One of the high-profile 2020 restaurant (re-)openings that got shelved thanks to the coronavirus was the revamp of Tosca Cafe at the hands of Marlowe owner Anna Weinberg, designer Ken Fulk, and chef-restaurateur Nancy Oakes. And now, in lieu of putting some tables out on the sidewalk, the team has opted to do an al fresco family-style pop-up in the parking lot of the former St. Joseph's Church, now the St. Joseph's Art Society, at 10th and Howard.
The Tosca pop-up, dubbed Tosca: Summer at St. Joe's, is a team effort with A16 owner and sommelier Shelley Lindgren and her husband, bar owner Greg Lindgren (Rye, Rosewood), and it will also feature A16's Neapolitan-style pizzas as a second course in addition to Italian-inspired cocktails and Italian wines.
As Oakes tells the Chronicle, they want to evoke "those long, relaxing, leisurely Italian holiday meals... with delicious, easy Italian classic dishes, and lots of wine."
The Tosca team debuted some new menu items for delivery and takeout via Tock back in April, and now customers can make reservations for the outdoor dining experience on Tock as well. They're serving Thursday to Sunday in two different seatings, with some staggered time slots, and a few tables are still available this weekend.
And given the ample outdoor space, there is plenty of space between tables for maximum safety and comfort.
There's still no game plan for how to reopen the actual Tosca, and the latest pivot comes a week after SF restaurants were supposed to be able to reopen for indoor dining — before the mayor and public health officials announced a rollback of reopening orders due to rising COVID-19 cases.
As Weinberg tells the Chronicle, "Tosca is a rowdy dive bar. And we couldn’t just move it to the sidewalk for that experience over there."
So, take advantage of this unique pop-up while you can. Four-course, family-style meals are $85 per person before beverages. Reserve here and also see sample menus at that link.