This week's big opening was Belga in the Marina, and there was the smaller, quieter opening of Acquolina over in North Beach as well. Other than that, the big headline this week was about the digital release of the Chronicle Top 100, which will be appearing with your Sunday paper this weekend. Michael Bauer pruned some critical favorites off of there like Bar Tartine and Sons & Daughters, perhaps a little arbitrarily, to make room for newcomers, but so far there's been no revolt.
Elsewhere we saw the opening of Forgery, the new cocktail spot from the Plumpjack crew that takes over the former Sloane space at 11th and Mission. As Inside Scoop shows us, they've brightened up the brick-lined space with some new fixtures, and the cocktail menu from pros Jacques Bezuidenhout and Ken Luciano is legit. Still to come is the attached nightclub operation, which may be getting a separate name.
Next we've got the opening of Resolute Wine Bar over at Geary and Leavenworth in the 'Loin. As Hoodline tells us, they'll be open at 4 p.m. daily serving a well curated selection of wines and craft beers that they hope is "a safe space for both wine connoisseurs and newbies."
It was delayed by a couple weeks, but The Empire Room, which we mentioned earlier, is now open in the former Stars/Trader Vic's/Maestro space on Golden Gate, next to Civic Center. It's mostly a nightclub and bar from the team behind Jones and OddJob, but they're doing a long-term pop-up program that's being curated by the guys behind The Hall, as Inside Scoop reports, so there will be food too.
In sad news, 30-year-old Judy's Cafe on Chestnut Street is being forced to close at the end of the month, per Inside Scoop. In an unfortunately very familiar turn of events for the era we're in, the owners are getting shoved out by the landlord, who says that necessary seismic upgrades to the building meant that he had to terminate their lease.
Over in Hayes Valley, Place Pigalle closed its doors last weekend, as the Scoop reported. But in a pleasant turn of events, most of the staff is simply transitioning right over to La Movida, the beer and wine bar on 24th Street, which they took over and reopened on Wednesday. They're keeping the name, for now, but that may change. And also, in a few weeks, the same team of friends is opening beer-centric restaurant The Crafty Fox in the former Woodward's Garden space at Mission and Duboce.
Meanwhile in SoMa, we have the soft opening "sneak peek" this weekend of Pampalasa. It's a Filipino restaurant from owner Jennifer Villamin and chef Bayani Inclano, Jr. (formerly of Outerlands) in a space that had been an Indian restaurant at 1261 Folsom Street between Eighth and Ninth, as Inside Scoop tells us. The restaurant is doing a preview from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and it opens for real next Tuesday, for lunch, if all goes well. Fun fact: It's going to be SF's first "kamayan-optional" restaurant, which means that diners will be able to eat with their hands (eat kamayan) if they wish, and there'll be a special hand-washing sink in the dining room for this purpose.
Eater brings us a sneak peek of Dirty Water, the ambitious bar-restaurant that's set to open in the Twitter building next week, where the food menu is going to "emphasize paleo-style, meaty fare in group-sized portions."
And as Hoodline reports, the upcoming third location of American Grilled Cheese Kitchen has hit some delays. They're headed into the base of the Broadway-Sansome apartments at 799 Battery, but they didn't finalize their lease until recently, and likely won't open until September.
Up in St. Helena, celebrity chef and restaurateur Charlie Palmer's redo of The Harvest Inn is open, along with the in-house restaurant Harvest Table. Inside Scoop has some photos and details, and naturally, since this is wine country, the menu is "Cal-Med cuisine with lots of farm to table touches."
Finally, though it's not open yet, we have the name for the bar that's replacing The Attic on 24th Street, and it's boring: 24th Street Bar.
This Week In Reviews
But over at the Weekly, Pete Kane checks out newly open, Greek-inflected neighborhood spot Lark, on 18th Street near Castro. He finds it, over all, "more than decent," and picks out highlights like the sumac and oregano-marinated olives, and he also loves the truffle fries, calamari, and butternut squash gnocchi. Also, it has a big and sophisticated wine list.