San Francisco institution Marlowe recently underwent a full face-lift. The original restaurant had been a Townsend Street staple since opening in 2010, but, due to construction issues, they recently moved to a new location (a block away at Fourth Street and Brannan). However, it was discovered the demolition that chased them from their home isn't happening for 2 to 6 years. This revelation gave way for a concept engineered by owners Anna Weinberg and James Nicholas to breathe life.
The best thing I ate this week was not the caramel corn–chocolate chip cookie at Cento (360 Ritch at Brannan St.), which is located right next to Little Skillet. The cookie—which sounded so great in theory—wasn't so good in reality. What was better was the thick as mud Americano I had while sitting in the sun on the loading docks across from the little coffee takeout window. I wish, however, I'd paired it with the mint ice cream sandwiches that one Yelper raves about. Next time.
One glance at our calendar made something very clear, there's much too much happening this week to keep it all to ourselves. So strap on your walking heels and get ready for some serious summer shopping:
With all the fast fashion buzzing around Union Square and beyond, it's refreshing to see its complete opposite sprout up in the heart of it all.
Quietly launched two months ago, the luxury Italian cashmere brand hopes to reinvent your wardrobe with timeless, seasonless investment pieces crafted exclusively in Italy.
When you set foot into the sleek shop (think Italian stone floors, pulverized marble walls and custom oak furniture), prepare yourself for a mindblowing mix-and-match adventure. Everything, and we mean everything, complements each other in a fresh way.
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.)
If there’s one thing that doesn’t fly during a downturn, it’s the status quo. But when faced with the option of either shuttering or reinventing, restaurateurs have been opting for the latter, like Madonnas of the dining world. Although Acme Chophouse has just changed into Mijita/Public House, a proven success of this kind of 180 would be Coco500, which, until 2005, was Loretta Keller’s beloved Bizou.
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?).