It looks as though a well-loved, eight-year-old neighborhood restaurant plans to either close or relocate, and a liquor license app points to some new Michelin-star tenants.
The chef-owners of Marlena, David Fisher and Serena Chow Fisher, who bravely debuted their Bernal Heights restaurant mid-pandemic and garnered a Michelin star in their first year, appear to be attached to a new project with Hi Neighbor Hospitality Group (Trestle, Madrigal, The Vault Steakhouse) coming to Japantown.
As the SF Business Times reported Friday, via a fresh liquor license transfer application, the Fishers are teaming up with Hi Neighbor's Ryan Cole on something that, for now, is dubbed 7 Adams at 1963 Sutter Street. The Business Times confirmed that Cole is working on the project, but the Fishers have yet to comment, and details are basically nil.
The space they will be taking over would be the current home of Gardenias, an eight-year-old neighborhood spot that has a bevy of fans, and the owners there — Margie Conard and Dana Tommasino — have not commented nor made any closure announcement.
Gardenias has 49 seats in addition to a back patio and a front parklet.
Much like some other news this week about a new (likely) fast-casual concept coming from the Tacolicious crew in Noe Valley, as well as a second restaurant headed to the Mission from the AltoVino team, it's good to see that both the Fishers and Hi Neighbor are in expansion mode.
Marlena opened in 2020, offering fancy picnic boxes to start and eventually being able to show off the culinary skills of the Fishers in full dining mode. David and Serena Chow Fisher met in New York while working at Pearl & Ash, and Serena also worked as pastry chef at the Michelin three-star Eleven Madison Park. Marlena underwent a remodel last summer, and reopened last September, continuing to enjoy acclaim and that Michelin cred.
Hi Neighbor came on the scene with Russian Hill's Stones Throw, which opened in 2013 and closed in 2018. But they've continued garnering fans with the low-cost prix-fixe formatted Trestle in North Beach, and with the bank vault area that they converted into a restaurant pre-pandemic in the base of 555 California, now The Vault Steakhouse and The Vault Garden. They also have Van Ness cocktail spot The Madrigal, and Mama in Oakland.
Stay tuned for details as they arrive.
Photo via Yelp