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The Butcher Girls

As a Bernal Heights resident, I’m having a little Bernal pride moment. Maybe a little girl power moment, too.

Stopped by the brand new Avedano’s Meats Holly Park Market whose refurbished porcelain, neon sign has been lighting up Cortland Street since it opened a couple weeks back. Part butcher and part gourmet market, it’s a bit like Bi-Rite meets Blue Fog (see our story, "The Fancy Food Show" on the rise of the gourmet market for more on this). The space, which is a long-closed butcher shop, has a ton of history and the women that opened Avedano’s have kept many of the original elements, so it has a nice vintage feel.

The selection is small, but they have things there I haven’t seen anywhere else. Beyond locally-raised meat, such as the pork from Sonoma that they just started getting in, and a small selection of seafood, they’re selling things that you’ll only find in restaurants, such as Granoro’s high-wheat gluten pasta (A16 apparently uses this), gelato from Latest Scoop and six kinds of butter, including one from Gilt Edge, an old SF-based creamery that I’d never heard of before, not to mention very, very expensive candies from Pietro Romanengo in Italy (we’re talking like $17 for a handful). They also have things like lavender lemonade, homemade aqua frescas and prepared food specials, perfect for people headed home for work (fried chicken, lasagna, Taco Sundays). The empty space next door to them is also theirs and they’re pondering things to do with it, such as turn it into a private dining room. They might even have a farmers market there on weekends. A very, very small one.

But despite all of this great stuff, I’m most taken by the fact that a butcher shop has been opened by three women, who all met through their work at Sociale on Sacramento Street: Tia Harrison (current co-owner of Sociale, former Bernal resident and all of 28 years old), Melanie Eisemann, 32, and Angela Wilson, 34 (both current Bernal residents and roommates). Tia’s doing the butchering right now (a half a pig was waiting for her in the walk-in) and they’re all going to be learning to make charcuterie starting next week.



Melanie Eisemann and Tia Harrison (with her four-year-old daughter) open up shop.

The official opening party for Avedano’s (named after Tia's grandmother) is August 19. DJ Jupiter Henry, part of Funk n Chunk, specializing in grilling and spinning, will be there, barbecuing from the back of Melanie’s pickup. Sounds like a good time. Too bad I’m going to be out of town. Who’s going to go in my place?