I've been to Avedano's Meats on Cortland several times since its grand opening on July 15, mostly just to poke around, but I could never remember the name. My friends who live in Bernal Heights would say things like, "Have you checked out that new place around the corner?" and, "What's that place called again?" I'm terrible with names (and evidently in this case, so are my friends), which is a great liability. I have to play word association games to remember anything these days. I knew the place was a meat market, in the sense of selling meat, of course, but I was also aware that they sold much more than that. Did they sell skincare products? Doubtful, unless one considers animal fat an excellent facial hydrating agent. Aveda? No. Now you might understand why I am exhausted all the time.
At least now I won't forget the name.
Avedano's is the dreamchild of three women-- Tia Harrison, Melanie Eisemann, and Angela Wilson. Harrison, if you didn't know, is also the chef/owner of Sociale (which happens to be a subject of this week's Check, Please! here on KQED). And, if she's not busy enough running a restaurant and a quality meat store, her new baby occupies the rest of her time. That is what I would call energetic. I am shamed by my own lethargy.
The location, 235 Cortland Avenue (at Bocana), has been a butcher shop ever since it opened as Cicero's Meats in 1901. More recently known as Bleuss Meats, its faded streamline moderne sign leant a charming sense of decay to the Bernal neighborhood for years, but I never saw the door open for business. When the place was (minimally) reinvented as a butcher/ sashimi store, I was filled with hope-- one just doesn't find many good butchers operating independently of a supermarket these days. Sadly, the former owners were using this retail-only space to run a wholesale business on the sly, which isn't exactly legal. So the mini-blinds were pulled down and the door closed again.