An Update on Contigo (and the Emersons' Expansion in Santa Cruz)


Elan and Brett Emerson. Photo from Facebook.


Contigo’s famed sardine and avocado toast. Photo: ©

Just in case you’re driving by ~CONTIGO~ and notice a “for sale” sign and have a moment of panic, don’t freak out just yet. I spoke with partner Brett Emerson, who confirmed the building is in fact for sale (he and his wife Elan live upstairs). The restaurant is not closing—the Emersons will just have a new landlord once the building sells.

Earlier this year, it was revealed in Edible Monterey Bay that the Emersons were planning to open a second tapas and Catalan-influenced restaurant in Santa Cruz, in the former home of Benten Japanese Restaurant (just across from Verve Coffee Roasters) at 1541 Pacific.

Here’s an update on the project: it will be called ~BARCELONETA~, an homage to the seaside beach in Barcelona where locals go for paella and hanging out. Brett says they will continue to serve their seasonally influenced tapas at this new location and will be adding paella, served daily (at Contigo, it’s only served on Tuesdays). They want the vibe to be fun and approachable—and to help in that feeling, they’ll have a full bar as well. Lunch and dinner will be served daily.

Barceloneta is currently in the design phase, and they hope to open at the end of 2015 or early 2016. In order to free up some resources for the project (they’re doing a significant upgrade to the Santa Cruz space), they decided to sell their SF building. The couple will be spending time in both SF and Santa Cruz, and have promoted their sous chef and a manager to take more of the reins of the SF location during the transition. As for the listing, it goes live tomorrow if you want to be a future Noe Valley landlord.