The Bay's Most Anticipated Restaurant Openings of 2017
Champagne and sweet pairings at The Riddler. (Kassie Borreson)

The Bay's Most Anticipated Restaurant Openings of 2017


With so many Champagne-popping, belly-busting new restaurants expected to open in 2017, now is the time to focus on your New Year's resolutions. Let this list be the thing you look forward to while you're sweating it out at the gym.

An assortment of caviar paired with Champagne.(Kassie Borreson)

1. The Riddler

Those who enjoy the finer things are already impatient for the opening of Hayes Valley's The Riddler, a cozy, swanky Champagne bar operated and funded entirely by women. Created by Jen Pelka (fiancée of Souvla proprietor Charles Bililies), The Riddler, expected to open mid-January, is already tempting us with first-class small bites (caviar, charcuterie, cheese) and more than 100 bubblies. The focus will be on grower-producer Champagnes, with an additional offering of vintage wines from the big-name houses and a few hard-to-find bottles. // 528 Laguna St. (Hayes Valley),

Rich Table chefs Evan and Sarah Rich are soon to open RT Rotisserie.(Kassie Borreson)

2. RT Rotisserie

One of the most beloved couples of San Francisco Restaurant World, Rich Table's Sarah and Evan Rich were craving chicken—the kind of hearty, comforting meals they like to chow down on during ski trips. Their sophomore project, RT Rotisserie, will bring another tasty casual restaurant to Hayes Valley (just a block from RT) early this year. Also look for soups, oysters, sandwiches, and salads. // 101 Oak St. (Hayes Valley),

3. 450 Hayes

Adriano Paganini—the guy behind Belga, Beretta, Super Duper Burgers, his more recent success, The Bird and Flores, and many more—is at it again. The Hayes Street project remains under wraps, but it's safe to expect another fun and stylish neighborhood destination with solid cocktails and reasonable prices. // 450 Hayes St. (Hayes Valley).

Chef Ryan Shelton(Courtesy of Merchant Roots)

4. Merchant Roots

This "craft grocery" concept may leave Pac Heights denizens wondering how they've lived so long without it. Chef Ryan Shelton (formerly of the restaurant Reverb, formerly known as Verbena) will offer French-Italian cuisine including pastries, charcuterie, fresh pasta, and take-home meal kits five days a week; for a seriously intimate dinner date, Merchant Roots will offer a counter dining experience for just eight diners three nights weekly. // 1365 Fillmore St. (Pacific Heights),

5. Petit Marlowe

Big Night Restaurant Group (Marlowe, Park Tavern, The Cavalier, Leo's Oyster Bar) has announced its latest venture—and, ooh la la, it sounds marvelous. Petit Marlowe, opening soon in the Les Clos space on Townsend Street, will channel that glamorous-cool Parisian brasserie you haven't stopped thinking about since your last trip to the City of Light. Picking up where Les Clos left off, and with help from its proprietor Mark Bright (Saison), this luscious raw bar—also serving European small plates and classic brasserie fare by chef Jennifer Puccio—will zero in on great value French wines with a strong wink toward Burgundy. Expectedly, the 50-seat eatery will be fully Ken Fulkdafied for a luxe Gallic feel—a Carrara marble bar, crystal chandeliers, a mirrored ceiling, and brass-and-wood shelving filled with chinoiserie, ceramics, and vintage silver service pieces are guaranteed to up the fancy factor at the SoMa address. In addition to savory fare, pastry chef Emily Luchetti will conjure a collection of haute desserts. // 234 Townsend St. (SoMa)

6. Alba Ray's

Lovers of Causwells and Popson's will be thrilled to learn that the team is opening a Cajun resto, named after Chef Adam Rosenblum's daughter and partner Alvin Garcia's son. Party like it's Mardi Gras with Sazeracs and other favorite Nola cocktails, as well as New Orleans staples including shrimp and grits, seasonal crawfish boils, frog legs in sauce piquant, and boudin balls with pickled peppers and creole mustard. // 2253 Mission St. (Mission)

(Courtesy of Uma Casa)

7. Uma Casa

Fans of chef Telmo Faria (Tacolicious) and Nora Furst (Back of the House Group) have been anxiously awaiting the opening of Noe Valley's Uma Casa, which will pay homage to the chef's Portuguese roots with a raw bar and dishes such as the Francesinha (an epic sandwich). Furst will provide the libations. // 1550 Church St. (Noe Valley),

8. Arsenal & The Hunted

Los Angeles-based food personality and forager Erik Sun is bringing his game to SoMa, where his first SF restaurant will showcase fresh seafood and noodles, including spicy beef noodle soup with aged sirloin, prime rib-eye and braised back ribs. Drinks will include beer, wine and sake. Something unique to Arsenal will be that the noodle bar won't necessarily have pork-based ramen, instead it will feature beef-braised broth which fits their heavy beef menu assortment. // 715 Brannan St. (SoMa)

Sun is also opening a second restaurant in San Francisco, The Hunted, which will focus on whole-animal butchery in a warehouse-like setting just down the street from The Arsenal. The Hunted will have an open kitchen with large tables and Japanese-style decor. The menu will focus on meat, live seafood such as lobster and sea urchin, and fire cooking. // (SoMa)

