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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Fine & Rare's Brick-and-Mortar Aims for Mid-July

Posted By on Thu, Jun 25, 2015 at 11:00 AM

FINE & RARE
  • Fine & Rare

Remember when the blocks surrounding City Hall were just a joyless bureaucratic wasteland and you had to walk to Hayes Valley to eat after dark? The Empire Room is rocking it on Golden Gate Ave., and now Fine & Rare is opening a permanent location right next door, in the space where Jeremiah Tower’s Stars once stood. The target date is July 15 and, if Instagram tells the truth, they're in the "choosing enamelware" phase.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Oakland's Forthcoming Salsipuedes Crowdfunds Its Way to Completion

Posted By on Wed, Jun 24, 2015 at 6:00 PM

SALSIPUEDES
  • Salsipuedes

The amount of initial capital required to open a restaurant can be daunting to all but the most well-heeled of entrepreneurs, so to facilitate its buildout, North Oakland’s forthcoming Salsipuedes is selling pre-purchase credits at two levels, Supporters ($250) and a Founders Circle ($1000).

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MEOW: The KitTea Cafe Is Open!

Posted By on Wed, Jun 24, 2015 at 8:01 AM

So many cats! - PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane
  • So many cats!

It’s here, it’s here, it’s finally here!

KitTea co-founder Michael Wiggins took me on a small, casual tour, during which I stopped paying any attention to him on at least three distinct occasions because cats are so damn cute. He and his team sought to re-create the cat cafes that are all over Tokyo and Taipei (being cities with tiny apartments not always suited to animal companions) but without the emphasis on dollhouse furniture and other kitsch.

“They’re not always environments you’d spend time in absent the cats,” Wiggins said.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The 24th Street Bar Opens Where the Attic Once Reigned

Posted By on Tue, Jun 23, 2015 at 11:00 AM

PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane

The last time I peed in the Attic’s bathroom, surrounded by kegs, an accursed voice yelled at me from the sewers and I think something bit me on the foot. And yet I miss the darkest, dankest spot on 24th Street, which closed months ago and has now reopened as the website-less 24th Street Bar.

Combined with the anonymous-sounding name and the exposed-brick-and-Edison-bulbs, 24th Street Bar is a place where you have a pleasant drink, not somewhere you go to get juh-runk. This is definitely by design. As Uptown Almanac’s Jack Morse noted, in requesting a transfer of the liquor license, bar owner Caroline Brown told the Board of Supervisors that she “had no intention of ‘creating another […] hipster bar in the Mission.’”

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

House Rules Is Where to Go If You Cut Ninth Period

Posted By on Thu, Jun 18, 2015 at 6:00 PM

If you're drinking to forget, please pay in advance. Especially you in the dunce cap. - PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane
  • If you're drinking to forget, please pay in advance. Especially you in the dunce cap.

When a venue finds a concept and runs with it, it tends to go one of two ways over time: settling in nicely or aging very poorly. (The Madonna Inn and Rainforest Café would be a good examples, respectively.) House Rules, a gastropub in Russian Hill that perfectly exemplifies the Marina-creep along Polk Street, could go either way. It’s basically a Trapper Keeper of a bar, art-directed to exalt alcohol’s potential for sex and danger via visual reminders of detention. It may not be highbrow, but it is high-bro, although the gimmick probably tugs harder at guys whose high school days are more than seven years behind them, not less. Time will tell, but tentatively, it works.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Blue Bottle Opens on Sansome

Posted By on Wed, Jun 17, 2015 at 1:00 PM

PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane

Blue Bottle
is on a tear these past few weeks. Having just opened in the southeast corner of Market Square, it’s taken over a sunny corner spot at 115 Sansome, extending its reach north of Market Street into the Financial District. At 10 a.m. on opening day, there were at least 40 people in there, which suggests that in spite of the all the cafes, San Francisco’s thirst for caffeination remains unquenched.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Meaty Gift that Keeps on Giving: 4505 Burgers & BBQ Expands

Posted By on Tue, Jun 16, 2015 at 11:00 AM

ALEXIS KATSILOMETES
  • Alexis Katsilometes

First came their Saturday stand at the Ferry building Farmer’s Market where hungry carnivores made weekly pilgrimages to consume what may actually be the “best damn cheeseburger.” Then came 4505’s Valencia Street brick and mortar butcher shop for those seeking to replicate all of the meaty goodness at home. And in 2013, the porcine prayers of San Franciscans were answered with the opening of 4505 Burgers & BBQ, where guests could stuff their faces with items such as pulled pork, brisket, and sausage alongside that ever-important menu offering: alcohol (in the form of beer and wine). What more could owner/chef Ryan Farr and his team do increase our happiness?

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We Got an Exclusive Tour Inside Smitten Ice Cream's Pacific Heights Shop

Posted By on Tue, Jun 16, 2015 at 8:00 AM

PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane

A “warm little ice cream factory,” in the words of founder Robyn Sue Fisher, Smitten Ice Cream opens at noon tomorrow, June 17, in Pacific Heights in a space that had been a copy store for the last 20 years.

Although this is the fifth location for the company overall, it’s only the second in San Francisco. As each shop is laid-out differently, this one features six Brrr machines (the liquid nitrogen ice-cream-making apparatuses whose contents are -321 degrees Fahrenheit and whose aesthetic might be described as “frostpunk”) plus an open kitchen. For seating, there’s an outdoor area strung with lights that will eventually become a garden with a living wall, and benches made from Radio Flyer wagons, a nod to Smitten’s boostrap beginnings as an un-permitted cart.

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Friday, June 12, 2015

Stone Bowl: Korean Home Cooking on Haight

Posted By on Fri, Jun 12, 2015 at 4:01 PM

Army stew or, as its known in Korean, Budae Jjigae. - ERIC S. BURKETT
  • Eric S. Burkett
  • Army stew or, as its known in Korean, Budae Jjigae.

When a Korean restaurant is named Stone Bowl (note: no website), it's pretty clear what the menu's focus is going to be. As I made my way to the new Lower Haight eatery, I had every intention of ordering the bibimbap, that wonderful Korean melange of meat and vegetables piled onto a mound of rice,and sizzling away in a very, very hot stone pot beneath an egg, sunny side up, just waiting to be mashed into the rest of the ingredients.

Honestly.

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Splurgeville: 14-Seat Sushi Bar Omakase Now Open in Soma

Posted By on Fri, Jun 12, 2015 at 2:00 PM

OMAKASE
  • Omakase

San Francisco has its fair share of sushi options, but things can get sparse towards the high end. Bringing a gust of austerity to what is now a common American food is Omakase, Chef Jackson Yu’s 14-seat sushi bar that leans on the Edomae style, a variation from Tokyo (formerly Edo) from the centuries before refrigeration, when fish had a shelf life of less than one afternoon.

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Slideshows

  • SF Pride Parade 2015
    A sea of spectators gathered along Market Street on Sunday, June 28 for the SF Pride Parade. Photographs by Calibree Photography.
  • Trans March 2015
    The San Francisco Trans March celebrated its 12th year, along with the Supreme Court's decision on same-sex marriage, which was voted in favor of gay marriages across the nation, on Friday, June 26, 2015. Photographs by Michael Ares.