ON & OFF CHESTNUT STREET
Change is in the air and on the street

February has rolled into town and the holidays are safely in our rearview mirrors. There are occasional fits of beautiful weather hinting at spring, but there are also frequent reminders that we’re still in the middle of winter. That usually means it’s time to settle in, really get focused on the year ahead, and maybe catch up on a few of last year’s to-do list leftovers.

If one of those to-do items is getting clothing altered or repaired – either a gift you received that wasn’t quite right or letting something out if becoming Jack Lalanne’s heir apparent isn’t working out so well – look no further than the recently opened Meifei Clothing Design & Alterations on Chestnut near Divisadero, in the former Toyoko’s Alterations space. Meifei specializes in professional alterations of jeans, blouses, skirts, wedding gowns, and any and all accessories. Or if you have a vision for a new piece of clothing but aren’t adept at sewing yourself, Meifei has over 20 years experience in tailoring and clothing design.

Meifei Clothing Design & Alterations:2418 Chestnut Street, 415-922-1518

Moving up Chestnut between Pierce and Steiner, Sweet Dish sadly dished out their last treat in January. However, plans are already in the works for a new sweet sensation with Northern California’s first taste of Yogorino. The frozen treat is a smash sensation in its home country of Italy, with stores throughout Europe and Asia. This will only be Yogorino’s second store in the competitive “froyo” market in the U.S., with the first location in Philadelphia. Yogorino’s tagline is “Probiotics, good for healthy living,” so you not only get a sweet treat, you get a healthful snack. With low-fat yogurt made from locally sourced organic milk and a whole host of decadent toppings to choose from, as well as an assortment of local fresh organic fruits, you can feel good about your frozen dessert snack choice. Yogorino hopes to be opening in the spring – check their website for updates.

Yogorino:2214 Chestnut Street, www.yogorino.com

Plans for a new T-Mobile store in the former Burton’s Pharmacy space on Chestnut near Fillmore – vacant for nearly four years – are moving forward with the approval of their conditional use permit for a formula retail store last November. Construction has begun, with plans to open in early spring. If you’re in the market for an Android or other 4G smartphone, at least you’ll now be able to walk to Chestnut to make your purchase.

T-Mobile:2016 Chestnut Street, www.t-mobile.com

Up on Fillmore Street, just past Greenwich, Pizza Orgasmica is taking advantage of the recent relaxation of the restaurant ban in the Union Street Special Use District by expanding into the vacant nail salon next door and becoming a full-service restaurant. The Union Street ban was lifted by former Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier as a way to help fill empty storefronts and generate more foot traffic in this down economy, and so far, it seems to be having the desired effect. Not to say that restaurants aren’t also feeling the pinch, as just a few doors down, Kasa Indian Eatery is now up for sale after not performing as well as hoped. Pizza Orgasmica will have their public hearing before the Planning Commission on Feb. 17, and assuming everything goes as planned, hope to be open for full service early this summer. Until then, they are still open Sunday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. to midnight; Thursday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.; and Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. until 2:30 a.m.

Pizza Orgasmica:3157 Fillmore Street, 415-931-5300, www.pizzaorgasmica.com

Just up the block in the former PlumpJack Cafe space, chef Dominique Crenn has just opened Atelier Crenn. She brings her Michelin star skills to Fillmore Street – earned last year as executive chef at Luce in the Intercontinental Hotel – as well as the acclaim she earned with a victory on the Food Network’s Iron Chef America. Dominique’s goal is to combine a reverence for her father’s art (works from “Papa Crenn’s Atelier” adorn the space) with her own culinary artistic palette – in fact, the tagline “Poetic culinaria” says it all. A seasonal menu featuring locally sourced, organic produce and meats from Gouge Eye Farms includes tasting menus starting at $59 for three courses to $75 for five courses, with a cheese course included. The menu and prices vary depending on availability and chef Crenn’s creations of the day, but overall the menu is reflective of her French upbringing and specifically her childhood spent in Brittany, as evidenced by many dishes of the sea (including abalone) and rustic farm dishes such as tender lamb neck with sorrel and yogurt. A private banquet room at the back is available for special events. Atelier Crenn is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday, 6 to 10 p.m.; business casual attire and reservations are recommended.

Atelier Crenn: 3127 Fillmore Street, 415-440-0460, www.ateliercrenn.com

Farther afield on Lombard Street near Buchanan, Mr. Pickles Sandwich Shop has opened in the former Luigi’s Delicatessen. This is the 42nd store in the Mr. Pickles chain, but each store is independently owned and operated. The franchise’s trademark is quality sandwiches served in a fun and casual atmosphere. You’ll find all your favorite sandwiches here, as well as specialty salads, wraps and a kids menu for $4.99. Forget about dessert – all sandwiches come with a free cookie! Mr. Pickle’s is open Monday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Mr. Pickle’s Sandwich Shop:1926 Lombard Street, (415) 292-6264, www.mrpicklesinc.com

Jim Maxwell is past president of the S.F. Council of District Merchant Associations and owns Architects II in the Marina. E-mail: jim@marinatimes.com