The recently shuttered Fat Angel (1740 O'Farrell Street off Fillmore) already has a taker, and it's the team of Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski from State Bird Provisions and The Progress around the corner.
Brioza and Krasinski hinted that they had another expansion project in the works in speaking a few weeks ago about their new vegetarian restaurant coming to the Lower Haight. Now we learn via a liquor license application spotted by Hoodline that the couple was only waiting for the announcement about Fat Angel's New Year's Eve closure — and they submitted the application for a beer and wine license on January 2.
As Hoodline notes, Brioza and Krasinski helped launch The Anchovy Project in late 2018, trying to raise awareness about California anchovies and encourage more chefs to feature them on menus. The small, abundant, sustainable fish have been a staple on the State Bird menu for some time, and in the video for the project below, Brioza goes through all the steps that go into making the simple, delicious pan con tomate at the restaurant, which are topped with fresh bocarones, or Spanish-style pickled anchovies.
Brioza also discusses how "the anchovy protocol," as they call it in the kitchen at State Bird, has had an influence on many other things that his team does at his restaurants. It's an ethos of "minimize the time spent out of water as much as you can, minimize the handling of these fish as much as you can."
So it's not yet clear what will be on the menu at the new spot, currently dubbed The Anchovy Bar, when it eventually opens. But that anchovy and tomato toast seems like a likely bet.
Update: Brioza confirms to the Chronicle that the project is aiming for an April opening in order to coincide with local anchovy season. And the menu will feature both West Coast oysters and anchovies, with an emphasis on the latter, along with seafood tartares, vegetable dishes, smoked fish, and a Caesar salad.
Oysters will be sourced daily from Hog Island Oyster Co., and the tiny space is getting a redesign by Wiley Price, who designed State Bird and The Progress. Brioza says he see the Anchovy Bar as an extension of the other two restaurants around the block, and "The idea is to keep it incredibly simple and really focus on the integrity of the fish themselves."