Flour + Water Pizzeria, under one of the original owners of Flour + Water, is about to spin off as its own thing. And while the menu will stay largely the same, with some additions, the big change will be a full cocktail bar, and owner David White says the place will be "more come-as-you-are."
SFist noted back in September, when the Flour + Water team announced the pivot from Central Kitchen to Penny Roma and a remodel of the original Flour + Water, that the renamed Flour + Water Hospitality Group (formerly Ne Timeas Restaurant Group) no longer included the pizzeria. We now get a bit more of a full explanation of that, via David White, who was one of the original partners in the group along with David Steele and chef Thomas McNaughton. The trio opened Flour + Water in 2009 to near immediate acclaim for the pasta and pizza, and later expanded with other properties including Central Kitchen up the street, and Flour + Water Pizzeria, which debuted in 2019.
The pizzeria's initial menu was McNaughton, inspired by his New Jersey roots, aiming for a bit more East Coast style than at the Flour + Water flagship — including a chopped salad, mozzarella sticks, and meatballs marinara.
Those things are all still on the menu, along with the pizzeria's well-loved pies, but as Eater reports, under White's now sole ownership, Oleg Sheyner has been running the show in the kitchen since last fall.
White plans to close the restaurant in mid-June for a light remodel — the timing sounds a bit up in the air — and reopen it as Yellow Moto Pizzeria. The name is inspired by White's own 1963 yellow Lambretta scooter, and as he tells Eater, the remodel will also bring the addition of a 20-seat bar and full cocktail menu — courtesy of Enrique Sanchez, formerly the bar manager at Traci Des Jardins' Arguello, among other gigs.
While Flour + Water Pizzeria never seemed particularly stuffy to me, White says he's looking to make things even more casual and fun, telling Eater, "The existing brand... just felt a bit too serious for me."
White adds that he wants things to be "more come-as-you-are" and "more connected to the immediate community" at Yellow Moto, though it's not clear what that means in terms of menu or structure of the restaurant. He does say that most of the menu will remain similar, though there will be some more vegetable-centric options. (There are 11 pizzas on the current menu, five of which are vegetarian, including one vegan pie, and several vegetarian antipasti options.)
This will be the third pizzeria incarnation in the space at 702 Valencia, which was newly built out as a restaurant when it opened as Farina Pizza in August 2012. Flour + Water Pizzeria kept some of the interior details from Farina Pizza, but removed the original wood oven in favor of a more East Coast-style, gas-fired deck oven, when it opened three years ago.
Meanwhile, Flour + Water Hospitality Group now consists of Steele and McNaughton, along with longtime chef Ryan Pollnow, and partners Kara Bratcher and Vanya Shekell.