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Southern Pacific Brewery Readies For Its Debut

Sometime mid-month, the long awaited Southern Pacific Brewery will officially open their doors to the public, although on New Year’s Eve a near capacity crowd of 200 showed up for the Mission microbrewery’s dress rehearsal.

Chris Lawrence (former sales manager for Speakeasy) and Anthony LaVia (former owner of both Gestalt Haus and the Matador) partnered up to create Southern Pacific and brought Andy French (former brewer at Speakeasy) on board as brewmaster.

Eat Like a Native: An Iraqi Expat On Where to Go, What to Buy

Welcome to a column wherein we track down a cook good with an accent and milk them for all their best kept eating secrets.

Ghazwan Al-Sharif—a native of Tikrit, Iraq—describes his kitchen as "a place to play." Born into what he describes as a "foodie family," Al-Sharif's father was a diplomat, so he spent most of his early childhood in the Czech Republic and London. He moved to Iraq at the age of 15, where he eventually ran a restaurant. In 2003, when the U.S. troops came into the country, Al-Sharif was tapped as a translator. Eventually, his people turned on him for taking the job and he was forced to flee the country. It's a long, tragic and complicated story that has been told partially by New America Media here, and more recently by the Chronicle here. Al-Sharif was relocated to the Bay Area by the International Rescue Committe, and at last finds himself home and safe, living in the Tenderloin of San Francisco. He currently works as a PR and Production Manager for Project Open Hand, a job that incudes cheffing, dinner and events organization. Food is still one of Al-Sharif's favorite subjects and he was excited to share the San Francisco bites that bring back good memories of his life in Iraq.

Seven Questions for Starfucker

Catchy, upbeat, danceable, addictive - Portland-based electro-pop group Starfucker (or STRFKR to some) is on the up-and-up. They took a minute to chat with us before swinging through the Bay Area later this week. 

Welcome back to San Francisco! What’s been happening with you guys since the last time you were here? 

Urban Escape: Mexico City

If long walks on the beach, piña coladas by the pool, and afternoon naps sound like a snore, then the hustle and bustle of Mexico City (population: 19.3 million) might be just the thing. A far cry from your standard sleepy beach town, Mexico DF (Distrito Federal) is home to top-notch restaurants, 150 museums, and a flourishing art scene.

Like San Francisco, this is a city of neighborhoods, each with its own distinct identity. While artists and creative types flock to bohemian Roma for its galleries, boutiques, hip bars, and restaurants, Polanco is the destination for swanky shopping. Condesa, meanwhile, dates to the turn of the 20th century and is home to magnificent old homes, cafes, and parks.

Reading Roundup: This Week's Top Literary Events

Each week, we offer a roundup of the best literary events in the city. All events are free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted. Want to submit an upcoming event for consideration? Go here.

Adam Johnson (The Orphan Master's Son)

Tuesday, January 10, 7:30 pm, at The Booksmith (1644 Haight St.)

Be More Efficient in 2012 Thanks To 8 Local Startups

It may not seem all that sexy, but much of the most significant innovation in digital technology is devoted to helping us get things done more efficiently.

Here are eight local startups that are leading the way in that regard as we enter the new year:

This Week's Hottest Events: Rice Paper Scissors, Remedios Varo, and Mythbusters

Bill Cunningham New York
See the NYT street style photographer extraordinaire in action on the big screen.
When: 2:30 and 6:30 p.m., Mon. 1/2
Where: SF Film Society, 1746 Post St.

Food + Art
Rice Paper Scissors Pop-Up Lunch
Have a special Rice Paper Scissors banh mi for lunch on Friday. Designed specifically to complement Sharon Lockhart's "Lunch Break" exhibit, now in its final weeks at SFMOMA, the Vietnamese pop-up cafe joined Blue Bottle and Caffé Museo in making special menus to celebrate the show.     
When: 11:30 - 1:30 p.m., Fri. 1/6
Where: The Schwab Room at SFMOMA, 151 Third St.

Hipline Fitness & Belly Dance: Fight Club For Women

There is a place in Berkeley where women congregate and dance their asses off. What began as a belly dancing studio three years ago, is now a thumping, sweating, smiling mecca for women who want to let loose and get down. Hipline takes the fear out of exercise and puts the fun back in. Weekend classes book a week in advance, evening classes are illuminated by a disco ball and glow jewelry and Shimmy Pop Ninjas teach their hearts out.

SF Street Style: Provocative-Meets-Classy + Local Wears, in NoPa

Sun out and shorts on, we spotted David Choi, waiting for a haircut at Population salon on Divisadero. I really like how David's fedora and shawl collar cardigan elevate his otherwise basic t-shirt and shorts outfit. Those classy finishing touches also soften the provocativeness of his locally designed t-shirt by CALAB

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