November 5, 2017

More places to EAT at coming soon.

November 5, 2017

More places to EAT at coming soon.

Hand rolled gnocchetti Sardi.

A post shared by @chefico on

San Francisco’s dining world continues to turn, with a constantly growing set of restaurant openings to look forward to. This year has already unveiled hits like China LiveRobin, and Petite Marlowe, and as the summer comes to a close (or begins, depending on San Francisco’s weather patterns), more high-profile projects are set to open. Notably, several will be embedded in hotels, including Alta, Gibson, and Villon — possibly a response to the difficulty of SF’s real estate market.

Some of these newcomers have been in the works for a long time, while others have recently joined the anticipated openings beat — all will be interesting additions to the scene.


Location: 1085 Mission Street, SOMA
Key players: Chris Bleidorn
Projected opening: Late Fall/December

Chef Chris Bleidorn, former chef de cuisine of Atelier Crenn and alum of Benu, Saison and Alinea, is striking out on his own in the wilds of San Francisco with a restaurant channeling the Pacific Northwest. That essentially means that ingredients will be sourced from and inspired by Washington and Oregon in addition to the Bay Area. Expect mushrooms, berries, cold water shellfish and wild game like boar, elk or buffalo, and lots of wood-fired cooking and fermentation projects. The menu will consist of a tasting menu and a la carte options, and the space is the former AQ on Mission Street.

Bar Crenn

Location: 3131 Fillmore St., Cow Hollow
Key Players: Dominique Crenn, Juan Contreras
Projected Opening: Late October

cozy wine bar, located directly next to (and sharing a courtyard with) the chef’s two-Michelin-starred restaurant Atelier Crenn. Expect small plates and dishes to share, low-proof cocktails, and wines with an emphasis on producers that are natural and biodynamic.


Location: 842 Valencia Street
Key Players: Phil West, Arnold Eric Wong, Steve Werney, Carlos Yturria
Projected Opening: November

Taking over the former Range space, Beehive is a labor of love from Range chef-owner Phil West and his partners in The Treasury: Arnold Eric Wong (E&O Kitchen), contractor Steve Werney (Teutonic Construction) and bar manager Carlos Yturria. The interior will be a mid-century modern throwback with drinks to match, with ‘60s icons headlining the drinks. The Marilyn, made with Dom Perignon, apple brandy and grenadine, and The Presley, with pisco, roasted peanuts, and grape jelly are just a couple examples. Beehive will also have fondue, among other retro delights.

Che Fico

Location: 834-838 Divisadero Street, Nopa
Key Players: David Nayfeld, Angela Pinkerton, Matt Brewer
Projected Opening: November

The long-awaited restaurant from Eleven Madison Park alums David Nayfeld and Angela Pinkerton is nearing completion on Divisadero, taking over what was once an auto body shop. High ceilings, exposed (original) concrete, wooden beams, skylights, and rustic Italian food will soon be revealed. The second floor dining room (located above Theorita, the duo’s diner concept) includes a charcuterie room with a large window for viewing, wood grill, and Italian pizza oven to complement the naturally leavened pizza dough; behind the scenes is a “pasta laboratorio,” a climate-controlled room where Nayfeld will work on perfecting the dough for his wide range of dried, extruded, filled, and other handmade pastas.

Eight Tables

Location: 644 Broadway, Second floor of China Live
Key Players: George Chen, Cindy Wong-Chen
Projected Opening: Mid-September

China Live was one of this year’s buzziest openings, bringing an emporium of food, drinks, and retail to the heart of Chinatown. It continues to capture SF diners’ attention as chef-restaurateur George Chen prepares to open 8 Tables, a luxurious fine-dining restaurant above China Live’s ground floor. The restaurant has — wait for it — eight tables, and a total of 38 seats (and eight tables) for diners to experience a tasting menu-only dinner. It’s dedicated to the Chinese tradition of Shifan Tsai (私房菜), or “Private Chateau Cuisine,” something Chen says “has pervaded Chinese culinary history and recently revitalized in the great cities of China.” The space was designed by AvroKo (also behind Single Thread, and China Live). A front of the house team helmed by alums of Saison and other Bay Area Michelin training grounds are part of Chen’s plan for an unparalleled luxury dining experience. “We want Eight Tables to show that Chinese fine-dining can be on par with the very best restaurants offering Western cuisines,” says Chen.


Location: 3161 24th Street, Mission
Key Players: Brandon Kirksey
Projected Opening: Late September

A Korean drinking den with salty, spicy food to match, FoxSister comes from a former chef de cuisine at the Slanted Door, Brandon Kirksey. He’s also spent time at Girin in Seattle, a James Beard Award-nominated korean Steakhouse. FoxSister will be a rambunctious, bustling restaurant with a menu of handmade dumplings, ribs, savory pancakes, and bulgogi to be served family style. Consultant David Steele, a partner at Thomas McNaughton’s Ne Timeas Restaurant Group, is advising on the project as well (he also consulted on Robin, the hot new sushi spot in Hayes Valley). Pitchers of local and Asian beers, wines, and soju slushes are part of the scene.


