Open/Shut Report: A Pot Cafe in the Castro? Maybe

The French Laundry’s renovation wraps up next month (Peter Merholz | Flickr)

Openings

Hazel Southern Bar & Kitchen (1446 Market St.) Jamie Boatner of the former Sugar Cafe & Lounge will open Hazel in what used to be Cadence in Mid-Market, serving lots of Southern staples along with whiskeys and bourbon. With TVs and pool tables, it seems a lot more approachable than its predecessor, the aggressive decor of which alienated a lot of people. Hoodline says to expect it in February.

Eye of the Avocado (833 Cortland Ave.) Bernalwood reports that while Black Jet Bakery gears up to occupy this space, it’s currently a pop-up extending to the end of January. Eye of the Avocado serves some of its successor tenant’s pastries, as well as coffee and breakfast sandwiches. There’s also a “Pay It Forward” program that lets you be a sandwich fairy and buy food for someone who’s a little short on funds.

Sasa’s Pizza (1361 Church). Noe Valley SF reports that the former Fattoush will become a pizzeria, although there doesn’t seem to be a firm timeline — and they also unearthed a Tumblr by that name with a very unfortunate-looking French fry pizza.

Morac (4230 Castro St.) Upstairs from the Castro’s Bite Me Sandwiches, the same owner will resurrect Morac, a Mediterranean spot that existed on 16th Street from 2009-13. That version had hookahs, this one will have wine, and while there’s no definite opening date, Hoodline says it should be up and running in a month.

Bao Down (648 Bush St.) The space that used to be All Spice, and before that Masa’s, will now become the Vancouver Hawaiian-Thai-Filipino mini-chain Bao Down, Hoodline says.

Boot & Shoe Service (2285 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley). Eater reports that Charlie Hallowell (Penrose, Pizzaiolo) will open Boot & Shoe Service in the former Build Pizzeria, but it’s going to be a year at least before you’re eating anything.

Guerra’s To Go (345 Taraval St.) On Feb. 6, he 62-year-old Sunset butcher Guerra Quality Meats will open a takeout spot a block from the mothership at 490 Taraval. Hoodline reports that the former dry cleaners will serve dishes like beef bourguignon and handmade lasagnas, plus barbecue.

Unknown Back of the House Project (661 Divisadero St.) The former La Urbana, which closed in November, may become the next project from the team behind The Bird, Flores, Delarosa, and Beretta. Hoodline says they’re looking at the space. But one thing’s for sure: They’re going to open something, somewhere.

Closures

Butterfly (33 Embarcadero). Inside Scoop caught that, after 15 years on the waterfront, Butterfly will flutter its wings for the last time on Saturday, Jan. 7.

Restaurant Lulu (816 Folsom St.) The 24-year-old SoMa New American restaurant and its communal tables has suddenly closed, Inside Scoop reports, with no details provided.

Bento. The food-delivery app closed its kitchen effective Dec. 9. In an email, cofounder Jason Demant announced that while the startup became profitable as of November, it suffered from low gross margin dollars and further growth were challenges, plus Demant was “unable to pay myself a salary.” Users are encouraged to declare their allegiance to Sun Basket, Thistle, and Mealmade instead.

Reopenings, Etc.

Cafe Flore (2298 Market St.) We reported earlier that Cafe Flore had been sold to LGBT owners who’d planned to keep the 44-year-old cafe largely the same. But the BAR reports that they might rename it Flore — and turn it into a cannabis cafe. The problem, though, is that even after the passage of Prop 64, still you can’t sell cannabis and alcohol in the same venue. (We’re curious to see if the proposition is amended and if the city creates a license for that purpose.) But it might not be about smoking on the patio, anyway, if they serve cannabis-laced tapas and other small plates. Expect a February opening.

Home (2100 Market St.). Hoodline reports that, more than five years after brunch spot Home shuttered, demolition is set to begin in February, paving the way for two years of construction and the inevitable bland condos — which won’t contain a Chipotle.

The French Laundry (6640 Washington St., Yountville). According to Eater, the renovations — which have been happening for more than two years — are nearly done. During that time, Eater reports, the staff has been cooking out of temporary units like classrooms at an overcrowded junior high, and chef Thomas Keller got a black-eye from the occasionally highly controversial New York Times food critic, Pete Wells, who scorched Keller’s Manhattan restaurant Per Se with a terrible review. So you know expectations and pressure are high. The French Laundry reopens Feb. 18.

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