This Thursday, Mission Bernal celebrates community, the arts, and small businesses with their annual Mission Bernal Holiday Walk. For this event, the numerous locally-owned restaurants, bars, galleries, coffee shops, and other businesses that make up this neighborhood have put out their welcome mats to the city at large. Neighbors and newbs alike are invited to get to know the local business that make up Mission Bernal, peruse their wares, meet the owners, and sample the neighborhood’s diverse flavors.

As you may recall, this neighborhood fell victim to a massive five-alarm fire in June of this year. The resulting damages included 58 displaced residents and nine businesses being destroyed. Fundraising efforts, organized by the Mission Bernal Merchants Association (MBMA), have helped some of these businesses, including Cole Hardware, El Gran Taco Loco, Playa Azul and 3300 Club. Each received small grants ($4800 each) to help with immediate costs. With the grant money, Cole Hardware has rented a retail location in the neighborhood, next to Pizza Hacker. Others are using the funds toward architecture fees and outstanding bills. Many of these businesses have still not seen insurance money.

Among the MBMA’s efforts to help these businesses, they’ve also put together this annual holiday event, a reminder that there is still much to be celebrated in the community-oriented neighborhood. Be sure to also stop by Secession Art & Design (3235 Mission St) for their holiday show, Home Away From Home, featuring art by Hilary Williams and Nicole Bauguss.

Thursday, December 15th6-9pm
Find participating businesses along Mission Street from Cesar Chavez Street to Randall Street, including businesses on adjacent side streets, such as 29th Street
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As visitors explore the neighborhood, the MBMA encourages them to post photos and videos of the sights, sounds, and tastes they experience on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, with the hashtag #MBMAHW. As an extra incentive, throughout the evening, the MBMA will be monitoring the hashtag and giving away “thank you gifts” to those tagging their adventures in Mission Bernal.

“We see the Mission Bernal Holiday Walk as a sort of social experiment in supporting the neighborhood’s small business community, and we want to invite everyone to be part of it,” says Eden Stein, president of the Mission Bernal Merchants Association. “The Mission Bernal corridor is a hidden gem of food, art, music, and culture.”

Related article: Secession Art & Neighborhood Support for Merchants Affected by Mission Bernal Fire