We have a bunch of quick updates for you on some projects around town, starting with LITTLE GEM, coming to Hayes Valley this fall from Thomas Keller Restaurant Group vet Eric Lilavois and partners John DiFazio and Dave Cruz (former chef de cuisine of Ad Hoc). This “quick Californian” project will have 75-plus seats, counter service, and the farm-driven menu will also be gluten-, dairy-, and refined sugar-free. (Lilavois is sensitive to gluten and dairy, so the inspiration to create this restaurant comes from experience.) Diners will be able to choose from California-raised beef flat-iron ($14) or king salmon ($15), accompanied by a grain or potato ($5) or a selection of vegetables ($6). There will also be soups, salads, wraps, and more during the day, all featuring seasonal produce and well-sourced ingredients. Wine, beer, smoothies, and coffee will be available. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch will be served. Boor Bridges Architecture is designing the space, which features large windows, marble, reclaimed American elm, and locally crafted furniture. We’ll keep you posted on their opening this fall. 400 Grove St. at Gough.
Meanwhile, some details have been released about what will be opening in the former Annabelle’s Bar & Bistro, which we mentioned was being reinvented after 30 years in The Mosser Hotel. The new name for this American tavern is THE KEYSTONE, an ode to the location’s history as the Keystone Hotel. Chef Zack Freitas (most recently at Game) is leading the kitchen, working along with general manager Aric Sandoval and beverage director Kelly Naughton (assembling a large selection of whiskeys, rye, and Scotch, and creative cocktails, like a Porcini Negroni with porcini-infused gin). The new look will feature tufted leather banquettes, white marble flooring, and exposed brick walls, plus an open kitchen, communal table, and a long bar. Look for an opening in mid-August. Hours will be 11:30am-12am nightly, with not one but two happy hours (4:30pm-6:30pm and 10pm-12am). 68 4th St. at Market.
This morning we got a call from Ryan Cole of the Hi Neighbor Restaurant Group (the group behind Stones Throw, the newly opened Trestle, and Fat Angel, with chef Jason Halverson, Jason Kirmse, Tai Ricci, and Cyrick Hia), letting us know about an upcoming project coming to the new 100 Van Ness residential building, formerly the AAA office building (it’s from real estate developer Emerald Fund). The Hi Neighbor team is taking over two street-level spaces and will be the only food and beverage business in the building. Cole says, “While we aren’t able to share too many details just yet, I will say that we’re taking certain aspects and attributes from all three current restaurants-Trestle, Stones Throw and Fat Angel-and bringing them to the new spaces in some fashion, plus implementing new ideas and offerings for today’s on-the-go customer.” Stand by for more details in coming months. 100 Van Ness Ave. at Fell.
Not too long ago, we noted some license activity for pop-up IZA RAMEN, which looked like it was going to be moving permanently into Dante’s Table in the Castro, but now they have filed for the Squat & Gobble Lower Haight location instead. Stand by for more details soon. 237 Fillmore St. at Haight.
Chef Manny Torres Gimenez and his wife Katerina De Torres of The Palace Steakhouse have taken over the former Savanna Jazz location in the Mission and will be opening COCO FRIO in its place. From the website: “Coco Frio is cuisine based on the food from Margarita Island, Caribbean island off the Venezuelan coast. Chef focuses on fresh seafood and Venezuelan flair to amuse your palate.” It sounds like both a tasting menu and bar menu will be available, with cocktails to pair with the food as well. Stand by for more once we hear back from the team. 2937 Mission St. at 25th St.
One more piece of exciting news: locally loved Spanish grocery store and wine shop THE SPANISH TABLE, which has locations in Berkeley (for 14 years) and Mill Valley (10 years)—and Seattle—is going to be opening an SF location on Clement Street! The new location size will fall in between their other shops and will include a small deli that will serve Spanish and Portuguese cheeses cut to order and meats like chorizo and jamón. Owners Andy and Tanya Booth also hope/plan to serve bocadillos, seasonal dishes like gazpacho, and offer coffee service too, including café con leche and cortados. They’re busy converting the former jewelry shop and aim to open in September or October. 130 Clement St. at 3rd Ave.
The future location of Little Gem, photo via Facebook.