The legendary and beloved Tosca Cafe in North Beach won't be making it open by year's end, as the team continues to wait for the liquor license to officially transfer from the previous ownership.
San Franciscans were fairly devastated by the news that the shiny new, nationally acclaimed reboot of Tosca as an April Bloomfield restaurant was closing back in July after barely six years in business. But those sad faces were turned upside down just a few weeks later when news came that the team of Anna Weinberg (Marlowe, Park Tavern, Leo's Oyster Bar), chef Nancy Oakes (Boulevard, Prospect), and designer Ken Fulk was stepping in to revive the place.
Weinberg now tells SFist that the team isn't doing a ton to the interior, which was lovingly restored under disgraced restaurateur Ken Friedman back in 2013. But she says that some escrow issues have held up the liquor license transfer, and among other snags, a winter opening is now just their best hope.
"Best case is 90 days from December 1," Weinberg says, which puts us out in early March. And as restaurant watchers know all too well, other last-minute issues could always hold that up until early spring. Fingers crossed for an easy rebirth.
The rebooted Tosca will have a new menu that focuses on the Italian-American heritage of the neighborhood. Oakes hinted in August that items may include a rabbit cacciatore, a Dungeness crab cioppino, and a shrimp-stuffed artichoke. A chef de cuisine for the restaurant has not yet been named.
Meanwhile, the restaurant is available for private events, and Instagram photos from Weinberg's late October birthday party at the restaurant show that the legendary back room — adorned with photographs and memorabilia about the bar's recent history under the management of Jeannette Etheredge — is fully intact and as it was, with one notable (temporary?) addition: a karaoke machine.
As private event venues go, you can't get much cooler. And this now adds to a stable of rentable spaces for Weinberg's mini-empire that includes Marianne's — the backroom space at The Cavalier at the Hotel Zetta — and the upstairs Eden Room at Park Tavern.
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Couple more from my birthday- just because my friends are so darn attractive @awatermanbassin @kathantas @benflajnik @sfmbs @americanhust1e @bradlyman @de_la_mancha and yes, karaoke machine now exists in the back room.. I should add I was “squatting” we can’t reopen to the public until the liquor license transfers next year. Until then we can do private events (stating November 15th) ..DM me.