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Anna Weinberg

Extreme Restaurant Makeovers: The Recession's Blessing

I started writing about SF’s food scene during the height of the dot-com boom, but that means I also saw it through the bust, when South of Market looked like a ghost town and restaurants like Azie, which really represented that era to me (cutting-edge $30-plus entrees) closed, and not surprisingly.

Still, I’ve witnessed nothing ravage the city’s restaurant landscape like this current recession. It’s been like a wild fire. But right now, I’m happy to report that there’s new growth: The wildflowers are emerging from the forest floor. (Nothing a writer likes more than an extended metaphor.)

First Bite: The (re)Birth of Marlowe

Ah, if only all transformations could as be as seemingly effortless as Madonna's. From Like a Virgin to Blonde Ambition, that lady made it all look so easy. The reality of reinvention, of course, is much trickier, particularly for restaurants, who are now getting into the game with increasing frequency. Marlowe reopened in mid-February after transitioning from their previous incarnation as the South Food and Wine Bar. Though Anna Weinberg is still owner, her partnership with celeb chef (and Virgin Airlines consultant) Luke Mangan is no longer, nor does the Australian-inflected menu remain (let's all take a moment to mourn the loss of South's licorice-lime dessert, shall we?).

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