Bar Agricole Chef Brandon Jew Thinks SOMA Restaurant Might Open in May

Brandon Jew, on board as chef for long-delayed Bar Agricole, says the buzzy SOMA bar and restaurant could open by the end of May. “June for sure,” Jew said yesterday. “Drywall is up and the equipment is ordered.” Primary partners in the starkly modern, locavore-friendly, bar-forward concept at 355 11th St. (at Harrison) include wine and beverage heavyweights Thad Vogler (Camino, The Slanted Door, Jardinière), Mark Ellenbogen (The Slanted Door), and Eric Johnson (Bourbon & Branch, Beretta)

Jew said plans call for rolling out dinner first, followed by brunch. Lunch will likely be the last meal Bar Agricole rolls out. “If you don't have a good brunch in the city, you can't do lunch,” he said. The emphasis will be on local ingredients, naturally, some from biodynamic farms ― the vendor list is already five pages long. The dominant style is what Jew calls Northern California cuisine, “seasonal, organic, and creative,” Jew said, served in a tavern-like atmosphere. Why not California cuisine? “Because I hate L.A.,” Jew said. “They're still doing seared ahi 90 percent of the time.” (Jew despises more than L.A.'s cuisine. “I hate the Dodgers, too” the lifelong Giants fan said.) The chef says he has a small ownership stake in Bar Agricole. “Basically, sweat equity.”

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