The warm and approachable décor at Brasserie Saint James. Photo via Instagram (@sickspade).
The popular and award-winning brewery and restaurant from Reno, Nevada, ~BRASSERIE SAINT JAMES~, is opening its second location in the former Abbot’s Cellar on Valencia. The soft opening to the public is on Thursday February 25th.
We heard from owner Art Farley (he is also behind Saint James Infirmary in Reno), who is thrilled to be a part of the SF community. He says the space now has a more classic/old-world brasserie design, designed to feel warm and whimsical, with a communal vibe. There are two new marble-topped full bars (with craft cocktails, whiskey, wine, and Champagne/sparkling wines, in addition to their highly acclaimed craft beers, made with head brewer Josh Watterson). The smaller bar at the front (overlooking Valencia) is more cocktail- and wine-focused, while the larger bar toward the back of the space is more beer-centric—it overlooks the full brewhouse (which is copper clad) and the fermentation area, which they added in the back of the restaurant. They’ll have 24 taps: 10-14 of their own brews and 10-14 rotating local and imported favorites.
There’s a large open kitchen, with chef Don Duncan leading the charge. He grew up in the South, but has cooked all over the country. We have a copy of the dinner menu, which includes bone marrow “canoes,” an array of mussels (hello, it’s a brasserie!), a smoked fish plate, the Saint James Niçoise salad, poutine, and some Southern touches such as gumbo and rice, and Dixie chicken. There’s a nose-to-tail sensibility, and you definitely won’t go hungry.
Be sure to check out the beverage menu, with their year-round draft offerings, wines, and cocktails. They will be serving brunch/lunch seven days a week, plus a happy hour, and late-night hours Thursday, Friday, and Saturday until 2am. There will also be a small outdoor dining area. 742 Valencia St. at 18th St.