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The Tablehopper

New brunches in North Beach; comings and goings

Mergers and acquisitions in the tasty trade

Charles Phan has yet another project in his wheelhouse, a new bar and restaurant at Pier 3. It will be a 1,300-square-foot bar and restaurant and will be a departure from his other restaurants in The Slanted Door Group, focusing instead on the cuisine and cocktails of New Orleans and the South. Bar manager Erik Adkins (who has worked with Phan for the past nine years) will drive the cocktail program, which is the centerpiece of the project. Olle Lundberg will design the space. More details will be revealed in coming months, but for now the targeted opening date is summer 2012.

Closing on March 31 is La Barca (2036 Lombard Street) in the Marina, open since 1963. New owners Tod Alsman and Chris Fogarty (R Bar and Wreck Room) and Cass Fegan (Sloane) are partnering with La Barca owner Jimmy Bernard’s son, Vance Bernard, who is taking over for his father. The name and concept are in development, and they are currently looking for a chef to do an approachable New American menu. Gi Paoletti is behind the redesign.

Longtime San Franciscan sushi lovers will fondly remember chef Sachio Kojima during his time at Kabuto A&S on Geary, who sadly sold the business and headed to Mount Shasta when his wife’s health was failing. Years later, Kojima has returned, and Joseph Manzare has hired Kojima as his chef for Hecho (185 Sutter Street, 415-835-6400) near Union Square. Ends up he’s already been there a while — I am sure many people will be happy to see him doing his magic at the counter.

I received word from Ben Paula, the chef and one of the partners of Sauce in Hayes Valley, that they were taking over Trademark Bar (56 Belden Place) in the Financial District. There will be a grand opening for Sauce Belden when they get all their ducks in a row; stand by for more details in coming weeks.

North Beach is now home to the The Penthouse Club & Steakhouse (412 Broadway Street, 415-391-2800), with aged steaks, Champagne and reserve wines. Oh yeah, and girls. Open Monday–Friday for lunch and nightly for dinner.

North Beach also has two new spots for brunch, right on time: Park Tavern (1652 Stockton Street, 415-989-7300) launched weekend brunch and now Don Pisto’s is offering weekday brunch, Tuesday–Friday 11 a.m.–3 p.m., in addition to their usual weekend brunch. Yup, perfect for you industry or hooky-playing types. Look for a five-item brunch menu with dishes like huevos rancheros, chorizo and poached eggs, and brioche French toast, plus some tacos (I love the al pastor). And for those of you keen to take off the entire day, there’s also the option of bottomless agua fresca mimosas, sangria, and wine-based margaritas. On Sundays, Pisto’s is going to offer brunch all day, from 10 a.m.–10 p.m., with some dinner items later in the day (the bottomless beverage action ends at 3 p.m., however).

A couple closures: Le Bordeaux (524 Union Street) in North Beach has closed after barely six months in business. Dumplings & Buns (2411 California Street) in the Fillmore unexpectedly closed for family-related reasons.

But later this summer, there will be a second location of Roam Artisan Burgers (1923 Fillmore Street) in the Osaka space on Fillmore.

Marcia Gagliardi writes a popular weekly dining e-column at www.tablehopper.com and has a book about dining and drinking in San Francisco. Her new website, www.deepdishing.com, highlights the City’s best dishes. E-mail hot tips to marcia@northsidesf.com
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