I was happy to see the long-closed IJJI sushi on Divisadero is going to have a new tenant: KEN, from Ken Ngai of Kusakabe, who has been working with chef-owner Mitsunori Kusakabe for the past 15 years. I reached out to Ken for details, stand by for more. It sounds like he’s already offering pre-ordered takeout for a soft opening. (Thanks to tipster Lisa B.!) 252 Divisadero St. at Haight.
Opening in mid- to late-January, is JARANITA from the La Mar SF team (part of Acurio International Restaurant Group) in the former Bistro Aix in the Marina. It’s going to be a Peruvian wood-fired rotisserie concept (with a custom-built charcoal grill), featuring grilled meats (including pasture-raised chickens rubbed with Peruvian spices, and slow-roasted meats cooked over charcoal on the rotisserie), cebiches, empanadas, tapas, sandwiches, salads (plus vegan and vegetarian options), and low-ABV cocktails from executive chef Javier Cussato and GM Kenzeo Mpoyi. They’re going to start with takeout and delivery, and then launch open-air dining when that’s allowed (the patio dining area has a super-high ceiling and is one big skylight, and there’s a parklet, too). Will keep you posted on a menu and launch date. Hours will be daily 11am-11pm. 3340 Steiner St. at Chestnut.
Just around the corner on Chestnut is a new Peruvian restaurant opening February 1st called CANCHA PERUVIAN BOUTIQUE GASTROBAR in the former Castagna space. (Cancha is the name for the crispy, Peruvian toasted corn that is often served as a snack and garnish.) Their menu will include ceviches, tiraditos, lomo saltado (the awesome steak and French fry stir-fry), ají de gallina (creamy chicken stew), adobo arequipeño (Peruvian pork adobo/stew), and much more—they will also be serving juices and drinks, including chicha morada, a drink made of purple corn. 2015 Chestnut St. at Fillmore.
Chef Seth Stowaway (Bar Agricole, Mister Jiu’s) has been holding pop-ups and fundraising for his live-fire, California cuisine/Tex-Mex, upscale restaurant, OSITO, which will offer one seating and menu per evening. In a post on Instagram, he has revealed the location: 2875 18th Street, at the corner of Florida, and kitty corner to the Heath building. It’s a new buildout, and construction will begin soon. Stand by for more as this develops. 2875 18th St. at Florida.
Another Instagram find: fans of the popular Vietnamese restaurant GAO Viet Kitchen in San Mateo and Ben Tre Vietnamese Homestyle in SSF, Millbrae, and San Mateo, will be happy to hear the family-run businesses are coming to SF, opening GAO BEN TRE, a combo of the two in the former KFC-Taco Bell at Irving and 20th Avenue, which was no stranger to a combo concept. In the post, the owner muses: “14 months and about $100k later (permit fee alone is around $30k) just to get permit approved to start the work. How does any small business even be able to do business in San Francisco.” Great fricking question. Anyway, the space is gutted, so this will take a bit of time, more soon. 1900 Irving St. at 20th Ave.
A tipster friend who works on Valencia Street let me know a place called CHIC’N TIME was coming to the former Burger Joint. Details have been revealed in this post on Mission Local, mentioning the owner is Michael Ho, who owned Perilla Vietnamese Cuisine. He’s going to offer a simple menu of deep-fried popcorn chicken, chicken wings, chicken noodle soup, and garlic noodles, plus imperial rolls, cabbage-chicken salad, and other appetizers—you can take a look at the menu here. He’ll be opening for takeout and delivery as soon as he passes his final inspections. Initial hours look like 11am-3pm and 5pm-9:30pm. 807 Valencia St. at 19th St.
The former Almanac Tap Room and Seven Stills tap room on 24th Street is transforming into BREWVINO, with new owner Carly Buck (and her husband). It’s going to be a combination restaurant and retail shop, serving beer and wine (duh), pizza, salads, and other family-friendly bites, while the retail space will include affordable wines from around the world, craft beer, and grab ‘n’ go food options. According to their Instagram, they got their license, and look busy putting on the finishing touches. They plan to open on Wednesday January 20th, “so people can get their celebration bubbles and pizza for Inauguration Day.” Cheers to that! 2704-6 24th St. at Potrero.
Moving out toward the beach, there’s a new owner of OCEAN BEACH CAFE, and according to some videos on his Instagram account, Joshua James is fired the eff up! There will be chef-driven sandwiches, breakfast burritos, salads, smoothies, coffee service, and in a salute to the owner’s recent sobriety, he plans to offer the largest selection of non-alcoholic beverages in the U.S. (he also says “the world,” so I’m looking forward to seeing this take shape). Delivery will also be a big part of the offering, with free delivery to the beach. There will be local art and a very community-minded sensibility. He’s going to start with a small menu, and is hoping to open in a couple weeks. 734 La Playa St. at Balboa.
The former back patio at Bistro Aix, the new home for Jaranita. Yelp photo by David G.