Splashy, upscale steakhouse chain STK, which for over a decade has had a pair of "high-energy" locations in New York City as well as others in LA, Chicago, Denver, Atlanta, Las Vegas, and more, is headed for a big restaurant space in downtown SF.
Some of you may remember when Rosa Mexicano debuted its downtown SF location almost a decade ago at 30 Mission Street, offering tableside fresh guacamole-making and some pricey margaritas. That restaurant shut its doors permanently in 2020, along with many restaurants catering to downtown office workers. But in a hopeful sign for downtown, the fairly massive restaurant space has been snapped up by Denver-based One Group Hospitality Inc. for an upcoming location of STK Steakhouse.
Try to hold back the vomit when you hear that One Group describes itself to investors as "the global leader in vibe dining," or when you hear that STK locations all have full-time DJs inside in an effort "to create an infectious, high-energy atmosphere." That copy probably predates the pandemic, as infectious atmospheres aren't the biggest draw these days.
The fact remains that downtown needs all the help it can get, and if "vibe dining" comes with that, so be it.
The San Francisco Business Times reports that STK Steakhouse expects to open the SF location in early 2022 — and things were already under construction and well on there way, per an earnings call in November.
New York's first STK came along in the heyday of the Meatpacking District back in the aughts, and a midtown location followed in 2011. The force behind it is British hospitality figure Jonathan Segal, who co-founded One Group when he opened his first Meatpacking District restaurant ONE in 2004.
The STK brand grew out of a desire to create a modern steakhouse where women, especially, felt comfortable, Segal said in a 2010 interview.
"The One Group does everything with women in mind," Segal told Leaders magazine. "So we did a survey of about 20 women who said they like steakhouses because they’re good places to meet successful guys, but that the decor, menu, and overall vibe of most steakhouses is intimidating. Taking this into consideration, we ensured that the design, menu, and general feel of STK would appeal to the female market."
Appealing to women means that STK offers a lot of non-steak options, like fish and salads, as well as different sizes of steaks.
This is one of the only big restaurant openings we know that's coming down the pike in the downtown/Embarcadero area. The Slanted Door, the big Ferry Building Vietnamese restaurant which owner Charles Phan has kept closed through the pandemic, is undergoing a renovation and Phan now says it won't reopen until this fall. Another significant space at the Ferry Building, the former MarketBar facing the Embarcadero, has been dark since MarketBar closed its doors in February 2020.
The Business Times notes, however, that the owner of One Market Plaza, which comprises three buildings including One Market itself, is advertising seven ground-floor retail spaces ranging between 500 and 8,000 square feet.
The restaurant One Market remains open for business.
Photo via STK/Facebook