French-born chef Bruno Chemel is making a return to the San Francisco restaurant scene after two decades, and he'll be opening something called Le Parc Bistrobar a few blocks from Union Square this summer.

Chemel, whom Bay Area diners should know from his onetime two-Michelin-starred restaurant Baumé in Palo Alto, and later its rebrand as Bistronomie by Baumé, made headlines in 2021 when he celebrated the loss of those two Michelin stars. Chemel, who had previously vied for three-star status, told the media that maintaining Michelin status had become a "distraction" and the inspectors had an "erratic, corporate focus and fixations." And, he said, he hadn't "lost" the stars at all, but had contacted Michelin telling them he no longer wanted to be included.

This was three years after Chemel had let go of his entire kitchen staff, and was operating the leanest business possible, with his wife the sole employee as general manager. A Chronicle write-up from 2018 noted that the place had only four tables and one seating per night, and dinners would run guests about $800 per person, with mandatory wine pairings. The couple's 13-year-old son Antoine sometimes played sous chef after school as well.

By 2021, as Eater reported, Baumé was down to just two tables, serving lavish dinners to Silicon Valley's elite on the smallest, most exclusive scale — with a pescatarian tasting menu that started at $298 per person, and the mandatory wine pairing ranging from $398 to $13,800 per person.

The Bistronomie rebrand quickly followed in March 2022, with a price reduction to $168 per person, and Chemel closed the place a year and a half later, in September 2023.

As the Chronicle notes, Chemel first made a name for himself in the Bay Area at La Suite, which he helped open on the Embarcadero in 2004. Michael Bauer gave the place a qualified three-star rave back then, calling it, almost, "a worthy facsimile" of Balthazar in New York — so Chemel has some brasserie cred.

This latest San Francisco project will be on a that larger brasserie scale, as Chemel and his wife take over the former Gaspar Brasserie space at 185 Sutter Street. The space sits beneath the Galleria Park Hotel, three blocks from Union Square, and the former restaurant opened in 2014 with a swanky remodel under the leadership of restaurateur Franck LeClerc, of Café Claude fame. Gaspar closed quietly in the early pandemic and never reopened.

A press release says that Le Parc Bistrobar will feature "classic French cuisine with an emphasis on fresh, seasonal ingredients," and dish examples include coq au vin and steak frites — the latter of which was also featured on Gaspar Brasserie's menu.

Look for it to open this summer, with an exact date to be announced.

Photo via Google Street View