10. Salt & Straw

The popular West Coast purveyor known for an artisanal, chef-driven approach to ice cream is arriving in San Francisco this March (finally) with not one but two locations—in Pacific Heights and Hayes Valley. Head ice cream maker Tyler Malek is creating specialty flavors for the SF scoop shops, and will also serve some of the flavors that have made Salt & Straw famous in L.A. and Portland, including almond brittle with salted ganache (which featuring Grandma Malek's recipe for almond brittle) and Freckled Chocolate, prepared using an old-school technique that suspends bits of chocolate in every bite. Look for rotating monthly specials including seasonal produce from Bay Area farmers. // 2201 Fillmore St. (Pacific Heights), Hayes Valley location TBD,

11. Hitachino Beer and Wagyu

From the Japanese brewers behind Hitachino Nest Beer comes pretty much the best thing ever: the city's first restaurant dedicated to beer and wagyu beef. Right? Go for meaty perfection (meatballs, braised meats) from both the U.S. and Japan, an assortment of snacks and pickled items, a large assortment of beers on tap, and several sakes from Hitachino's Kiuchi Brewery. // 639 Post St. (Tendernob),

12. Glena's Tacos and Margaritas

Glena's Tacos made its name through a series of recent pop-ups and has now found a permanent space for a small, casual Mexican restaurant in Dogpatch. With former Kin Khao chef Michael Gaines and his wife, Stephanie Gaines, at the helm, Glena's is expected to be simple and superb with excellent tacos, fried plantains, and, of course, margaritas. // 632 20th St. (Dogpatch)

Chef Russell Moore(Carlos Avila Gonzalez/The Chronicle)

13. The Kebabery

Russell Moore and Allison Hopelain, the team behind Oakland's beloved Camino, are expanding their territory in the Town with a new eatery in the former Salsipuedes space in North Oakland. The Kebabery will be a brick-and-mortar take on Camino's popular Kebab Mondays, slinging grilled meats, falafel, and flatbreads for counter service and takeout. // 4201 Market St. (Oakland)

14. Lazy Bear 2.0 (Name TBD)

The Mission is making room for yet another fancy destination to get drunk and dine on a Saturday night. The team at Lazy Bear—you know, the wildly expensive restaurant where patrons tend to get wildly intoxicated—is opening a second spot specifically to celebrate the cocktail. Bar director Nicolas Torres will run the boozy show, with a la carte drink and more accessibly priced food options as well as a ticketed cocktail pairing experience. // 753 Alabama St. (Mission)

(Courtesy of Rooh)

15. Rooh

Expected to open this February, this 3,600 square-foot Indian restaurant Rooh will be the first restaurant in the U.S. from India's Good Times Restaurant Group. Designed by Mumbai-based chef Sujan Sarkar, the menu promises a modern take on Indian, combining new and classic techniques with small plates as well as a tasting menu. // 333 Brannan St. (SoMa),

The Asian Box 5 Box spread.

16. Asian Box

Chestnut Street shoppers will welcome the arrival this March of Asian Box, a fine-casual chain (locations include Palo Alto, SF's Union Square, and Mountain View) serving authentic Asian street food made with sustainable and local ingredients. // 2031 Chestnut St. (Marina),

The Gastro Pig's BaconSlut breakfast sandwich.(Aubrie Pick)

17. The Gastro Pig

As the name suggests, this is a pork-centric breakfast sandwich spot that's easy on the eye (designed by Gensler) if not on the gut. From Oakland entrepreneurs Ann Thai and Loren Goodwin, The Gastro Pig is a diet-buster with offerings such as the #BaconSlut (applewood smoked bacon, over-easy egg, cheddar cheese, and Aleppo chili aioli on a brioche roll) and an array of pastries served all day. For good measure, they do offer an avocado toast—with bacon, naturally. // 2123 Franklin St. (Oakland),

18. Presidio Social Club's New Los Gatos Location

Fans of San Francisco's adored Presidio Social Club will be thrilled that Ray Tang is making his debut in the South Bay in the former California Café space in Los Gatos. Offering a comfortable Californian experience with a fresh approach, the new restaurant (name TBD) will offer a familiar neighborhood restaurant with ingredients from the local bounty at Santa Cruz Mountains' farms. The historic space will be reinvented by local SF designers Tecta Associates. // (Los Gatos)

Chef George ChenCourtesy of China Live

19. China Live

Chinatown is getting a huge new culinary destination in 2017. China Live will be a must-visit epicurean destination providing unprecedented access to Chinese gastronomy. Founded by restaurateurs George Chen and his wife Cindy Wong-Chen, the complex will clock in at more than 30,000 square feet. China Live will offer an experience like no other, immersing guests in Chinese cuisine and culture, local ingredients and recipes, while providing education on the history and influence of Chinese gastronomy.

The first floor will feature the Market Restaurant & Bar, offering seasonal and fresh Chinese dishes; a Marketplace, featuring curated retail items; and the Oolong Café, offering an extensive selection of uniquely sourced teas from Asia. Above the first floor will be Eight Tables by George Chen, an elegant, intimate restaurant, offering a seasonal eight-course Chinese tasting menu, accompanied by a bar and lounge, plus a banquet and event space. // 644 - 660 Broadway St .(Chinatown),

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