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Open/Shut Report

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Jane Goodall's Fight Over Baby Food, Chairman Bao Wants to Race, and More Pizza

Posted By on Tue, Aug 16, 2011 at 4:40 PM


The past 24 hours in gossip, innuendo, and cold hard facts about the San Francisco food scene.

We can honestly say we didn't see this one coming. Jane Goodall, mother to all primates, is suing local celebrity chef Tyler Florence's baby food company Sprout. Grub Street shares, via the New York Post, that Goodall signed on with Florence's company to distribute "Janey Baby by Jane Goodall," which apparently never happened. Oddly enough, this marks the second suit involving Florence in recent months.

Speaking of the Food Network star, the Feast shares that Chairman Bao has its fingers crossed in hopes of garnering enough votes to become part of the Food Network's The Great Food Truck Race, which is hosted by none other than the baby food guru.

A quick chef report: Tablehopper shares that after eight years and counting, Delfina's chef de cuisine Matthew Gandin, is stepping out of the kitchen. He says he's looking forward to some time off and doing his own thing.

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Monday, August 15, 2011

Big Fee for Small Biz, Levi's Outfits Saison, and You Can't Go Home Again

Posted By on Mon, Aug 15, 2011 at 4:50 PM


The past 24 hours in gossip, innuendo, and cold hard facts about the San Francisco food scene.

Is S.F. a Sacramento with hills? Eater SF shares, via the Examiner, Mission Bowling Club's plight to open in S.F. has been riddled with fiery hoops to jump through, causing one bowling supporter to draw a connection between our business laws with those in the flat, dry city to our right. Owner Sommer Peterson is currently facing a $44,000 impact fee for her bowling-restaurant combo, while the Small Business Commission is trying to figure out ways for her to extinguish the large figure.

Snazzy! Popular pants rolled out into the foodie world starting with the Pico de Gap food truck, and now Grub Street shares, via Refinery 29, Levi's is outfitting Saison. The restaurant is serving as a testing ground for the jeans company's new line of men's workwear. We may not be a fashionable city as a whole, but in the kitchen -- we're sitting pretty.

There's no place like home, and well -- now it's gone. Inside Scoop reports, late last week Home filed for bankruptcy and closed its doors. Partner Stuart Gordon says the closure was a result of a perfect tornado storm.

And some more pizza news: Eater SF shares that the replacement for the shuttered Marina Egyptian-pizzeria Crave City will be Castagna (Italian for Chestnut.) Meanwhile, Bernalwood catches wind of a possible impending shutter for Pizza Express (919 Cortland at Folsom); a recent "for sale" poster includes the pizzeria and the apartment above it.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Gap's Food Truck, Anthony Bourdain is here, and Nojo's Table

Posted By on Tue, Aug 9, 2011 at 5:42 PM


The past 24 hours in gossip, innuendo, and cold hard facts about the San Francisco food scene.

We don't usually think about food while buying clothes, but the recent Gap food truck looks to be bridging that, well, gap. Eater SF shares, via PopSugar, Pico de Gap is offering Mexican food from Brunch Drunk Love's Ryan Scott. The truck is parking at events and Gap stores in S.F. through Sept. 30.

We'll kind of miss the 50's paper hats. Inside Scoop reports the Chestnut Street location of Johnny Rockets has shuttered, and is readying to transform into the latest location of modern burger powerhouse Super Duper.

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Friday, July 22, 2011

Proxy Project Sees New Additions, Including an Ambulance, and a First Look at Jasper's

Posted By on Fri, Jul 22, 2011 at 4:47 PM


The past 24 hours in gossip, innuendo, and cold hard facts about the San Francisco food scene.

Hayes Valley's Proxy Project (Octavia at Linden) just stepped up its game. Eater SF shares it has a new website, and the third proxy space, Suppenküche's spinoff Biergarten, is aiming for a soft opening on August 8.

