While open briefly during the pandemic, North Beach's once bustling brasserie Park Tavern has been closed for more than a year and a half. But that is about to change — and there's a new executive chef in the kitchen.
Local restaurateur Anna Weinberg told SFist back in the summer of 2021 that Park Tavern was in need of some major renovations — including a new roof — as it prepared to ring in its 10th anniversary. That anniversary came and went that September, former sister restaurant Marlowe swung back open a year ago, but things remained quiet up by Washington Square Park.
But things weren't so quiet inside the building, and the renovations, as it turned out, were extensive.
"It was kind of like Pandora's box," Weinberg says. "We basically rebuilt the building, in a way."
But now, as Tablehopper first reported, Park Tavern is finally getting close to reopening. Weinberg tells SFist that it's going to be a slow rollout as she trains new staff members, and as the kitchen gets rolling again, with a long soft-opening period in the coming month. It's unclear when reservations will come available on Tock, but you can expect to see Park Tavern open three days per week to start for dinner only, with days getting added over time.
"It's starting from zero, which is something I haven't done it in quite a long time," Weinberg says of this reopening process.
The handsome new interior at Park Tavern, by design partner Ken Fulk, includes dark marble floors throughout — replacing the former penny tile — and a glossy black back bar. And the interior now features dark wood accents, Tiffany lamps, gold fixtures, and several vintage elements that Weinberg salvaged from Tosca's basement.
The spacious bar area now also has tables for two down the center and left-hand side with more standing room — a communal table that was there is now gone.
Weinberg has brought on new executive chef Marco Cerruti, who most recently worked at The Ellwood in Santa Barbara, but has also been in the kitchens of Charter Oak in St. Helena and Saison here in SF. Cerruti is departing somewhat from the original, New American direction of the menu established by chef-partner Jennifer Puccio — for instance, there's a new a version of her standing-upright roasted chicken, this time with a mustard jus, cipollini onions, and roasted root vegetables.
The dinner menu is also more protein-focused, with somewhat of a modern steakhouse vibe — with sides coming a la carte. A separate bar menu will feature less expensive and/or smaller versions of dishes on the main menu, like a bar steak that's not as much of a splurge as the main menu steak.
"The focus is on incredible ingredients," Weinberg says.
A Snake River Farms American wagyu burger replaces the former Marlowe burger — a simpler, classic burger will also be available at the bar, with or without beef fat fries. New items also include a chicken-liver mousse, a seafood tower and other raw-bar items, a bone-in pork chop, a grilled local sturgeon, and a "secret" Hasselback potato dish topped with caviar, along with a bunch of new sides.
In a nod to the 10-year anniversary, Park Tavern will reopen with the original "Parks & Recreation"-themed cocktail menu.
The upstairs private-dining space, dubbed the Eden Room, has gotten a refresh as well and is available for events, and the front cafe space can now be curtained off for private events as well.
Puccio is no longer an active partner in the restaurant, as Weinberg explains — and as we learned around the time Marlowe re-debuted, Weinberg and ex-husband and business partner James Nicholas have divided their restaurants, with Nicholas maintaining control of Marlowe and The Cavalier, where Puccio remains executive chef.
We'll update you as soon as we have a firm opening date, and whenever reservations go live.