The brief era of Cafe du Nord as a swank cocktail lounge with delicious bar food from the Flour + Water folks is officially over, one year after the opening menu was pared down and the Viking Room dining area was basically shut down and turned into an event space. As Hoodline reports via tweets from SFist's own 49ers chronicler Daisy Barringer, the wall that went up to divide that dining room from the front bar which did not exist back in the days when Cafe du Nord was a full-time music venue has already come down, and the staff has all been let go. Ne Timeas Restaurant Group (which still operates Aatxe upstairs) has given up their lease on the space and a new owner has already taken over.
That new owner isn't so new, as it turns out. It's Dylan MacNiven, one member of the family that owns and operates West of Pecos and Woodhouse Fish Company and who bought the Swedish American Hall building back in 2013. The MacNivens installed NoisePop as the curators of the upstairs music venue, and handed over the ground floor Aatxe space and Cafe du Nord to operators Ne Timeas. Now MacNiven tells Hoodline that the place will transition back to "a full-fledged music venue in the coming weeks," though he promises that there will still be a pared down food menu available five nights a week from the recently renovated kitchen.
The Bon Vivants of Trick Dog fame are also no longer involved in the cocktail program, though if the drinks at West of Pecos are any indication, this doesn't necessarily mean there will be a downgrade in that department.
When Cafe du Nord reopened after a significant renovation in 2015, it came with the new reservations-only dining room dubbed the Viking Room, which featured some excellent food from chef Thomas McNaughton including a burger that quickly landed on SFist's best burgers list. The room retained a small stage at the back where a variety of typically quieter music acts would perform during dinner, at least for the first year.
Stay tuned in the coming weeks for a clearer picture of what kinds of music acts will be on the bill, and whether NoisePop is involved with that as well.