Exterior photo from Slow Club’s Facebook page.
There was a collective sigh among SF old-timers this week over the news about the upcoming closure of the ~SLOW CLUB~, after a 24-year run in the Mission/Potrero Flats. Erin Rooney, owner of the Slow Club since 1998 (Steve Decosse opened it in 1991), sent out an email saying the restaurant is closing on Sunday August 30th. That’s when many of us started running the tape in our heads: the first dates, the drinks, the late-night burgers, the brunches, the birthdays. So many. Damn. Thanks for all the memories, Slow Club. You were such a cool hangout.
At least that storied location is ending up in good hands: Paul Einbund’s, to be exact (many of you know him as the fast-talking and witty man behind the wine programs at Frances and Octavia). He is partnering with chef-partner Gavin Schmidt to open ~THE MORRIS~, in homage in Einbund’s late father. Einbund met Schmidt then they were both working at Coi (Schmidt was chef de cuisine). Schmidt has also worked at Elizabeth Daniel, Campton Place, Blanca Restaurant in San Diego, and trained under Laurent Gras; Einbund has loved his food for some time. Schmidt enjoys whole-animal butchery and reportedly has quite the hand with charcuterie.
While the menu has not been worked out (there will be time for that), Einbund says that he wants The Morris to still be a neighborhood place, and to feel like a newer, fresh version of the idea of Slow Club. It’s important to him to provide for the neighborhood and existing clientele, so expect a similar price point. And he also knows the legacy of the burger there is an important one. He assures, “Even if we were opening a sushi place, there would be a burger!” It also helps that Einbund is obsessed with burgers.
You know someone is excited to put together the wine, beer, and spirits list. And he is also fired up to reveal some selections from his beloved (and extensive) collection of Chartreuse.
Architect Charles Hemminger and designer Scott Kester (who has designed restaurants for the Daniel Patterson Group) will be working on refreshing the space; Einbund is pleased Kester worked on RN74 with AvroKO, so he understands wine storage well. Einbund’s wife, Vanessa Yap Einbund, will be helping with the design and will also do all the brand identity (she designed the identity for State Bird Provisions and The Progress). It’s a bit tricky to estimate with permits and construction, but they hope to open in winter 2015.
We’ll keep you posted in the coming months as things take shape (here’s The Morris on Twitter in the meantime). And go get that last Slow Club burger and cocktail while you can. Thanks for all the memories!