Northside SF  

October '09

The Tablehopper
The tide is high at Aqua while the Marina is awash in suds at The Republic
By Marcia Gagliardi

Things just keep getting more interesting over at Aqua (252 California Street, 415-956-9662): now the Bacchus Management Group (Spruce, The Village Pub) is taking it over completely. They had the winning bid for the lease, and hope to retain the Aqua name as well. As for next steps, the restaurant will remain open until the end of the year, and will then close for a little bit around the New Year. Bacchus will bring in a new chef but maintain the fine dining atmosphere that Aqua has always been known for since 1991. Here’s hoping the name continues to live on.
Looks like things will be on the up and up at Fog City Diner (1300 Battery Street, 415-982-2000). “The Bills” (Bill Upson and Bill Higgins) of Real Restaurants have asked Ed Carew of The Cottage Eatery in Tiburon to consult on the menu (Carew previously worked for them at Tonno Rosso and was at Florio for two years). He will update the menu over the next month, integrating more local and sustainable ingredients, and try to get locals back for lunch and dinner. It will be nice to see changes because it’s such a great location.
The Republic
(2401 Lombard Street, 415-817-1337) has opened in the former Jones space in the Marina, brought to you by the Bin 38 crew (Shaw Amirghassemkhany, Don Davis, Peter Scully, and David Sheridan). Executive chef Brian Beach (The Waterfront, Adagia) has put together a menu focused on updated bar and grill classics and comfort food made with local ingredients, like a burger made with sustainable, ground-to-order beef; grilled romaine salad and Parmesan flan; and Phillies (mini cheese steak bites). There will also be clever bar snacks, including local Dungeness crab jalapeno poppers. One thing that is sure to prick up a lot of ears around town is that the beverage program will have the largest all-American craft beer list in San Francisco (classic cocktails will also be available). Jim Maxwell of Architects II redid the interior to be more upscale, and an entrance has been opened up on to Scott Street. Game watchers: there will be TV/sports viewing, although the TVs will be covered by artwork or sliding panels based on game times (except for three TVs in the bar area, which will remain uncovered). Hours will include weekend brunch (starting at 9 a.m., and open continuously until 2 a.m. on Saturday and midnight on Sunday), and snacks, drinks and dinner Monday through Wednesday 4 p.m.–midnight and until 2 a.m. Thursday through Friday.
Over in North Beach, Urban Curry (523 Broadway Street, 415-677-9744) is now open in the former Little Joe’s space, next door to the Vin Club. On the menu: classic Indian and Pakistani dishes. One of the owners is also behind the House of Curries locations in Berkeley. Lunch is served from 11 a.m.–3 p.m. and dinner from 5 p.m.–11 p.m.
Looks like yet another tenant is giving it a go in the Mayes Oyster House (1233 Polk Street, 415-885-1233) location (recently the short-lived Midpoint, and prior to that, O’Reilly’s Holy Grail). The menu will focus on San Francisco classics and seafood; since the restaurant’s history dates to 1867, let’s hope returning to the original concept is what it takes to stick around. Plans include late-night dining, happy hour and a full bar.
Feel like having a jazzy Sunday? 1300 on Fillmore (1300 Fillmore Street, 415-771-7100) has extended its gospel brunch to every Sunday with house band Future Perfect alternating Sundays with other local musicians. Brunch is $39 per person and includes a bottomless “pomosas” (sparkling wine and pomegranate juice), coffee and tea, a three-course prix-fixe meal, plus the performance. Seatings are 11 a.m. or 1 p.m., and reservations are highly recommended.

Marcia Gagliardi also writes a popular weekly e-column about the S.F. dining scene; subscribe for free at Additionally she writes for San Francisco magazine, Edible San Francisco, and the weekly San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau blog, Foodie 411. Got a hot tip? E-mail

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