Location: 111 Mason St., Hotel Bijou
Key Players: Robin Song
Projected Opening: September

Best known for his days as chef de cuisine at Hog & Rocks, chef Robin Song is back on the scene with a live fire-fueled restaurant inside the Tenderloin’s Hotel Bijou. Details on the menu are scarce, but Song says it will rely on his relationships with small local producers, and focus on affordability.

International Smoke

Location: 301 Mission Street, SoMa
Key Players: Michael Mina, Ayesha Curry
Projected Opening: November

Though Ayesha Curry has already opened a version of International Smoke, the global barbecue concept she launched with chef Michael Mina, in Hawaii, fans are still waiting for the real thing. That will come in the form of a full-service restaurant in downtown San Francisco, in the former RN74 space at the bottom of Millennium Tower. (Yes, the leaning one.) It’s the full-scale version that grew out of a pop-up at the Mina Test Kitchen (which drew the likes of Drake, and Curry’s husband Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors), and will serve meaty options like smoked ribs (Korean, Chinese, or St. Louis), Thai shrimp chili, and smoked American wagyu. RN74 will shutter in early October to allow time for renovations.

Noon All Day

Location: 690 Indiana St., Dogpatch
Key Players: Margherita Stewart Sagan, Sher Rogat, Kerry Glancy, Carlo Espina
Projected Opening: Late September

The 1,100-square-foot cafe is located in a new development, adjacent to Esprit Park and the Dogpatch Arts Plaza (currently under construction), with a small menu from Piccino’s opening chef Carlo Espina. It will be an all-day counter service affair from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., offering coffee and pastries in the morning, and heartier options throughout the day. Dishes will be influenced by a variety of cultures, like a curry clay pot dish, or fried rice. Beer and wine will be available, with potential for retail sales (if the permit goes through).

Merchant Roots

Location: 1365 Fillmore St., Fillmore
Key Players: Ryan Shelton, Madison Fraser
Projected Opening: November

Despite massive construction delays, this restaurant and retail space is finally nearing completion. Life and professional partners Ryan Shelton and Madison Fraser are building a hybrid model of dining and provisions. Three nights per week, Shelton will cook for the Chef’s Table at Merchant Roots; the rest of the time, the space is a craft grocery with packaged foods, special pantry items, wine, and beer. The Chef’s Table tasting menus will combine Shelton’s French-Italian style, which extends to the handmade items in the grocery, like pastas and charcuterie.


Location: 3266 24th St., Mission
Key Players: Thad Vogler
Projected Opening: TBD

It’s a rum bar, with simple Caribbean dishes like beans and rice. Smaller than Vogler’s other restaurants, Trou Normand and Bar Agricole, this is intended to be a booze-forward spot, with food supporting.

True Laurel

Location: 753 Alabama Street, Mission
Key Players: David Barzelay, Nicolas Torres
Projected Opening: October

This is a singular project from Lazy Bear chef-owner David Barzely and head bartender Nicolas Torres, focusing on cocktails, bar food, and the creation of a neighborhood space. Taking over the former Tradesman space on the same block as Trick Dog, Barzelay says it is intended to be more of a restaurant than a bar during dinner hours, and more of a bar than most restaurants in the later hours. What sets it apart, though, is the cocktail tasting bar, which has 8-10 seats at which drinkers can taste through a series of cocktails with food pairings created to match them; reservations for two (or more) seatings per night will be available. Elsewhere in the 36-seat bar and dining room, food like Dungeness crab fondue, and broiled oysters with lardo will be available a la carte. Cocktails from Torres will, like his creations at Lazy Bear, lead with produce and fresh ingredients, like the Late Bloomermade with fermented Black Kat pluots, fortified wine, and pisco moscatel.

Villon at The Proper Hotel

Location: 1100 Market Street
Key Players: Jason Franey, Josh Harris, Morgan Schick
Projected Opening: Early October

The chic and highly-designed Proper Hotel is opening in Mid-Market with a trio of eateries from chef Jason Franey (Restaurant 1833, Canlis), and cocktails from the Bon Vivants. Villon is the main attraction, serving “new American” food with higher-end takes on classic dishes in a central dining room, as well as the hotel lobby. Meanwhile, a street-level cafe called La Bande will serve pastries, tartines, sandwiches, and salads, and Charmaine’s, a rooftop lounge with firepits and heaters, will offer bar snacks from Franey and large format drinks from the Bon Vivants.


Location: 310 Baldwin Ave., San Mateo
Key Players: Kenji López-Alt, Adam Simpson, Tyson Mao
Projected Opening: Early December

Located in downtown San Mateo, Wursthall will have two destinations within it: a beer hall upstairs, and a cocktail bar downstairs. Internet food guru and co-founder of Serious Eats Kenji López-Alt is leading the charge in the kitchen, designing a beer hall menu of semi-classic German fare with California influences, like beer and mustard-braised pulled pork sandwiches, Rancho Gordo bean salad with pumpkinseed oil, pretzels from Backhaus Bakery served with beer cheese, and sauerkraut. Rotating sausages won’t strictly stick to European styles, with potential takes on kosher hot dogs, and other Americanized versions. There’s also talk of a burnt caramel apple strudel with smoked sea salt. 30 taps of German and local craft beers, curated by Simpson, will be on offer, alongside a few wines. Downstairs, the cocktail bar will serve mixed drinks and spirits, no food.