We grabbed a few minutes with Charles Phan at the Street Food Fest on Saturday to find out what exactly is happening in the former Slanted Door space at 584 Valencia once the Levi's folks clear out of there next week. "It's going to be big," he says. "Asian, with a bar, but it might be next year by the time all the permits and everything come through." As we learned, the rumor that the space would be a new Out the Door was false, but the part about the cocktail program was true, and thus it's sounding more like a Heaven's Dog concept though not strictly Chinese.
Phan says they haven't yet settled on a name, and we suppose he's banking on the idea that the tide of sentiment toward restaurant growth in the Mission has changed since he was practically chased out of the neighborhood back in 2002. At the time, post-dot-com-boom paranoia had activists concerned that Phan had outgrown the neighborhood and become too bourgeois. "I'm kind of caught in between -- between the guy in his Mercedes who pulls up to my restaurant and the guy on the bicycle," he told the Chron.
But this was before anyone had even heard the term hipster, before Dolores Park was popular, and before places like Bar Tartine and Range truly changed the tenor of the Valencia Street dining scene. Now that the Mercedes crowd has the Ferry Building Slanted Door to flock to, not to mention Range, maybe the heat's off Phan and he won't be blamed this time for making Valencia Street too trendy.