Ten-year-old North Beach brasserie Park Tavern was quietly back open in recent weeks, but co-owner Anna Weinberg says the restaurant will be closing again next week for a planned renovation, and she is buying one of her two partners out.
The prolific and always busy Weinberg has been focused the last six months getting the latest version of Tosca Cafe back open, alongside partners Ken Fulk — who was responsible for a light remodel of the space — and chef Nancy Oakes, who has designed a new Italian-American menu. Meanwhile, wheels are in motion to reopen Marlowe and Leo's Oyster Bar, though both reopenings have been delayed. And with plans to celebrate Park Tavern's 10-year anniversary this fall, it will first shut down for a complete kitchen overall, remodel, and some necessary roof work.
The successful decade-long partnership of Weinberg and Park Tavern partner Dave Stanton helped establish a North Beach institution, and now Stanton is marking the anniversary with the announcement of his retirement. The restaurant will continue on under the ownership of Weinberg and Chef-Partner Jennifer Puccio. Weinberg says the three became partners when Stanton wrote the very first check to help Marlowe open.
The restaurant will move forward following a two-month closure for repairs and a refresh.
"Unfortunately, the roof really does need to be replaced yesterday," Weinberg says, noting that water has actually poured into the bar area and dining room during heavy winter rains.
In the meantime, staff from Park Tavern, who have been operating there for over a month after an extended closure, will be moving over to help reopen both Marlowe and Leo's — with the latter's planned June opening delayed due a last-minute gas-line repair need in the kitchen.
Weinberg anticipates a "rolling reopening" for Park Tavern, beginning with outdoor service in swanky new parklets in September, and the main dining room reopening around October, depending on how soon contractors will be available.
Park Tavern opened in 2011, and it quickly became a bustling hit of a restaurant in a part of town that had long become synonymous with tourist-trap Italian spots that mostly served the same, fair-to-middling food. It was an expanded version, in many ways, of the smaller SoMa spot Marlowe that the team of Weinberg and chef Jennifer Puccio had opened two years earlier — with the Marlowe burger a feature of Park Tavern's menu, and a red-spiced roast chicken dish of poulet rouge to replace Puccio's signature poulet vert at Marlowe. The pair would also partner on the British-inspired Cavalier at the Hotel Zetta, and Leo's Oyster Bar in the Financial District, and in 2017 they opened Petit Marlowe on Townsend Street.
Puccio, who had previously cooked some well regarded food at Cortez at the Hotel Adagio in Union Square, was made a partner in the business, and the pair also partnered with Stanton, a local businessman and a founder of Tres, the SoMa Mexican spot that was formerly known as Tres Agaves.
In the last year, Weinberg has been separating her business interests from those of her ex-husband James Nicholas, and as SFist reported last month, Nicholas is taking over the full management of The Cavalier and its attached lounge, Marianne's, as well as the hotel's lobby bar. The details of their separation deal have reportedly not been finalized.
Nicholas is a co-owner but not a managing partner at Park Tavern, and while it's no secret that the Big Night Restaurant Group split has been tough, Weinberg describes the Park Tavern settlement as "very friendly." And following Stanton's retirement she expects him to remain a fixture at the restaurant's bar.
Weinberg has previously promised pop-up parties, in collaboration with Fulk, at St. Joseph's Arts Society in SoMa, with Champagne and food from Leo's Oyster Bar — complete with a French-style wrought-iron greenhouse for outdoor seating. She now says the first one will be on August 4, with reservations coming available on Tock on August 1.
Meanwhile, Weinberg and Puccio's French-inspired wine and seafood bar, Petit Marlowe, is being rebranded as Petit Marché — with a retail component featuring vintage milk glass and other wares that Weinberg has collected.
Reopening dates for Marlowe, Leo's, and Petit Marché remain TBA, but it sounds as though Marlowe will be opening first, in the coming weeks.
Update: Weinberg shared details about the restaurant group's Small Business Administration grants with Eater, and says that the reopening date for Marlowe is August 8.
Photo: Amy D./Yelp