Big news from the new-restaurant front: Long dormant S.F. chef Ravi Kapur (Boulevard, Prospect) has slowly put together his own project for a couple of years now. Today the Chron reports that a deal has been signed.
Kapur had originally talked about opening something in the Mission, but with the help of Nopa partners Allyson Jossel and Jeff Hanak, the team landed on a two-story space at 871 Sutter Street (between Jones and Leavenworth), at the edge of Lower Nob Hill and the Tenderloin. The Mission, they found, was oversaturated with restaurants already and prices were getting inflated, and Hanak says the neighborhood is "as San Francisco as it gets."
They've hired architect Brett Terpeluk, who designed the glass-wrapped Farina space on 18th, to do the design, which will feature a downstairs bar and private dining room, and brick-walled, second-story main dining room. And this unnamed project is slated for the second half of next year.
Over the last two years Kapur has popped up occasionally in a few spots, including a few one-offs at State Bird Provisions, with his LihoLiho Yacht Club concept, which blended some of the flavors of his native Hawaii along with Asian and Indian elements and California brightness (see some examples here). The new restaurant might show some of that inspiration, but for now he's only saying that it will be casual and a "distinctly San Francisco restaurant." And we can imagine there will be some input from the Nopa part of this family too.
Kapur also adds that hospitality will be a big focus here, and thus he's happy to be partnered with people who can do it right. "It takes really special people to be able [to create a place and pull off hospitality], and yeah, I might have something to say if I put it on a plate, but it’s for nothing if it’s never communicated or followed through with the front of the house."
Below, a video he made with Vice a couple years back when he was still at Prospect, discussing his food philosophy, and places he loves, including Nopa.