The popular (and messy) bottomless mimosa brunch from shuttered Castro bistro Bisou is back, but it's now behind the ‘Buy Sell Trade Loan’ facade of SoMa tapas spot Pawn Shop.
SFist loves a comeback story, having recently endured our own 15-month coma. So we’re happy to see that the old bottomless mimosa brunch from Bisou Bistronomy will be gloriously resurrected this weekend, at Bisou co-owner Damien Chabaud-Arnault’s new Sixth and Mission Street concept the Pawn Shop.
Behind the fake “Money Loaned” and “Cash for Gold” signage that creates the impression of a functioning pawn shop, you’ll find a ritzy interior and a brunch menu that includes sandwiches, salads, and Eggs Benedict variations. Eater SF’s initial preview of Pawn Shop teased that a revival of Bisou’s champagne-soaked brunch was “on the agenda.” Effective Saturday morning, that will come to pass.
“Available Saturday and Sunday from 10:00am to 3:00pm, the new brunch menu will feature sandwiches, fresh baked goods, benedicts and salads, as well as by the glass or bottomless Red Sangria or Mimosas,” Pawn Shop says in a release. “Dishes include bacon-wrapped grilled cheese sliders dubbed Bacon Fix Sliders; Vanilla-Infused French Toast made with toasted brioche and served with a trio of maple syrup, chocolate syrup and salted caramel syrup; Cojonudo Benedict with butter house made biscuit, Chorizo Palacio, escarole salad, Asian pear, Marcona almond and The Lady Croq’ an open face baked ham and cheese sandwich, with Mornay sauce and a fried egg.”
The novelty of a fake pawn shop has drawn criticism, though, particularly since its location is pretty much Ground Zero for San Francisco income inequality.
The Pawn Shop was pwned in Pete Kane’s scathing SF Weekly review, which slammed the idea as “economic-desperation cosplay,” and “ poverty tourism.” Kane even added a heartbreaking anecdote that one unsuspecting individual did come in trying to sell some stuff, though he notes that an on-duty actor portraying a pawnbroker directed this person to a real pawn shop “all without even breaking character.”
Over at TimeOutSF, food critic Virginia Miller admits that “a faux pawn shop on 6th Street does come off as insensitive,” but overall concludes that “Pawn Shop is a fun hybrid of a restaurant and a club.”
And the predominantly positive Yelp reviews indicate that patrons aren’t put off by the theme, with just isolated criticisms of individual dishes and the obligatory complaints about loud music. Overall, Yelpers give Pawn Shop an average of four-and-half stars (or should we say… pawn stars?).
I should note that the Pawn Shop is just a wine, beer, sangria, and low ABV cocktail establishment — no hard liquor. You can get pretty hammered on bottomless sangria and mimosas, just understand the cultural and moral debate at play over whether a bougie pawn shop-themed concept in a legendarily down-market 'hood deserves to accumulate interest.
Related: Dude Tries to Sell Stolen SF State iMacs at Pawn Shop, Gets Arrested