The Tablehopper

Alfred’s reopens, upper Fillmore gets some action, and a summer beer garden

Alfred's Steakhouse reopens. Photo:


Great news, buckaroos. Alfred’s (659 Merchant Street, 415-781-7058, has finally reopened after that nasty fire in the basement back in April. You just can’t keep an almost 90-year-old restaurant down! The space is sparkling clean, and the vintage crystal chandeliers got quite the cleaning.

The menu also got a bit of a revamp. Chef Daniel Patterson has put a modern interpretation of a classic San Francisco dish on the menu, celery Victor, plus some other additions to the bar bites menu, like mushrooms stuffed with oxtail, marrow, and smoky crumbs, and you can now get their onion rings and fried shishito peppers to share as well.

An addition that harks back to Alfred’s Italian roots is the debut of house-made pasta on the menu. There are now three kinds: clam linguine with Manila clams, hand-cut noodles, garlic, and parsley; gnocchetti with summer vegetables and green olive oil; and strozzapreti with spicy tomato-vodka sauce. And for those who don’t want to partake in Alfred’s glorious mesquite-grilled, dry-aged Flannery Beef steaks, you’ll find some new options, like lamb chops and petrale sole. It’s summertime, so grilled peach melba with raspberry sorbet has made its way onto the dessert menu.

Dinner Monday–Thursday 5:30–9 p.m., Friday–Saturday 5:30–10 p.m.; happy hour Monday–Friday 4–6 p.m.; Thursday lunch 11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.


Pacific Heights is gaining a new bar and hangout, The Snug (2301 Fillmore Street), opening in the former Mehfil space (but it will always be the Alta Plaza in my heart, RIP). Owners Zack Schwab and Shane Matthews have a strong craft beer background (Mikkeller and Monk’s Kettle), and are partnering with chef Brian Shin (Alinea, Corton, Benu, In Situ) and Jacob Racusin (recently head of the bar program at The Alembic). So basically, it will have a rocking beer selection (20 taps), craft cocktails with seasonal and house-made components, and inventive takes on classic bar food. Other highlights: There will be a cask engine serving real ale and a selection of bottled beers focused around sours, stouts, and strong ales. Local ciders and wines will also be available on draft, plus a cellar of rare and vintage bottles.

As for the name, it’s inspired by all the cozy nooks (snugs) in the room, which will have a living room vibe. Britt Hull of Tide Design Co. is behind the interior and graphic design. Hours will be Sunday–Thursday 4 p.m.–midnight and until 2 a.m. Friday–Saturday. Brunch and outdoor seating are also in the works. Look for an opening this fall.

Just up the street, Blue Bottle (2455 Fillmore Street, 510-653-3394, has opened its latest location in the former Tully’s and Juicy News spaces, previously Shumate’s Pharmacy, and you’ll see the original tiles spelling Shumate. The airy location was designed by Wade Design Architects and Blue Bottle’s store design manager, Dana Nishimura Bryan. The space features ’70s modernism design references, with vintage Pioneer speakers, cork wood floors, and a textured onyx stone counter. Daily 7 a.m.–7 p.m.


Just in time for the gorgeous weather, Ghirardelli Square has opened an outdoor beer garden with San Francisco Brewing Co. in the West Plaza (although don’t worry, there are heat lamps as well — you know how things go here). You’ll find five of San Francisco Brewing Co.’s craft beers, along with two Bluxome Street wines and two local ciders. Hungry? You can order food from nearby Waxman’s and The Pub to bring back to the space and dine at the communal tables. The Stu Tails will perform daily from 1–3 p.m. and 4–6 p.m., plus there’s ping-pong, corn hole, Jenga, and a life-size Connect Four. Thursday–Saturday 11 a.m.–10 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m.–6 p.m.


Last year, I mentioned the former Fly Bar was getting new owners and would become Miller’s Rest (1085 Sutter Street, 415-441-4232,, and here are details on the opening. Mark and Terry Miller have given the space some cabin design touches (it was inspired by Mark Miller’s childhood lake cabin, called Miller’s Rest). The bar menu has five specialty cocktails ($10), and bites include smoked trout brandade, a trio of flatbreads, lake house chili, and fried chicken. There’s also a parlor room you can reserve for private parties. Open daily 11 a.m. onward.

Send to a Friend Print
Marcia Gagliardi writes a popular insider weekly e-column, tablehopper, about the San Francisco dining and imbibing scene; get all the latest news at Follow @tablehopper on Twitter and Instagram for more culinary finds!