A rendering of the 178 Townsend building. Rendering courtesy HKS Architects via Interface Engineering.
Chef Joshua Skenes at work. Photo courtesy Saison.
Well, this is exciting. ~SAISON~ has finally released some details on their new SOMA location. As previously reported on tablehopper, they’ll be at 178 Townsend in SoMa, in the California Electric Light Company Building. Some new details have come out, including that there will be a cocktail program, so get excited. They should be opening in their new location in mid-December; the final day of service on Folsom Street will be November 30th.
The industrial building dates from the 1880s, and you’ll see a lot of the historic details: exposed beams and brick, and 35-foot ceilings. The new spot will seat 18 in the dining room with an additional 12 at the bar. Partners Joshua Skenes (chef) and Mark Bright (sommelier) have sought to keep the place intimate, but also open and unrestricted. They’ll still be cooking over an open fire with modern techniques and offering their outstanding 5,000-bottle wine cellar, but the new space will offer them new opportunities for growth.
The restaurant was designed by a team that included Skenes and Bright, plus Michael Gibson, Jiun Ho, Bassel Samaha, and Tim Harrison. The kitchen will be totally open—as in, no walls at all. Everything going on in the kitchen will be visible to diners. They’ll be holding on to their Molteni stove, plus adding a wood-fired MIWE bread-baking deck oven from Germany. They’ve paid lots of attention to details, too, like hand-blown cocktail glasses from Japan and Zalto stemware. All the tables will be crafted from eight-foot slabs of walnut and “partitions” of walnut, with plants, candles, and books that will keep each table private. Once they reopen, they’ll be serving Tue-Sat 5pm-10pm, with seatings hourly between 5:30pm-8:30pm. 178 Townsend St. at Clarence.