This week in local food news we've got an update on the Absinthe Group's Spanish concept coming to SoMa, the opening of the Second Act Marketplace in the old Red Vic, and some movement on a long dormant space in the Castro.
First off, the long vacant Patio Cafe space in the Castro may finally see some new life via gay-themed burger chain Hamburger Mary's. Property owner Les Natali (Toad Hall, Badlands) has had a million and one excuses over the years for not finding a tenant for the space, which has sat empty for over 15 years, but he's signed a letter of intent with Hamburger Mary's and is moving forward with getting planning approval -- something which is not guaranteed given the neighborhood's ban on formula retail, and the fact that the chain has 12 locations around the country. Hamburger Mary's previously had a location in SoMa, in the space that's now home to The Willows, where it lived from 1972 to 2001. [BAR]
Over in the Haight, the Second Act Marketplace opened its doors this week in the space formerly occupied by the Red Vic Theater. The new food hall and event venue includes homes for vendors Anda Piroshki, Spice Hound, a juice bar called Raw, and a prepared food/retail shop called High Cotton Kitchen. Second Act is now open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Next door we should soon be seeing the expansion of The Alembic, which is in the process of expanding into the former Red Vic lobby. [Inside Scoop]
There are some updates about the Absinthe Group's new restaurant coming to the former Gift Center building, now known as 888 Brannan. The planned, 200-seat restaurant will include a bar from the Comstock Saloon team, and a menu from chef Ryan McIlwraith, who they're stealing away from Michael Chiarello's Spanish restaurant Coqueta. [Chron, Inside Scoop]
Belcampo Meat Company, the sustainable butcher shop and restaurant from Eat Real Fest founder Anya Fernald, is moving ahead with the opening of a San Francisco location. Originally slated for the Mission, Fernald ultimately decided on a space at Polk and Pacific, and the new butcher shop and 44-seat dining room should be open in May, following on several other locations opening in SoCal. [SFist, Eater]
Food truck operators Brass Knuckle, who are known for cheekily named sandwiches like the Fryin' Maiden and the Pork Floyd, have just opened a new brick-and-mortar location in the Tenderloin at 749 Larkin Street at O'Farrell. [Tablehopper]
Also, some news about Chino, the new dumpling and cocktail bar concept coming to the former Andalu space on 16th from the Tacolicious team: Chef Brandon Jew has parted ways with the team to focus on his own Chinatown restaurant project. Tacolicious chef Telmo Faria will be doing the dumplings instead, and they're aiming for an April opening. [Inside Scoop]