A Bunch of Castro Happenings, From Closures to Quick Switches

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The iconic red exterior of Chow on Church. Yelp photo by B.H.

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Khao man gai from Rooster & Rice. Yelp photo by JP N.

Whoa, the Castro has a bunch of news, starting with the sad and sudden closure of ~CHOW~ on Church, after 22 years in its original location. I didn’t think it looked very hopeful when they limited their hours in January, and sadly that proved to be the case. Chow has fed so many of us over the years, it’s hard to believe it’s gone.

But in an interesting move, Mark White, the (mysterious) owner of the upcoming Gramercy Park restaurant—which is due to open across the street in the former Crepevine space—is taking over Chow, and opening Cook Shoppe in its place. He’s trying to keep Chow’s staff, and many menu items as well. He’s doing a quick refresh of the space, and hopes to reopen this month. 215 Church St. at Market, 415-552-2469. [Via Eater.]

Another old-timer has closed: ~FIREWOOD CAFE~, which has been open since 1997 (and to be completely honest, it felt like it, but yes, it has fed a bunch of folks affordably for a long time). [Via Hoodline.] 4248 18th St. at Diamond.

Quick switcheroo at Indo—it’s now another location of ~ROOSTER & RICE~, one of my favorite khao mun gai (chicken fat rice) spots in town. (Am sure the nearby and recently opened Gai is a little concerned.) Open Tue-Sat 11am-8pm. 4039 18th St. at Hartford. [Via Eater.]

Just across the street, Beso recently closed, and nearby Lark’s Coskun Abik is opening ~BLIND BUTCHER~ in its place, featuring a variety of meaty main dishes, plus branzino and some vegetarian options as well (all you paleo boys should be pleased). Weekend brunch is also in the works (and it has that cute little patio). 4058 18th St. at Hartford St. [Via Hoodline.]

Around the corner, the former Hearth Coffee space is going to be ~CAFE DE CASA~, a Brazilian breakfast and lunch spot from Lucimar Canedo and her daughters (they already have two SF locations). On the menu: açai bowls, savory salgados, crepes, juices, coffee, and more, but they have to finish a remodel first. 3985 17th St. at Castro. [Via Hoodline.]