Coming to Chinatown: China Live and Eight Tables, a Big, Big Project from George Chen

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Rendering provided by George Chen, courtesy of Cypress Group Properties LLP.

Every time I drive down Broadway (or am walking by Sam’s and am trying to convince myself it’s not a good time for a cheeseburger), there’s the vacant and looming Gold Mountain space, tragically so empty and cold. But not for long! It was with great interest when I read on Chowhound that some eagle eyes found this local high school (Lick-Wilmerding) article about what George Chen (Betelnut, Shanghai 1930) has in store for the place: “Plans are underway for restaurateur George Chen to convert the former Gold Mountain restaurant on Broadway into an upscale Chinese food emporium similar to New York’s Italian food hall, Eataly.”

Another poster linked to Chen’s LinkedIn profile, which says: “The time has come to announce George is in contract with a prominent space in the heart of San Francisco to create and develop his legacy project. This will be ~25,000 SQF premise that will be ground-breaking concept for Chinese/Asian culinary arts. Think of it as a Chinese ‘Eataly’ as in an immense food emporium with live ‘theatrical cooking stations’ that also serve food a la haute food court. Upstairs, there will be super fine-dining establishment called ~EIGHT TABLES~ by George Chen serving a seasonal multi-course prix fixe menu that will be at the cutting edge of Chinese cuisine. As in the name, there will only 8 tables served each evening.”

I reached out to Chen for more details on the project a week ago, but he didn’t want to talk about it at the time, although he alluded to some big players in the project (like who will be the fourth floor tenant and also taking over the basement theater). Seems the Scoop was able to get a few more details out of him: the food emporium will be called China Live and it will be very interactive; the storefront flanking Gold Mountain (at 660 Broadway) will also be part of the project’s footprint. I’ll have more details soon; am very much looking forward to hearing about Chen’s big plans for Chinatown, hopefully coming before the year is up. 644 Broadway at Stockton.