A much-anticipated new project from Lazy Bear chef-owner David Barzelay and former Lazy Bear sous chef Matthew Kirk has found a home, and it's the former Green Chile Kitchen space at McAllister and Baker.
The two-Michelin-starred Lazy Bear has already expanded once with the high-end cocktail bar True Laurel, and the next project takes Barzelay out of the Mission District to the environs of NoPa. The Southwestern-flavored Green Chile Kitchen, along with its spinoff Chile Pies and Ice Cream, was part of the first wave of hip-ification of the neighborhood, having opened early in 2000s. And now the team of Barzelay and Kirk are turning the space into a brick-and-mortar location of Kirk's Automat pop-up.
As Hoodline reports via an Instagram post from Kirk, they've inked a deal for the space at 1801 McAllister and Kirk says it will be "A LOT of hard work" getting it open.
The food at Automat will likely run the gamut of high and low cuisines, mashing up dishes to create new ones as Kirk has been doing for several years at his pop-ups, and through his "bread box" delivery program. Recent breads and dishes have included green garlic pull-apart rolls, dill pickle bagels, everything bagel-flavored sourdough bread, a "California hot" fried chicken sandwich, chicken-fried celery root, barbecue pork belly with pineapple kombucha and fermented pepper glaze, an array of tacos, and a blondie made with miso, white chocolate, and raspberry. As Kirk says on the Automat website, "We look for the extraordinary within the ordinary. Eclectic and recognizable, we offer modern nostalgia through seasonal ingredients."
Kirk has done pop-ups in the last year at New Taraval Cafe, Wes Burger, Daily Driver, and Harmonic Brewing in Dogpatch. The next Automat pop-up is on January 24 at Harmonic from 4 to 9 p.m. Check Instagram for other future dates.
Vogue recently listed Automat among the most anticipated restaurant openings around the country this year, noting that it is aiming for a late fall or early winter opening.