AQ exterior photo from LiveSOMA.
After some liquor license activity, and Grub Street poking around online, details have been released about ~AQ~, a new project from first-time restaurateur Matt Semmelhack and Dixon Hayes of Mercer Restaurant Group. Martin Heid Design/Build (who designed Commonwealth and Serpentine) is transforming the 104-year-old space on Mission Street, which features an original red brick façade, timber beams, and 12-foot-tall warehouse windows (it ends up the space housed the original San Francisco Department of Health). There will be 82 seats, plus private dining, and a bar with 16 seats and 5 seats at high-tops near the front window and entrance.
Executive chef Mark Liberman will be offering a menu of “innovative California cuisine,” and his background includes working as chef de cuisine for Roland Passot, in addition to time in the kitchens of Daniel Boulud and Joël Robuchon while in New York, and he was a semi-finalist in the Bocuse d’Or. Yeah, homeboy’s got some chops. He will also be leading some cooking demonstrations, culinary and wine events, and interactive classes at the restaurant—since the open kitchen features 22 counter seats, it’ll be an optimal learning (and dining) environment.
The seasonal menu (check out a PDF of the upcoming fall menu online) won’t be the only thing continually changing: the look and feel of AQ will change as well, from new color schemes to art installations, linens, tabletop arrangements, and even the logo will all reflect the seasons. Both lunch (Mon-Fri) and dinner (nightly) will be offered, with brunch coming later. Look for an extensive wine list, plus four local beers on tap and many by the bottle, and a cocktail program. You can learn more about the project on their Kickstarter campaign page. They are gunning for a fall opening.