New Polk Street Projects: Leopold's, Saru Handroll Bar, Bi-Rite Market

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Exterior of Leopold’s. Photo by Daniel Azarkman.

Earlier this month, an eagle-eyed tablehopper reader let me know there was a public notice in the window for an alcohol license at the former ~LEOPOLD’S~, and sure enough, an ABC license type 41 (beer and wine—eating place) is pending, listing Michael Lamina and Carla Anne Suntjeans. Lamina was formerly a chef at Leopold’s (I have been a fan of his charcuterie since his days at Cav Wine Bar, and he was the chef at Taps). In this SFGATE piece, Lamina confirms they’re trying to relaunch the restaurant, originally opened by Albert and Rainer Klaus back in 2011 (Lamina was the opening chef). Stand by for updates in coming months. 2400 Polk St. at Union.

It looks like The Handroll Project has unleashed a local sushi trend: Yonsei Handrolls opened in Uptown Oakland earlier this month, and now Saru Sushi Bar’s second location in Russian Hill is reopening as ~SARU HANDROLL BAR~—they are targeting the second week of November for the opening. It was originally the Kinjo space, and then Saru took it over in September 2020, but then they closed in May 2021 for renovations. Saru Sushi Bar in Noe Valley will remain the same. I’ll share more details and a menu when they’re about to open. 2206 Polk St. at Vallejo.

Great news for residents of Russian Hill and Polk Gulch: ~BI-RITE MARKET~ is taking over the Real Foods Co. location on Polk. According to a press release, “The location has been a neighborhood staple since 1976 and Bi-Rite is excited to honor the legacy of Kimball and Jane Allen, Real Foods Co. founders, by continuing to ensure the community has access to fresh, delicious, nourishing food from socially responsible farmers, ranchers, and makers.” They’ll take over the space in early 2023—Steffan Morin, a 16-year Bi-Rite veteran and most recently general manager of Bi-Rite Market 18th Street, will become general manager, and they will offer paid training to the staff at Real Foods Co. and shifts at other Bi-Rite Markets. This will be Bi-Rite’s third neighborhood grocery store. 2140 Polk St. at Vallejo.