Coming Soon: Corey Lee's Barbecue Project, Wildseed, Sho Kamio's SF Project, Little Joe's, Tacolicious Chico

01_belga_dining_room_and_bar_int_apick.jpg

Belga’s dining room. Photo by Aubrie Pick.

According to a liquor license transfer that just hit the wires, Corey Lee (Benu) is opening a project in the former Blowfish. He confirmed to the Chronicle that it’s going to be his long-awaited Korean restaurant, possibly by next summer, stand by for more! Can’t wait. 2170 Bryant St. at 20th St.

Big changes at the former Belga on Union Street, which is pivoting to become ~WILDSEED~, a plant-based restaurant and bar opening this month (September). This will be Adriano Paganini’s Back of the House restaurant group’s twelfth concept, and is designed to serve the health-conscious needs of the neighborhood (not unlike the changes currently happening at The Greenwich, formerly Cow Marlowe) and the larger plant-based movement happening in food and wellness.

Paganini states in a press release, “I am very passionate about this project and have been working on this concept for the past year, including spending time in LA doing research and working with a dietitian on my own personal health journey. I wanted to create this restaurant because I work across the street and this is a concept that I felt was missing in this neighborhood. Our hope is that this will be a restaurant that people can eat at several times a week, myself included.”

Chef Blair Warsham will be overseeing the menu of seasonal, healthy, flavorful, satisfying dishes, with some global influences—more on that soon. The cocktails will also be freshened up, with fresh juices, herbs, housemade extracts, shrubs, and tinctures in the cocktails. In a commitment to keeping a minimal carbon footprint, all wines will be local, vegan, organic, and biodynamic. 


It’s a great location, full of light and with a fun sidewalk scene, and is fortunately going to offer all-day service. Hannah Collins of ROY Hospitality Design Studio is behind the update. Lunch and dinner will be served Tue-Sat, with weekend brunch coming. 2000 Union St. at Buchanan.

Congrats to chef Shotaro “Sho” Kamio of Iyasare in Berkeley, who will be opening a restaurant in Salesforce Park above the Transbay transit center with his partner Josh Sigel. In a statement to the Chronicle, he says, “We seek to bring a style of food that is not imported from Japan but created here for the Bay Area with an appropriate level of originality and innovation that makes the concept feel unique yet surprisingly familiar. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and we cannot wait to share it with everyone.” Stand by for more on this new restaurant and lounge next year.

I spotted some ABC license transfer activity that involved the Original Joe’s team, which showed John and Elena Duggan moving into the former Paradise Pizza in West Portal. I reached out for details but didn’t hear back, so here’s the article from the Chronicle on the backstory of ~LITTLE JOE’S PIZZA, PASTA, PARMIGIANA~. Stand by for more on this casual neighborhood restaurant. 393 West Portal Ave. at San Fernando Way.

Coming to the Financial District this October is ~TACOLICIOUS CHICO~, a quick-service and to-go spot specializing in tacos de guisado (braised fillings), an homage to some of the Tacolicious crew’s favorite spots in Mexico City. There will be meat, vegetarian, and vegan options, six in all, like tinga, pork chile verde, lamb barbacoa, corn-and-peppers, and greens n’ beans, all inside organic, made-to-order corn tortillas. It’s designed to be super-quick, whether you want to snag a little patio table or head back to your desk. 685 Market St. at 3rd St.