Since the iconic Red Vic Movie House closed nearly three years ago, the city has been anxiously awaiting to see what's in store for the historic space. Finally, Jack and Betsey Rix, two of the original founders, are ready to debut their new concept to the public next week.
Second Act Marketplace and Events is breathing life back into the landmark movie house by celebrating the relationship with the community that the Red Vic was so strongly known for. Second Act will bring people together to eat and to shop for locally produced goods or for artistic events.
The Red Vic was an independently run movie house located in the Upper Haight that had become the place to go to see cult classics and independent films for 31 years. In 2011, despite persistent fundraising efforts, declining ticket sales caused the movie house to close its doors.
Now, film will still be a part of the concept but it will take place as only part of the business: the event space. This area will continue to bring people together with poetry and book readings, film screenings, live music, comedy shows, and a private event space for rent. The front end of the building will feature five food vendors: High Cotton Kitchen, Community Craft, RAW, Anda Piroshki, and Spice Hound.
The space itself is clean and open with big windows that look out onto Haight and invite passers-by to come in and explore. It's a place where you can't help but wander around and insist on trying a little bit of everything.
Each vendor has their own booth to purchase lunch, coffee or some light groceries. High Cotton Kitchen is set up in the front window, where you can watch owners Terrell Brunet, a Louisiana-born former CIA instructor and Cailen Sutherland, a New Mexico-born cook (formerly of Seven Hills), slinging "Americana" food. Think cochon de lait po' boys, red beans and rice, gumbo, and braised pork with green chiles. Serving Sightglass coffee means they'll be the first to open at 7 a.m., ready to provide caffeinated beverages alongside Beauty's Bagels and Meetinghouse biscuits.
Across the entryway in the other front window is Elyse Thogerson, a former mixologist turned juicer. Thogerson runs RAW, a juice company featuring a selection of raw and organic fruit and vegetable juices. Thogerson has become known for her almond milk which will be offered at her stall as well as one-to-five-day juice cleanses.
Community Craft, is being run by Brunet of High Cotton Kitchen and his partner Neely Thomas, formerly at Bar Tartine. This co-op style bakery will feature a rotating cast of bakers that specialize in just about any baked good your cravings call for. Gluten-free bread from Bread SRSLY and challah or rye from Wise Sons will be available most days, sliced or whole pies from Butter Water Salt Flour, cakes and pudding from Ebb's Bakery, and vegan baked goods from Sweets Simply.
For the other two vendors, Second Act marks the expansion into, well, a second act for their companies. Anda Piroshki and Spice Hound have both made a home at the popular marketplace in Bernal Heights, 331 Cortland. Now you can also get piroshki and borscht from Anna Tvelova and bulk spices and spice blends from Tammy Tan at Second Act. Tan will also be serving masala chai and soda drinks made with seasonally inspired syrups.
We're excited to see what Second Act brings to the Upper Haight, a part of town that it so crowded with tourists that it can be hard for locals to find a good meal and a sense of community. It seems like the Red Vic has made a perfect transition into exactly what the neighborhood needed. While the movie house may have closed, the spirit still lives on during its second act.
Vendor hours will vary upon next week's opening:
High Cotton Kitchen: 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
Community Craft: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
RAW: 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
Anda Piroshki: 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Spice Hound: 11 a.m.-6 p.m.