Friday was the unveiling of Mint Plaza. Being that it was a busy day for me, I almost skipped the ceremony. But, when I heard there was going to be free Blue Bottle coffee, ‘Wichcraft’s peanut-butter sandwiches and a Gavin appearance, I figured I could squeeze in a visit.

This stretch next to the old Mint on Jessie St., off of Fifth St., is a major improvement over the sketchy alley it once was. Now, sparkly chic and artsy, it’ll attract shoppers from the San Francisco Center and offer green space for the residents of the restored commercial buildings that have been turned into lofts.

The next phase is the opening of the restaurants in Mint Plaza. First will be another Chez Papa—that looked to be ready to open shortly. Then, instead of another Sushi Groove, Jocelyn Bulow is envisioning a 60-seat trattoria—more on that another time. And a third restaurant that’s even more TBD.

While I’m happy to have a Chez Papa closer to me, I think I might be happiest that Blue Bottle will open there after the holidays. (December some time?)