Liholiho Yacht Club Ends Its Mission Pop-Up to Make Way for Good Good Culture Club

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A new mural by Kalani Ware at the upcoming Good Good Culture Club. Photo courtesy of GGCC.

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Nothing like a sunny Mission day on the rooftop. Photo courtesy of GGCC.

I ran out of time at my last deadline to include this news, but the Liholiho crew has a big update: they’re ending the Liholiho Yacht Club pop-up on 18th Street in the Mission on December 31st and opening ~GOOD GOOD CULTURE CLUB~ in the space on January 11th, 2022. Boor Projects is behind the colorful and uplifting update to the space, which they began in 2019 with Liholiho’s move there.

For these last days, there will be a special holiday menu with original Liholiho classics and favorites until they close on New Year’s Eve. We’ll have to wait for Liholiho Yacht Club to reopen in its original Sutter Street location in spring/summer 2022.

Now, I don’t ever do this, but this press release was so thoughtfully written and personal that I thought I’d share it verbatim so you can really get a sense of the vision and reasoning and changes they’re making with this new project. (Also: I am exhausted and I don’t think my rewrite will add much.)

“Liholiho Yacht Club opened in 2015 with a goal of celebrating heritage and spreading aloha. We have been fortunate to be, by many standards, a successful restaurant. Now, as we reemerge from a brutal shutdown, we have realized that we don’t want to go back to the ways things were. We want to build something better.

“In our decades in the restaurant industry, we accepted and enabled so much of an archaic culture: The wage gaps, the long hours, the inequities, the lack of mental health, and so much more. Why does our industry have to be this way? Can it not grow and evolve, like so many others?

“Since reopening Liholiho Yacht Club in its temporary home on 18th Street earlier this year, we have been actively and thoughtfully implementing many changes in pursuit of this vision. As owners, we understand it requires us to be more inclusive, both operationally and financially. We have raised wages for staff, because a living wage is not sufficient; it’s our duty to provide a thriving wage. We no longer accept gratuity, and have executed an equitable compensation fee (20%) that allows for us to achieve more equality in wages. Our hiring practices have been overhauled to allow for a more diverse pool of applicants. We have shortened our hours of operation from 5 to 9 p.m. in an effort to enable healthy and full lifestyles for our staff. Our day-to-day operations are more collaborative, as we are constantly reminded of the strength of our dynamic leadership team, like Nana Guardia, Kristina Garbett, Sarah Lau, Heather Murphy, Millie Boonkokua, Hannah Montazeri.

“Above all, we are trying to broaden the definition of what it means to be leaders, while empowering—and sustaining—new voices. New voices who will be the future of this industry.

“We feel these initial changes are working. In other words: Change is good. So that’s why Liholiho Yacht Club on 18th Street will evolve into a new concept called Good Good Culture Club.

“With Good Good Culture Club, we will support and amplify the next generation of Bay Area rising talent in Aimee Arcilla, Kevin Keovanpheng, and Brett Shaw. This evolution will enable more creativity for these three, who have long been a crucial part of Liholiho operations, and now will have the opportunity to transition into larger roles and share their own heritage-driven cooking and hospitality.

“At this new restaurant, you’ll get a fun backyard vibe, infused with their exciting Laotian and Filipino flavors, wood-fired cooking, California produce, the Liholiho pantry, and of course, a quality bar program, anchored by Janice Bailon.

“Liholiho Yacht Club is not going away—that original mindset of heritage and hospitality through our San Francisco home remains our guiding principle, our ethos, now more than ever. But to allow our team to truly flourish, we don’t want them operating under the shadow of the Liholiho sign. We want to celebrate their voices, to nurture them as the restaurant industry leaders of tomorrow.

“We don’t know if these changes will work, but we do know that we don’t want to go back to the old ways. We are so grateful to have developed a strong following of diners and regulars in our six years of business. It takes a community to implement change, and we hope you can be part of it, too. That’s what Good Good Culture Club is about: positive change, heritage, love, aloha.”
— Ravi Kapur, April Storm, and Jeff Hanak

That was a good read, right? I hope it inspires some other restaurateurs and owners to be part of the change happening in hospitality and restaurant operations. Good Good Culture Club will be open Tue-Sat 5pm-9pm. Reservations open January 4th. 3560 18th St. at Dearborn.