SF's Best Deli
By Brett Snider
SF had no Jewish delis. Nothing aside from some BS “New York–style” or “Chicago-style” delis with Yiddish-sounding names that are closed… on Sundays! A shanda! That is, until Evan Bloom and Leo Beckerman, two Cal Berkeley alums with a dream and a meat smoker, brought that ethereal pastrami out of the shadows and into the light, in a little spot of heaven they call Wise Sons.
San Francisco’s pop-up culture has hosted many a great idea, and Wise Sons is no exception. The first opportunity for Bloom and Beckerman to show off their meaty meddle was in January 2011 at Off the Grid, a spot for food trucks and pop-up eateries. Even though the duo only served for a couple hours at a rented café on Saturdays, their deli fare was a hit, and digital word of mouth allowed the mobile eatery to continue seeing business throughout 2011. “It was hard to keep up with us,” Beckerman admits, and they knew from the start that they needed a permanent place to call home. As luck would have it, that place was on one of the busiest streets in the Mission: 24th, with its numerous bakeries, hair salons, taquerias, art galleries, and now a Jewish deli. Thus Wise Sons opened its doors in early 2012 to crowds of loyal followers and curious newcomers.
Why “Wise Sons”? “There were a number of names we rejected before we got to Wise Sons,” Bloom explained, one of which was “Schmearbucks.” The name Wise Sons was a play on the idea that opening a restaurant might not be such a hot idea