Tidbits: Octavia, Tips Out at Benu, and New Openings (Home, Tavares)

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Exterior photo by Craig Lee.

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The interior at Home. Yelp photo by Cheryl W.

Back in October, we broke the news that Melissa Perello (Frances) was taking over the former Baker & Banker space, and now we have learned the name of this new project: ~OCTAVIA~. Additional details (for now): the style of food will be similar to Frances, Perello is having Paul Einbund run the wine program, and there will be a communal table for walk-ins. The downstairs bakery area will be converted back to a private dining room, and the awnings will be taken down to allow for more natural light. We’ll have more in coming weeks on this exciting spring opening. [Scoop] 1701 Octavia St. at Bush.

If the Bay Area restaurant scene is any indication, the tipping model of paying food-service workers is on its way out. High-end restaurants have been making the switch from tipped compensation to other forms of payment. The latest to join the wave is ~BENU~, Eater reports, which has raised the prices on their tasting menu and also eliminated tips. The price tag for dinner for two at Benu is now $228 per person, plus a blanket 20 percent service charge. Wine pairings are $160. Similar restaurants have also raised tasting menu prices and added service charges, including Atelier Crenn ($220 per person plus service charge) and Saison ($398 plus service charge). The linked article has a handy graph to illustrate the changes. This is a loaded issue, for sure, but ultimately the goal is to make sure that all food-service workers are paid fairly, regardless of whether they work in the kitchen or on the floor. As long as these policies aim for that end, we’re all for it.

There is a new café in the Sunset, called ~HOME~. Yelpers report they are serving De La Paz and Four Barrel coffee, and a menu shows pour-over and espresso options, along with some more inventive choices like a coconut vanilla latte. There are also snacks on offer, including toast and pastries. 1222 Noriega St. at 20th Ave., 415-742-0038.

According to Yelp, the new café in the former Mason space has opened. It’s called ~TAVARES~, and appears to be from Ivo Nesralla, who owns a similar spot in Sao Paolo. Initial reports say there are sandwiches, burgers, and salads on the menu, along with some Brazilian dishes like fish cooked in a banana leaf. 300 De Haro St. at 16th St., no phone.