After even breakfast-bar-fed dot-commers turned their noses up at Cafe Monk, the Limn furniture-backed space at 564 Fourth St. launched version 2.0. Owners Dan and Kazuyo Friedlander made interior changes, the most dramatic of which was a change in staff. New chef/partner Randy Windham, from Bernal's destination-darling Liberty Cafe, is turning out a menu that reflects the simple, home-style cooking of Italy and France. Eric Vreede, who opened Absinthe and Amphora Wine Merchants, is the new general manager/partner/wine wizard.
Do Not Open Until Christmas Two years later and $1 million over budget, Bacar restaurant announced its mid-December launch with an appropriately concise press release, which read: "Open." By then, investors high up in the Yahoo! ranks may have wondered whether their money would have been safer in the plummeting stock market, but a week after opening, the trilevel space at 448 Brannan is already a draw -- even for recent guests Julia Roberts and (former Lowell attendee) Benjamin Bratt.
Sex and the City When Jim Kopp, owner of the now-defunct Rumpus, and Sam Burkett, bartender/GM from Black Cat, opened Bliss Bar on 24th Street in Noe Valley, they didn't expect patrons to take the name so seriously. But while at an opening party most cocktailers settled into the maroon leather seats to enjoy what Harry considers the best-looking new bar in town, hostess Sam caught two partygoers with their pants down behind the back lounge's fuzzy curtain. Ah, the holidays.