The menu at Liholiho Yacht Club in its 18th Street "pop-up" iteration has evolved and changed a bit since the original Liholiho in the TenderNob, and it's evolving some more and morphing into a new restaurant next month, with a new name.
The Hawaiian-inspired Liholiho Yacht Club — which opened on Sutter Street in 2015 to immediate crowds and closed for a remodel earlier this year — moved, ostensibly, to allow for more outdoor dining space via the team's other space in the Mission District. That space, which opened in the fall of 2019 as the Eastern European-inspired Dear Inga, has both sidewalk and rooftop space, and given the uncertainties of the pandemic, the team of chef Ravi Kapur and partner Jeff Hanak opted to use it for their proven concept while it seemed like outdoor dining would be in demand for a while.
As the season changes and the pandemic evolves, and after seven months of steady business under the Liholiho name (with some new, more colorful decor), they're pivoting again — but not with the return of Dear Inga, which was the initially announced plan. Instead, the space at 3560 18th Street is becoming Good Good Culture Club, headed up by co-chefs Kevin Keovanphang and Brett Shaw, and focusing more on Laotian and Filipino flavors, the Asian diaspora in general, and wood-fired cooking.
Also leading up the new team are Pastry Chef Kristina Garbett, Operations Chef Nana Guardia, General Manager Aimee Arcilla, and Bar Director Janice Baillon.
The team says in an announcement that Good Good Culture Club will have a "fun backyard vibe," and "This evolution will enable more creativity for [Keovanphang, Shaw, and Arcilla], who have long been a crucial part of Liholiho operations, and
now will have the opportunity to transition into larger roles and share their own heritage-driven cooking and hospitality."
The Liholiho pop-up will continue running through December 31st, and the official reopening as Good Good Culture Club happens January 11. A reopening date for Liholiho Yacht Club on Sutter Street has not yet been announced, and they're only saying "spring/summer 2022."
Speaking to the Chronicle, Kapur says that the new restaurant will be like a "more lively, rambunctious cousin" to Liholiho, with more shareable small plates, and influences from across the Bay Area as well as Japan and Korea.
The opening menu is below, and recent diners at the pop-up will recognize several of these dishes, including the stuffed chicken wing, which are already being served.
Kapur also says that the team had been thinking about how to make their operations more sustainable, equitable, and livable for staff before the pandemic began, and that is a goal with the new restaurant as well — which will continue to have the brief operating hours of 5 to 9 p.m., Tuesday to Saturday, in part to "enable healthy and full lifestyles for our staff," the announcement says. They're also aiming to provide not just a living wage but a "thriving wage," and all checks at the new restaurant will come with a 20% "equitable compensation fee" attached, in lieu of gratuity.
"Above all, we are trying to broaden the definition of what it means to be leaders, while empowering — and sustaining — new voices. New voices who will be the future of this industry," the owners say. Additionally, the food will "celebrate the best product produced by our local farms, ranches, artisans, and fisheries."
A couple more photos:
Good Good Culture Club opens January 11 at 3560 18th Street, and reservations open on January 4.