Five Local Chefs With Upcoming Restaurant Projects To Watch Out For
These all get filed under "opening in eight months to a year (or more)," but sometimes it's fun to look ahead at the projects we know that are coming down the pipeline from some noted local chefs.
First off, there was a recent, minor update from former Bar Agricole chef Brandon Jew, who's been plotting his own, modern Chinese food concept since earlier this year. He revealed to the S.F. Business Times that he's signed a lease at 731 Grant Avenue in Chinatown for his unnamed project, around the corner from R&G Lounge, in the space currently occupied by Four Seas Restaurant. He's aiming, conservatively, for an early 2015 opening at this point, but he previously said that it's his Mission to make everything from scratch, import nothing, and to elevate the level of Chinese cuisine available in the city. He's one of several new tenants that Chinatown landlord Betty Louie is hoping will breathe some new life into the neighborhood. [SFBT]
Then we have the recent news that former Prospect chef Ravi Kapur has signed on with Nopa partners Allyson Jossel (wife of Nopa chef Laurence Jossel) and Jeff Hanak to open an as-yet-unnamed, new-style California restaurant on Lower Nob Hill (871 Sutter). They'll be taking some time to renovate the space -- they're aiming for the "second half of 2014" -- but you can expect some polished but casual service from the front-of-house from these experienced folks.
Coming sometime in the next year or two will be a new, likely-to-be-replicated taqueria concept from former French Laundry chef de cuisine Timothy Hollingsworth. Hollingsworth left the Laundry to relocate, maybe temporarily, to Los Angeles earlier this year. As he told Grub Street, though, when he gets to ultimately opening his dream of a casual but upscale taqueria, it may be back up here around the Bay Area or another part of California, though plans are still up in the air as far as we know. Hollingsworth just did a cocktail party preview of his tacos and fresh salsas ($75 per person) at a Los Angeles hotel last month.
Also stemming from the Thomas Keller empire, former Ad Hoc chef Dave Cruz is still developing his solo project Miles Restaurant, which does not yet have a location (though we gather he'd like to stay around Napa). Cruz recently took a job as chef de cuisine at Brix in Napa, but as Inside Scoop reported, that is likely to be a temporary gig. Cruz has also done several pop-ups in Oakland in recent months as he tests out menu ideas. [Inside Scoop]
And we remain in anticipation of what former Ubuntu chef Aaron London has up his sleeve. He's been hinting at his own solo effort in San Francisco since not long after the closure of Napa's premiere vegetarian spot in early 2012, but a space he initially found in Hayes Valley fell through. He mentioned earlier this year that he'd landed on a former stable building in the Mission (not the Stable Cafe), and in the meantime he's been behind the bar at Locanda and recently did a pop-up at Naked Kitchen with friend and Michael Mina sous chef Anthony Yang. According to London, there are no new updates right now, and sources say the project is still "a ways off." But, as he said before, it won't be vegetarian.
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