Grub Flubs

Grub bites the dust, but three other restaurants offer new beginnings

Sign LanguageHarry watched with wonder as Grub announced the fate of its location at 16th and Sanchez streets through a series of signs posted in the window. First, the restaurant -- which just opened last November -- posted a sign that read "Closed for Equipment Repair" over the weekend of June 22. Next up, a note on June 26 that said "Grub Patrons: Thank you for everything. We regret that we had to close the doors. Look for something new and exciting coming soon." By June 29 it was "For Lease, Fully Equipped Restaurant." Hardly "new and exciting." Harry phoned to bid the owners, Brian Brown, Bob Hemmer, and Katie Solinger, adieu, but all he got was a message-less answering machine and no return call. Never forget: Our food-loving town can eat you up and spit you out.

After the FireFleur de Lys, one of our city's best fancy-French restaurants, reopens its fabric-draped fantasy on Aug. 1. The site at 777 Sutter took almost a year to recuperate from the fire that inspired its major remodel. Along with a revamped menu that includes both à la carte options and build-your-own prix fixe meals (of three, four, or five courses), expect a stylish reception and bar area along with its trademark tented dining room and updated floor plan, wood moldings, colors, and fabric. Harry loves the new, oh-so-private dining room with its own fireplace, private entrance from Sutter Street, and room for 12.

Merci, Beau CoupMid-August marks the arrival of Beau Coup Grand Bar & Salon, at 1001 California at Mason. The restaurant space, across from the Mark Hopkins and Fairmont hotels, has a reputation for being a ruthlessly difficult spot in which to maintain a restaurant (the spot has hosted a few flashes-in-the-pan). But Beau Coup's dual concept may do the trick. The Grand Bar intends to take on the Redwood Room as the place to snack on eye candy andFrench cuisine with Japanese influences. Meanwhile, the dining Salon speaks to sophisticates who want more pomp than lounge, who long for lobster roti over mussels with pommes frites. Chef Bruno Chemel, who managed food operations for such restaurants as Qi and Betelnut, stands behind both menus. Prices in the Grand Bar run from $4.75 to $14.50; the Salon charges from $7.50 to $32.50 for its bites.

Bake SaleOn June 26, pastry chef Elisabeth Prueitt and baker Chad Robertson opened Tartine Bakery at 600 Guerrero at 18th Street. The wife-and-husband duo are as excited about French-style pastries and "natural-leavened" breads as the crowds that have started arriving by 7:30 in the morning. The new space seats 20 and has a take-away counter for to-go tarts, cakes, tartines, and hearty breads. With neighbors like Delfina and Bi-Rite Market, Tartine rests on one of the city's up-and-coming food streets.

 
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