Other proxy spots are slated for food trucks: First we mentioned that Avedano's food truck was slated to roll in, but we didn't know it would be a bright-red former ambulance. According to co-owner Melanie Eisemann, "the medical industry term for an ambulance is a meat wagon." We learn something new every day. Meanwhile, Off the Grid founder Matt Cohen is working on bringing food trucks to the proxy spaces that were originally slated for 4505 Meats and Pizzeria Delfina.

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hot Water Is Everything, A Food Insult, Lucky 11, and the Dog Days

Posted By on Thu, Jul 21, 2011 at 4:40 PM

The past 24 hours in gossip, innuendo, and cold hard facts about the San Francisco food scene.

Yesterday we shared that the Hawaiian restaurant Hukilau was closed on Tuesday by the Department of Public Health for reported health hazards. Apparently the owners got to work sprucing the place up, and reopened in time for Wednesday lunch service. Eater SF shares that the owner, Eric Tao, states they had to close since the hot water heater was broken and it's illegal to operate without hot water; this lack of hot water falls under the DPH category of disease transmission. Once the water heater was working again Hukilau was allowed to operate. Apparently the other two reported health hazards, food contamination and vermin infestation, were issues, but not main factors in the closure. Interesting.

Will its arrival be an insult to S.F.? Eater SF shares New York's ever-expanding Rosa Mexicano is slated to open at One Market (at Embarcadero) in early 2012. The Southern California outpost received a cold reception from L.A. food writer Jonathan Gold; he notes the restaurant is "not just an insult to L.A. but a taxpayer subsidized insult to L.A." Ouch.

Trying to eat everything: Inside Scoop shares the news of Mission resident Jason Bennett's lofty goal of eating at every S.F. restaurant. We're curious about what this experiment can do to a wallet.

Inside Scoop gives a sneak peak inside the remodel of the the old Slanted Door space (584 Valencia at 17th St.) into Wo Hing General Store. The restaurant from Charles Phan will feature Southern Chinese street food, and is looking towards a September opening.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ashbury Market Appears to Be Shuttered

Posted By on Tue, Apr 26, 2011 at 3:00 PM

The sign over the Ashbury Market. - FADY A./YELP
  • Fady A./Yelp
  • The sign over the Ashbury Market.

SFoodie passed by the Ashbury Market (205 Frederick) Sunday afternoon to find it boarded up. The market, which has been owned by the Wong family since the 1950s, is where E&O chef Arnold Eric Wong and BevMo's Wilfred Wong both got started in the food business. When SFoodie moved to the Upper Haight from the Midwest in the early 1990s, the market introduced us to ingredients like baby arugula, blood oranges, and Aidell's sausages (yes, we really were that young and sheltered back then).

Ashbury Market has been run by several different proprietors since the Wongs sold it in 1999, and when SFoodie last spoke to current proprietor Resat Turgut in June 2010, he was luring street-food vendors to the market, trying to attracting customers. UrbanFresh, the grocery-delivery business Turgut told SFoodie he was launching, appears to be on hiatus, too. Is this the new Whole Foods' first victim? Is it a temporary closure? We will report back.

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Follow me at @JonKauffman.

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Thursday, March 3, 2011

February 2011 Openings and Closures

Posted By on Thu, Mar 3, 2011 at 9:30 AM

Homeroom, a mac and cheese restaurant in Oakland, opened for business. - CARINA OST
  • Carina Ost
  • Homeroom, a mac and cheese restaurant in Oakland, opened for business.

Last month saw more transitions than a Bath Crashers marathon, as restaurants closed ― uh, temporarily ― to spruce up, reconcept, or otherwise dramatically cut payroll during the slowest month of the year, in the hope of opening up again when we're all in the mood to leave the house.


