Some new things are happening over at THE CHEESE SCHOOL OF SAN FRANCISCO in Ghirardelli Square, starting with a change in management. Founder Kiri Fisher was in the process of selling the much-adored business just prior to the pandemic, and when the sale fell through, she was at a loss as to what to do with the business. (I remember going to classes at the tiny Cheese School back in 2006, and then their Mission location at the original Saison/now Stable Cafe, before it moved into the current and spacious Ghirardelli Square location in 2018.)
Enter Jeanine Egan, a Cheese School employee and friend of Fisher who wanted to save the business. Working closely with Fisher, she has taken over managing day-to-day operations and is in the process of acquiring it fully. There have obviously been some huge adjustments due to the pandemic, like launching virtual classes all around the U.S., Canada, and even Europe (thanks to so many corporate groups who have their teams working remotely), which are still going strong.
There have been some disappointing setbacks as well: they were sadly one of the businesses that was granted money by the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, but then funding was rescinded when discrimination lawsuits were filed against the SBA for prioritizing women/veteran/POC-owned businesses. (Ugh, every time I hear this story, I get furious.) You can easily show your support for all our beloved restaurants here.
But Egan and her team press on. The school is relaunching in-person classes in October (the first class already sold out!), and more offerings will be added slowly but surely as they get off the ground once again.
The school has had a light redesign and the retail cheese counter was downsized to be able expand the space to offer more customized, cheese-centered events and experiences. It’s a fabulous location for small and large groups, with two levels, a patio overlooking the fountain and stunning views of the Bay. (They also offer catering, gift baskets, and their popular monthly Cheese Club.)
You can now come by for a cheese-focused wine bar experience Thursday-Sunday afternoons and evenings, with seating inside and on the patio. The sophisticated cheese selection and excellent pairings make it an elevated experience that even discerning locals will want to show up for.
And now there’s an exciting addition to the offerings: the Daily Driver team—who have been close friends with Egan and The Cheese School—is an official collaborative partner, bringing their wood-fired bagels, Tomales Farmstead Creamery cheeses, and top-notch butter over to Ghirardelli Square. Daily Driver’s original Dogpatch location can be a schlep for folks on this side of town, so now there’s easy access to Daily Driver’s fabulous bagels and more every Thursday-Sunday, 9am-2pm.
Come by for bagel sandwiches, coffee, and grab-and-go bags of bagels, cream cheese, and don’t miss their butter (from new head cheesemaker Rachel Kleine). They have also added a reverse grilled cheese sandwich to the opening menu, featuring a grilled inside-out bagel with Point Reyes Gouda, which will only be available at The Cheese School location. Egan and Daily Driver look forward to continuing to collaborate on exclusive farm tours, classes, and more.
One more fun thing to note: come by for Fleet Week—there’s a ticketed public party on Sunday October 10th, with a front-row view to the air show, complete with abundant cheese boards and wines. 900 North Point St. at Larkin, Ghirardelli Square.
Class is in session at The Cheese School of San Francisco! Photo courtesy of The Cheese School of San Francisco.