North Beach was far ahead of its time in gourmet groceries 50 years ago; today, not so much. A store opening Friday hopes to change that.
Little Vine is the creation of Jay Esopenko, who was wine buyer at California Wine Merchant in the Marina for the last seven years. Ironically, Esopenko doesn't yet have a wine retail sales license, so he'll open up with just produce, cheese and upscale canned goods.
But that's more exciting than it sounds.
“We're doing fresh produce from Full Belly Farm,” Esopenko says. “Daniel Patterson buys from them for Coi. A lot of top chefs in town buy from them, but they're not really in stores. It's all going to be seasonal produce, so we'll have what they have.”