Curious about what goes into opening a restaurant? Each month we'll be checking in on the build-out process of various bars and restaurants around the City, highlighting the unique coups and complications when opening a business in San Francisco. This section is written by Erin Archuleta, tablehopper intern and half of the talent behind local outfit Ichi Catering.
The ~BAR CRUDO~ brothers are just weeks away from opening their new NOPA spot, targeting the end of March for their opening. Twins Mike and Tim Selvera are trading in their former tunnel-toppy spot on Bush Street in favor of feeding neighbors and friends closer to home (both guys live near the new site located at 655 Divisadero at Grove). They have actually been working on getting a spot on their side of town since the beginning of their restaurant days. A friend points out that with the advent of the success of other eateries in the 94117, plus the close proximity of shows at the Independent, this is really the right time to bring all those oysters to the 'hood!
A former pizza parlor, the space was wired on the outside, so the guys had to bring in all new electrical upgrades and pipes. Moving each of the pipes was quite costly and it forced them to reconsider their resources. The original cash flow for all the extra help in the build-out was maxed, and smartly, they turned to their community for help. Their general contractor, Chris Holden of Holden James Construction, has been a customer since the beginning. His appreciation of the Selveras' aesthetic and love of raw seafood made a good marriage for putting up the walls and committing to the grueling inspection process.
Another long-time fine-art friend contributed to the sleek build-out of the new space, Kelly Tunstall. Tunstall is responsible for the gorgeous art at their first location, and will be creating wall murals and consulting on the final design of the space. She's collaborating with NOPA neighbor and lighting designer Kevin Randolph, currently a featured artist at The Perish Trust--they are creating a warm, ambient atmosphere that will draw the eyes around the cozy space.
And by cozy, I mean cozy. Much like their former location, the long, thin space, approximately 1,500 square feet, will accommodate 55-60 folks. They've smartly placed 16-foot marble bar tables along the wall across from their 14-seat bar. There's also a great upstairs gathering spot for groups that overlooks the bar--plus it has a view of the folks passing by on Divisadero through the original 1920's windows.
For Bar Crudo fans, the menu will remain true to the original tastes. As Tim states, "We're an oyster bar that does fish as a unique and more modern raw bar." Elegant seafood will remain as the main feature for diners. Tim also assures me that we shouldn't wait for dessert to appear on the menu. (He promises to refer out to other delicious neighbors offering coffee and sweets.) Do look for their trademark great selection of wines and beer, and they're adding even more impressive draft beers.
The guys have final health, building, and fire department inspections to pass in these next three weeks. Best wishes to the brothers as we wait to crack some fresh Dungeness crab and slurp oysters with neighborhood pals.