There are a number of new projects in the works, and many are pop-ups finding their first brick-and-mortar location, something that fills me with optimism after this bleak year. I was thrilled to see the co-founders behind the ongoing pop-up HILDA AND JESSE—Rachel Sillcocks (Range, Piccino) and Kristina Compton (Avery, Atelier Crenn, Range)—have found a brick-and-mortar location in North Beach. Their concept has always been an “all-day breakfast restaurant and neighborhood hangout,” with an all-day menu that will go into late afternoon. Breakfast without boundaries! Details are slim at the moment, but we’ll have to see what they’re planning for this sunny corner spot. More soon! 1665 Powell St. at Union.
The daytime Italian café and deli spot, NORCINA, has closed its Waterfront Plaza location. After slinging tigelle and gelato for a few years there, and preparing takeout food over the pandemic, owner Kaitlynn Bauman is opening a larger location in the Marina. With the bigger space, she is going to be expanding the concept into more of a restaurant, with reservations open in May. Sadly, we didn’t connect in time for my deadline, but I will have more details soon. 3251 Pierce St. at Chestnut.
I’ve been tracking chef David Yoshimura’s new brick-and-mortar location for his RESTAURANT NISEI concept, but didn’t manage to get back to him in time before my last (monster) deadline—someone was buried (per usual). And what a location it is: the former La Folie restaurant and bar on Polk in Russian Hill. Yoshimura was previously chef de cuisine at Californios, and his tasting menu at his pre-pandemic pop-up (Oji) was an elegant exploration of Japanese washoku (home cooking) cuisine. Of late, you may have tried his bento boxes he was selling out of Mister Jiu’s during the pandemic. But now, with Nisei (which is the Japanese term for a person born in the United States whose parents were immigrants from Japan), he’s going to really highlight his Japanese-American heritage and is calling it fine dining Californian washoku. He mentioned in a newsletter that Ilya Romanov from Niku Steakhouse and The Beehive will be spearheading the bar program. I’ll have a more detailed update as the project comes along (they’re aiming to open mid-2021); he’s fundraising, if you want to be part of it. 2316 Polk St. at Green.
Another pop-up team, Francis Ang and his wife Dian of Pinoy Heritage, are going to be opening ABACÁ, a full-service, Californian-Filipino restaurant in the Kimpton Alton Hotel in Fisherman’s Wharf this summer. Think delicious small plates; family recipes; NorCal ingredients; a panaderia featuring fresh-baked pastries, ensaymada, and espresso drinks from Oakland’s Mr. Espresso (open daily from 7am); and cocktails. You can read more in this Eater piece. 2700 Jones St. at North point.
And over in my neck of the woods, I was happy to see pop-up SCHLOK’S BAGELS from Zack Schwab and James Lok—who have been operating their bagel pop-up out of The Snug on Fillmore during the pandemic—have found a brick-and-mortar location in a former laundromat at 1263 Fell St. (at Broderick, near Falletti’s). They’re aiming to open by September, so their pop-up is now on hiatus while they focus on opening.
The former Obispo location in the Mission, Thad Vogler’s rhum agricole bar, is going to become ITRIA, a modern Italian restaurant and pizzeria. Eater reports the new owners are Daniel Evers (previously AL’s Place, Cotogna, and Marea in New York) who is partnering with Min Park (Rooster and Rice, Omakase Capital). Evers will be focused on rectangular pan pizzas, which travel well for takeout/delivery, which is what they’re starting with. There will be some other dishes on the limited opening menu, like meatballs and a couple salads (chopped, Caesar), with an expanded menu coming when they open for indoor dining (housemade pasta, crudos, wine, and more). Stand by for an opening soon. 3266 24th St. at Capp.
The women behind Hilda and Jesse. Via @hildaandjessesf.