This week we covered a lot of food world happenings at SFist. There was, for starters, a mouth-watering recap of some over-the-top good festival food at Outside Lands. We had big news that the couple behind Bar Tartine, Nick Balla and Cortney Burns, would pursue a Japanese-inspired spinoff restaurant they'll call Motze. Yelp got pissed that Google is backing Zagat links, because it owns Zagat. Craft beer bar Buffalo Theory opened on Polk. Bon Appétit started doling out awards, one for the tiny inner Richmond Bakery Arsicault (Bakery of the Year) and one for Leo's Oyster Bar (Best Design award for a new restaurant in the country). The Lone Star Saloon cleared a legacy business hurdle, which might keep the building from getting sold. And finally, Second Act Marketplace, the Upper Haight vendors' hall in the former Red Vic movie house, has closed. That wasn't everything, though: The rest is here.
Doc’s Clock, the Mission Street dive bar that we heard in February would close next year, will seek legacy status but may still have to move. Eater had the news that owner Carey Suckow would be applying for the legacy distinction, as that could grant the bar $500 per employee annually, with the city providing $4.50 per square foot annually to the property owner if they were to extend a ten-year lease. Meanwhile, though, Suckow will seek a new home for her establishment.
Noe Valley butcher shop Drewes Meats, considered to be one of the oldest butcher shops in San Francisco, has closed. Inside Scoop learned that news: It appears to have been an eviction of the shop, which had been renamed E&J Fine Meats in recent years.
Mazza Luna, an upscale Lebanese restaurant, has shuttered after a few years on Van Ness (at Eddy). Hoodline had the word on that, observing that the same restaurant group behind Mazza Luna will open a sushi spot there as soon as September 1st, to be called Hinata Sushi.
The iconic Jack’s space, a historic restaurant location vacant since 2009 when French bistro Jeanty at Jack's closed, is getting a new life as a co-working space. Bar Works, a New York City trio of such spaces, is arriving in town according to the Chronicle. The co-working space market, though, is starting to get as competitive as the restaurant one, with plenty of tony options. That's what made the Jack's space appealing, Bar Works managing director Franklin Kinard tells the Chron. “By going after a landmark building, we felt it was a dramatic way to announce ourselves to the marketplace."
Iza Ramen, located in the Lower Haight on Fillmore, will open a location on Folsom Street. Inside Scoop writes they'll take over the space formerly occupied by Triptych, the longtime SoMa brunch and dinner joint that closed in March.
Sweetgreen, the popular organic salad chain that's a hit in Berkeley and Palo Alto, is opening in SoMa according to Eater. This is going to make it harder to decide between Mixt greens, Tender Greeens, et al.
Berkeleyside had news on the shuttered Antoinette in the East Bay's Claremont Hotel. After a reboot it will be called Limewood, and it will be considerably less fussy than the short-lived venture involving Dominique Crenn, which an East Bay Express review said was "for the one percent."
Batter Bakery, which once operated side-by-side with Square Meals, parted ways with that partner last year, and now has successful settled on Pine Street next to Grubstake. There, they'll have an extended menu according to Eater.
Rich Table, who have been closed for three weeks, are back open for business. They write that they've improved their kitchen through a new farmers market-focused menu.
Noe Valley's Hamlet is closing from next Monday until next Thursday to reopen with a re-tooled concept. "We loved the first incarnation of Hamlet," owner John Dampeer wrote in a press release, "but for our business to sustain, it was necessary to re-focus as a more casual and relaxed, everyday hangout 'community center' of sorts for everyone to share a few drinks and bites." With opening chef Stephen Chan leaving, head chef at sister spot Caskhouse will redesign a menu geared toward bar food. "The mid-level restaurant market in SF is not only grossly saturated, but it's also a cumbersome business to operate in the city where yields are non-existent due to impossible-to-reach essential margins," Dampeer shared, echoing the thesis of that recent Times article we discussed here.
This Week In Reviews
The Weekly's Pete Kane was at Corridor this week, the latest from the Hi Neighbor restaurant group behind Trestle, Fat Angel, and Stone's Throw. "It's technically a two-part affair on the ground floor of the recently re-skinned mid-rise at 100 Van Ness," Kane explains, with a cafe component. "Virtually everything is affordable — rare is the item that crosses the $20 frontier — and few ingredients require a hunt in the dictionary... It's good, approachable food, and — this being high summer — there's a judicious use of top-notch produce."
At the Chronicle, with Michael Bauer away in Italy for three weeks (timed, for good or ill, to that San Francisco magazine piece questioning him on ethical grounds), that paper doesn't have any reviews from him, but instead has a nice profile on Inner Richmond’s 105-year-old Schubert’s Bakery. They've also handed over some space to local Tiki lord Martin Cate (Smuggler's Cove, Whitechapel) who explains his craft and its history in some detail.
That provides nice context for the Tiki-influenced drinks at Louie's Gen-Gen Room, which Chronicle drinks writer Esther Mobley absolutely adores. "It feels secluded, personal, unshared — a world away from the shoulder-to-shoulder battalion at Liholiho’s bar upstairs," she writes, focusing on understated drinks that compliment dishes like the okonomiyaki waffle, which SFist recommends here.