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Food & Drink

Best Restaurant Empire 

Nopa

In 2006, in an unpopulated area on a largely avoided street, three talented people opened a restaurant. Eight years later, that restaurant has cemented itself as a fixture of the neighborhood, a gathering place for those seeking extraordinary, locally conscious food, expertly crafted cocktails, and carefully selected bottles of wine. Those three people are Jeff Hanak and Allyson and Laurence Jossel, and that restaurant is Nopa. Since its doors first swung open, the bustling Divisadero institution has never slowed, and neither have those behind its success. In 2009, the trio teamed up with Gonzalo Guzman to pay homage to Nopa's Mexican-inspired family meals with the inception of Nopalito, Nopa's south-of-the-border little sister, which became an instant success serving sought-after carnitas, pozole, ceviche, and mezcal margaritas. Three years later, Nopalito expanded to a second location in the Inner Sunset. The team is at it once again, this time partnering with chef Ravi Kapur (of Prospect and Liholiho Yacht Club fame) to launch a to-be-named Sutter Street spot that promises to be distinctly San Francisco. Whatever the ultimate result, we will be waiting with anticipation at the front of the (assuredly long) line. But even beyond their food and lauded libations, the wildly successful restaurateurs impress us with their steadfast relationships with farmers, producers, and most importantly, every fortunate guest who walks through their doors.

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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