While nothing can yet be called âback to normalâ in the restaurant business, things are moving in at least a positive direction. And perhaps the Bay Area’s continued success with vaccinations and indoor masking under most circumstances will result in a relatively stress-free, pandemic fall and winter.
A sign of improving prospects as several large-scale and long-delayed restaurant openings aim to officially open before the holidays. These include the highly anticipated Korean spot from chef Benu Corey Lee, and a highly prized project from a former sub-chef of Lazy Bear that had its first seeds as a pop-up two years ago. .
Additionally, two beloved, longtime restaurants are reopening in their previous form for the first time essentially since being closed by the pandemic, with one sporting a fresh new look.
We’ve been talking about Chef Matthew Kirk’s brick-and-mortar iteration of his Automat pop-ups since January 2020, and we’ve featured it in our February 2021 list of places to look forward to this year as well. But now, finally, we have an opening schedule, and it’s late October-ish. It’s coming to the former Green Chile Kitchen space at 1801 McAllister Street, and it will no doubt feature some of the fabulous breads Kirk threw throughout the pandemic. The plan is an all-day restaurant, three meals a day, with “casual” but “ambitious” dishes, as Kirk tells Eater – and he wants it to be a place where people feel right at home. with their children. Plus, Kirk says, he might also revive his bread subscription service at some point. 1801 McAllister Street in Baker
The 28-year-old Paris / Belle Epoque-themed Boulevard de Nancy Oakes restaurant reopened briefly last fall, only to close again before the holidays. But it will reopen on September 29 with the same executive chef, Dana Younkin, who has worked alongside Oakes for nearly a decade, and a revamped menu, look and structure. As the Chronicle explains, there will be two prix-fixe evening options, with an a la carte menu only available at the bar and in a new, more casual lounge, where walk-ins are welcome. And designer Ken Fulk, who Oakes worked with with restaurateur Anna Weinberg on Tosca’s renovation last year, just renovated Boulevard’s interior – which includes a new blue onyx bar top and murals. ” fantastic “. 1 Mission Street, reservations here
Chef-owner Melissa Perello announced Frances’ long-awaited reopening a few weeks ago – and things start with three consecutive weekends of special and unique chef-chosen prizes that Perello will host and cook herself. These dinners are nearly sold out (check the tables here), but after the successful reopening in June of younger sister restaurant Octavia, and loyal Frances fans both in and outside the Castro neighborhood, you can expect them to ‘It’s hard to get a table there again after it fully reopens in mid-October. Look for the reservation books that will open soon here. 3870 17th Street
Izakaya Yuzuki / AL’s former Deli space at the 18th and Guerrero is emerging as a new concept of temaki (hand-rolled) takeaway sushi from the Ju-Ni team, as we learned over the course of of summer. And the update is that chef Geoffrey Lee and his partner Tan Truong are aiming for an opening in early December, through Eater (although we’ve heard this given as a timeline for many projects over the years, and it can always end up meaning January ). The plan is a concise menu, with handroll options that you can take with you to Dolores Park or take home for dinner. 1499, rue de Valence
Just today we learned of the arrival of the new, more rustic Italian concept in the central kitchen space, Penny Roma, from the Flour + Water Hospitality group. It’s coming soon (with an opening slated for mid-October), and the team of chefs Thomas McNaughton and Ryan Pollnow say they want to make an affordable and accessible pasta place where you can ‘drop by’ multiple times. per week, with a few larger plates and side dishes of seasonal vegetables. In addition, the adjoining former Salumeria space, which became the flour + water pasta store during the pandemic, will at the same time become a new wine bar at the counter. 3000 20th Street in Florida
LA restaurant investor Erik Sun (Bestia) is opening a trendy new ramen bar in SoMa this fall featuring a $ 60,000 Japanese noodle maker. Sun told The Chronicle that the plan is to serve multiple types of ramen with multiple types of noodles – “noodles of different widths and gluten levels, including a hand-cut, wide, pappardelle-like noodle and a medium noodle. that took almost four years to get right. ” There will be a 15-seat ramen bar at the Pursuit, as well as a 45-seat restaurant serving yakiniku, or Japanese barbecue. (Sun is also a supplier of Wagyu beef, and rare cuts of meat will be the star.) The space at 715 Brannan Street was originally slated to become a different concept in 2016 called Arsenal, but that project was scrapped. Expect the opening to happen in the coming weeks, with the word âearly fallâ still being the word.
San Ho just won
Benu chef Corey Lee, with three Michelin stars under his belt, has been promising to open San Ho Won for two years now – with the intention of exploring his Korean heritage, outside the more refined confines of Benu. During the pandemic, Lee used the PPP funds by starting a delivery-only kitchen under the name of San Ho Won in Benu, and now, finally, he plans to open in October in the former Blowfish Sushi space. There will of course be twists and riffs on other cuisines – like a promised kimchi pozole – but the Chronicle says we can also expect “charcoal grilled dishes, banchan, stews, rice dishes. and other Korean dishes “. 2170 Bryant Street
Top photo courtesy of Boulevard