did. They formed a band that started playing around the area.
    We go back a little so Mark can share his Italian grandparents' story of migrating to the United States and landing in Boston, where his dad grew up and where Mark soon found himself after high school. The gigs, mostly Grateful Dead covers but eventually more like jazz improv with a Miles Davis influence, were stacking up for Great American (named after a grocery store chain and having nothing to do with 9/11).
    After his college years, some band members went their separate ways. But Mark and one of his buds decided to take a chance on San Francisco. Mark had visited and was blown away by the natural scenery and human creative energy here. Which, duh.
    And so, in 2004, he moved here. From 2005 to 2010, Mark would spend around five months a year touring the country from his new hometown. The story of how he found a place to live—where he's still at today with his wife—is remarkable only in the sense that it doesn't really happen that way anymore. He was walking around the Mission taking down phone numbers written on "for rent" signs in windows when someone leaned their head out one of those windows and asked Mark if he wanted to see the place.
    Check back next week for Part 2 with Mark and the story of Standard Deviant Brewing.
    We recorded this podcast at Standard Deviant Brewing in the Mission in December 2023.
    Photography by Jeff Hunt

    • 37 min
    Doug Styles, Denise Coleman, and Huckleberry Youth, Part 2

    Doug Styles, Denise Coleman, and Huckleberry Youth, Part 2

    In Part 2, we really get into the meat of what Huckleberry Youth is and how it got started. You know, I keep finding out ways in which our city pioneered things for the nation. I recently saw the upcoming Carol Doda documentary and learned that she was the first topless dancer in the US. And in this episode, we hear from Doug and Denise something very important that Huckleberry Youth did before anyone else. And of course, at the time they did it, it was illegal.

    1967 is also known as the "Summer of Love" in San Francisco. And that meant young people from all over the country and world flocked to our city to find whatever it was they were looking for. Not all of them were lucky. Many faced hardship, having trouble finding shelter, making friends, and getting sick or addicted to drugs. A group of faith-based organizations and folks in the nonprofit world got together to do something about it, and Huckleberry House was born.
    But back then, both being a youth runaway was illegal, and, if you provided shelter for a runaway, it was considered aiding and abetting. Huckleberry House was the first such shelter for runaway youth in the country.
    But all it took was one complaint from a parent. SFPD raided the house and arrested youth and staff alike. Now they needed a lawyer, and they found one in a young man named Willie Brown. The future mayor got the charges dropped, and Huckleberry House reopened in February 1968. It has been in legal operation ever since.
    Denise and Doug talk about several programs that Huckleberry Youth has established over the years. One such program was HYPE, established in the 1980s to help young people with HIV/AIDS. They give thanks and respect to Huckleberry's own Danny Keenan—the first to say, in effect, "We need to have kids talking to kids" to address problems like young people who are sick.
    I bring up the fire at their Geary Boulevard administrative offices back in 2019 because I witnessed it (I live not too far from there). The office had been at Geary and Parker for more than 30 years. The fire in front of Hong Kong Lounge 2 destroyed memorabilia and photos at Huckleberry's office, but they were able to save a lot too.
    During COVID, Huckleberry House stayed open and even took in new youth. Partly because of the fire, they had been moving a lot of admin stuff online before the pandemic, so they were able to make that transition.
    The conversation then shifts to kids who come to them addicted. Huckleberry gets those youth into its justice program, known as CARC (Community Assessment and Resource Center). Denise tells this story, because she was at Delancey Street when the program started in 1998 (see Part 1 of this podcast). It turned out to be too much for that nonprofit, and so they handed it over to Huckleberry 2000. Doug and Denise estimate that the program has helped at least 7,000 individuals, and possibly as many as 10,000.

    We end this episode with Denise and Doug responding to our theme this season: "We're all in it."
    Go to Huckleberryyouth.org to donate and learn more about all that they do to help underserved youth in San Francisco.
    Photography by Jeff Hunt
    We recorded this podcast in December 2023 at Huckleberry Youth's administrative offices on Geary.

    • 36 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
38 Ratings

38 Ratings

79Samuel ,

Touched my heart

I rarely write these things. Your latest episode with Vander Hall really hit me close. Not every episode is a home run for me but each episode is very much 100% genuine SF. Thank you for doing this podcast I look forward to hearing each one.

J.L. Braswell ,

Best San Francisco podcast chronicling life.

This is my most favorite podcast talking about San Francisco, my favorite city for almost 20 years now since 2003. I previously lived in Syracuse, New York and Houston, Texas. I came to the Bay Area in 2003 from Houston with my family and instantly fell in love with San Francisco. It was the final year of Junior High School that time. I live in the East Bay, but really love San Francisco and enjoy visiting the city. I hope to live there one day. Every day 24/7, 365 days a year, and 52 weeks a year, San Francisco remains on my mind, especially during these challenging times with the pandemic, the election, the insurrection, and much more. That is how much I love the city. This podcast does a fantastic job chronicling life in San Francisco through conversations with locals that reside in the city about how they ended up in San Francisco, what got them here in the first place, memories of their first visits to the city. Jeff does a great job interviewing these folks and asks great questions. With every episode I have listened to, it’s always fun hearing from the people that Jeff has conversations with share these experiences and memories through their stories, what they have to say about San Francisco, what they like about it, and what they currently do in the city. I really like how this season with the pandemic that Jeff came up with the theme “We’re Still Here” and asks the people he interviews what it means to still be here in San Francisco and they foresee in the future with the city coming out of the pandemic. I highly really recommend this podcast to those who are passionate about San Francisco like I am, and especially to those that don’t live in San Francisco or the Bay Area, or have never visited San Francisco, or have been meaning to visit the city.

DaddyGameBoi ,

Ed Wolf

Loved the Podcast with Ed. He really gives an intimate look at such a sensitive and heartbreaking time in our nation. Thank you for having him on your show.

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