Campanula: 701 Union (at Powell)

Caña on Lake Merritt: 530 Lake Park (at Rand) Oakland

Homeroom: 400 40th St. (at Shafter), Oakland

Palmyra: 700 Haight (at Pierce)

Plate Shop: 39 Caledonia (at Johnson), Sausalito

Sneaky's BBQ at Rebel: 1760 Market (at Octavia)

Additional openings

The Galley at Clooney's Irish Pub: 1401 Valencia (at 25th St.)

Hyde Away Blues BBQ: 457 Hyde (at O'Farrell)

My Ivy: 1901 Divisadero (at Pine)

Papi's Fusion Deli: 2348 Mission (at 19th St.)

Sol Food La Bodega: 903 Lincoln (at Third St.), San Rafael

Southie: 6311 College (at 63rd St.), Oakland

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Monday, February 7, 2011

January 2011 Openings and Closures

Posted By on Mon, Feb 7, 2011 at 1:58 PM

See JapaCurry. - JOHN BIRDSALL
  • John Birdsall
  • See JapaCurry.

Remember when January was the sleepiest month, the month that Christmas sweater with leather elbow patches was still in limbo in its box by the front door, as you took weeks to decide whether you'd keep it? The month when you slowly got back up to speed at work, catching up with e-mails after a Friday *sick day* or two? Forget it ― January 2011 was a month that hustled.

See Sushirrito. - LOU BUSTAMANTE
  • Lou Bustamante
  • See Sushirrito.


• Former Luce chef Dominique Crenn, owner of the cheekbones that launched a thousand blog posts, threw open the doors to Atelier Crenn: 3127 Fillmore, at Pixley

• Sleek international Italian coffee slinger Caffe Pascucci opened near AT&T Park to, uh, mixed reviews: 170 King (at Third St.)

Sushirritothe name says it all: 59 New Montgomery, (at Mission)

The Brixton: Score one for this stylish homage to classic rock and drinking for lining up Midi alums Michelle Mah and Jon Hara: 2140 Union, at Webster

• A restaurant with a carny theme? Hayes Valley got one all its own, with the opening of Straw: 203 Octavia (at Page)

• An Austro-Italian homage, in a part of town that should appreciate schnitzel and strudel: Leopold's: 2400 Polk (at Union)

Food trucks and recurring pop-ups


Streetside Kitchen

Wise Sons Deli

Smoke BBQ

Mama's Empanadas

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Monday, January 3, 2011

December 2010 Openings and Closures

Posted By on Mon, Jan 3, 2011 at 12:36 PM

The regentrified House of Shields. - MONA C./FLICKR
  • Mona C./Flickr
  • The regentrified House of Shields.

You'd think that December would be a slow month ― most restaurants hustle to open before Thanksgiving in order to book up with holiday parties. But when we compiled this month-end list, SFoodie realized that December was even more active than November. (All the items on this list were pulled from our daily Buzz Machine column.)


Pudong (2029 Market, 252-0700, is serving Shanghainese, French, and Chinese American food.
• The Marina welcomed Chotto (3317 Steiner, 441-2223,, an izakaya serving sushi made with fish flown in from Japan
• Squeaking in under the wire, Pasión (737 Irving, 724-5727,, a pan-Latin restaurant from the Fresca crew, opened Dec. 30

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

November 2010 Openings & Closures: Roast Meats In, Markets Out

Posted By on Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 3:00 PM

Beast and the Hare opened this month. - BEAST AND THE HARE/FACEBOOK

November brought on a rush of restaurants who pushed to open before the holiday bonanza season. Several were lower-priced spinoffs of tony restaurants, while others were additional locations (or relaunches) of familiar names. On the closure side, the more disturbing note was the shuttering of markets in a time when common wisdom says people are cooking at home more.  (All the items on this list were pulled from SFoodie's daily Buzz Machine column.)


• Ian Marks' meat-friendly, charcuterie-loving, small-plates-serving Beast and the Hare, 1001 Guerrero, 821-1001

• The stripped down, more casual version of Elizabeth Faulkner's Citizen Cake Pacific Heights, 2125 Fillmore, 861-2228,

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    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"