Photo by Daisy Chow.
This week marks the soft opening for ~GEORGES~, located in the former London Wine Bar space in the Fugazi Building—they plan and hope to be officially open and live on OpenTable on Monday March 15th. As I mentioned in a post last year, chef and co-owner Elias Bikahi (Nook, Caffe Sapore, Sapore Catering, and he started Valentina) is partnering with Leo Lippi on the project. The 55-seat restaurant will be focused on serving sustainable seafood, including a raw bar up front and at a 10-seat bar, plus local produce, and other sustainably raised ingredients (the partners have a close relationship with a family fish market and numerous farms). Bikahi will be working with Amanda Hamilton in the kitchen.
The lunch menu will be tailored for quick service since they’re smack dab in the Financial District—I’ll have details on what’s on the lunch and dinner menus next week. The owners want the business to be as green and sustainable as possible, which includes offering house-filtered water instead of bottled. The look is definitely modern but not stark due to the bright, Granny Smith apple-green counter. The front entrance features wine towers with the building’s original brick wall visible behind it, and there’s a second wine tower at the back of the room. The dining tables and the wooden panels on the walls (which make it look a bit Scandinavian) are made of reclaimed wood sourced from McCloud, near Shasta. And the ceiling now features a skylight, previously hidden by the three false ceilings they removed to raise the ceiling height.
Lunch and dinner will be served Mon-Fri 11am-11pm, and perhaps Saturday service will start later. The space will be available for private events on weekends and is business-meeting-friendly (it has a projector and screen). There is also a catering component to the business (there is a second kitchen downstairs). As for the bar, they are launching a sherry club during the afternoon (between lunch and dinner service), and the bar manager, Rene Dominguez, who was at Quince and Boulevard, will be doing a house tonic, syrups, and featuring organic gin and vodka. In addition to the full bar, there will also be around 70 wines and nine beers on tap (none by the bottle). As for the name, it looks like there were a lot of Georges in the family, so the name is an homage to them (although it’s meant to be pronounced like the singular French name of “Georges”).