A new, likely high-end Japanese restaurant is in the planning stages at 140 New Montgomery, in the ground-floor space formerly home to Trou Normand in the building that was formerly home to Yelp's headquarters.

The SF Business Journal caught the liquor license activity for the space at 140 New Montgomery Street, finding that the business name is listed as Comorebi, and the chef-owner attached is Ingi "Shota" Son, who is also the executive chef and owner of Michelin-starred The Shota, the high-end omakase spot that opened at 115 Sansome Street in 2018 — and where the omakase experience will run you $300 per person, before drinks.

Chef Son has previously worked in the kitchens of other high-end, omakase-style restaurants including Hashiri and Omakase, as well as Morimoto Napa.

The omakase menu at The Shota features fish flown in from Toyose Fish Market in Japan. And as the restaurant website explains, "Our chefs ensure authenticity using a traditional-Edomae technique such as aging, curing, and marinating." The Shota earned its first Michelin star in 2021, and prices have gone up accordingly for a menu that includes things like Hokkaido sea scallops, and a bluefin tuna handroll.

A dish of A5 Miyazaki Wagyu beef topped with Hokkaido uni at The Shota. Photo: tip_included/Instagram

Son is the only company officer listed on the liquor license transfer application. This is a full, Type 47 license, and it's being purchased from the company that ran two longtime Fisherman's Wharf restaurants, No. 9 Fisherman’s Grotto and Tarantino’s, which were evicted last year for unpaid rent.

We'll update you if we learn more about the plans for Comorebi, but this is more cause for optimism about downtown revitalization, with a restaurant space that's sat empty for four years seeing new life.

Trou Normand permanently closed in September 2020 along with two of owner Thad Vogler's other businesses, Obispo and Nommo. Vogler, as we reported last month, is reopening the recently shuttered Bar Agricole in the Mission next door to Osito, and will open a new version of Obispo called Bispo on Valencia Street next year.

The high-ceilinged, L-shaped former Trou Normand space features a central bar and a quiet back patio, and is adjacent to Mourad.