On & Off Chestnut Street
Spring forward, jump for joy!

Fans of Chef Jonathan Beard’s California-French cuisine, featuring locally sourced and seasonal ingredients, have reason to jump for joy when Bistro Aix reopens later this month. Located on Steiner Street between Chestnut and Lombard – the Marina’s renowned “Restaurant Row” – Bistro Aix has been closed since last summer for a lengthy renovation, designed and built by chef-owner Beard. The renovations are in keeping with Beard’s sustainable ethos. He has employed reclaimed, first-growth redwood siding throughout the interior, giving the space a wonderful warmth with the patina of time. The extended bar and dining counter is topped with a beautiful Carrera marble slab reclaimed from an old post office. New banquettes are also made of recycled redwood staves from wine tanks, which are also clearly visible in the planter surrounding a beautiful olive tree located in the patio out back. And for those of you who fondly recall that rear patio, you won’t recognize it now – sleek, contemporary and fully enclosed, with a large pyramidal skylight, more redwood banquettes, and a peaceful sage green paint scheme. Jonathan has also made some changes in his kitchen, most notably by adding a custom-made wood-burning grill to his arsenal. Now you can expect some of the perennial favorites – like the Strawberry Mtn. hamburger on focaccia, or the rib eye steak with maitre’d butter and fries – to be gently kissed by smoke from the wood-fired grill. Construction is winding down, and Jonathan hopes to open mid-April – check their website for updates. Open Wednesday–Saturday from 6 p.m., Sunday from 5:30 p.m.

Bistro Aix:3340 Steiner Street, 415-202-0100, www.bistroaix.com 
A new boutique is opening on Chestnut Street in the former Ritz Camera space near Pierce, and it’s sure to be the Marina girls’ go-to place for resort accessories, clothing, jewelry, and fabulous gifts. Toss Designs is opening its second retail store location in the Marina, following the success their St. Helena boutique opened in 2004. With a flair for fashion and an eye for detail, Toss has become the authority on totes, travel bags, and all accessories in between. Toss also knows how to delight your inner party-girl with chic cocktail shakers and bar essentials. As the women at Toss like to say “Always remember that life is a journey, carry a Toss bag!” Open Monday–Saturday 10:30 a.m.–7 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.–6 p.m.

Toss Designs:2185 Chestnut Street, 415-440-TOSS (8677), www.TossDesigns.com
In August, you will be able to jump for both joy and fitness when House of Air opens in the Presidio, joining Planet Granite and La Petit Baleen to make West Crissy Field a destination for recreation. House of Air will provide aerial and physical training on trampolines, as well as trampoline dodgeball, fitness classes, and open jump time. The idea was developed seven years ago by Dave Schaeffer and Paul McGeehan with the mission of “giving flight to the flightless,” which is embodied in the House of Air mascot: a penguin wearing a jetpack. It’s a fitting reuse for Building 926, which once helped launch De Havilland DH-48 biplanes as part of the Army’s 91st Observation Squadron. Built in 1921, the building originally served as Crissy Air Field’s land plane hangar and is a contributing feature in the Presidio’s National Historic Landmark status. House of Air will be open to people of all ages and all levels of physical ability. Walk-ins will be welcomed at the facility as well as special events, including birthday parties, corporate and family events, and fundraisers. The building will include two large trampoline decks with trampoline walls, high-performance trampolines, a children’s bounce house, event rooms, a snack and retail area, and showers and restrooms. For more information, visit www.houseofairsf.com.

Jim Maxwell is a past president of the Marina Merchants Association and owns Architects II in the Marina. E-mail: [email protected]