When Life Gives you Limón's


Every once in a while I think about moving out of the Mission. Someplace quieter, I think, someplace with fewer crazies. But then I come up out of the BART station on 24th Street after work and the smell of grilled meat hits my nose and I think, nah. I can’t leave. Good things just keep happening in the Mission.

So, everyone has been wondering what the story is with long-time Mission restaurant Limón, which was shuttered following a flood (or was it a fire? I’m getting my signs of the apocalypse mixed up). Calls to the restaurant were met with a disconnected message, there were no signs of progress within. The end of an era? A trusted colleague told me he feared as much. Well, fear not! I caught up with Limon chef-owner Martin Castillo today and he gave me the full scoop.

Turns out that he’s just waiting for the insurance money to come through, after which time he plans to fully remodel Limón, creating, in his words, “a brand new restaurant” which will more of an emphasis on ceviche and lounging. But even more exciting is what he’s been doing while waiting for that insurance money to come through—opening another restaurant! Two weeks ago he quietly took over the Pollo Rico space on the corner of 21st and South Van Ness (also known as one block from my house). I noticed a bit of construction there over the weekend but didn’t think much of it. But Martin tells me they are putting in new windows, floors, and bathrooms and that he plans to open his Peruvian-style rotisserie and small plates restaurant, quietly, by Wednesday of next week—named, simply, Limón Rotisserie.

There will be a ceviche bar here, too, and he’s working now on getting his beer and wine license, with plans to serve sangria. They’ll also be doing take-out (hello, may I place a standing order for every Monday night?).

Like I said, good things keep happening in the Mission.

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