Out of the chaos of last fall at The Corner (2199 Mission at 18th) comes a regrouping, and the Mission hangout is about to be reborn as a repertory for nonstaurants who, for the most part, haven't had a steady brick-and-mortar address to call home. Manager Justin Glennon first told us about the idea in the midst our discussing the Alex Jackson situation, and in the aftermath of that Glennon proposed to owner Philip Bellber that they try to do again what Mission Street Food did with guest chefs, but sweeten the deal for various pop-up outfits and maintain a roster of regulars who appear weekly, or at least monthly, at The Corner. The schedule isn't fully complete, but things began in the fall with Ken Ken Ramen making several Thursday appearances. Starting in February, Ken Ken will be back on Thursdays, but they'll be joined by EAT (which moved out of 111 Minna and last appeared at Triple Crown in December), Radio Africa & Kitchen on Fridays starting this week, and Cathead's BBQ on Saturdays. Also popping up will be two restaurants with permanent spots in other parts of town: Parada 22, which Bellber also owns, and Kasa Indian Eatery, who'll be experimenting on a few nights in March with menus unlike what they do at their takeout/cafeteria-style locations.
Kasa chef Anamika Khanna says she is "SUPER excited" to be participating in the Corner's new concept, and that she's hoping to devote at least one of her first nights there to her favorite vegan Punjabi dishes. "The kind where meat lovers won't miss the meat!! Plenty of bursting flavour, fresh vegetables, fresh breads, salads and delicious lentils." She says she's also excited to do some things she can't do at Kasa, which have to be done la minute, like freshly fried fish pakoras, chaats, or biryanis. Also joining her will be sommelier Mark Bright from around the corner at Saison, who'll be doing some wine pairings for her food.
Radio Africa is accepting reservations for their first appearance this Friday, and chef Eskender Aseged is expected to stick around for weekly appearances until his full-time restaurant opens in Bayside later this April, or thereabouts.
Glennon says he 's also in talks with another popular guerrilla dining outfit, graffEats, whose exec chef Blair Warsham has been bouncing about since his "freestyle" Bernal Heights bistro Tinderbox closed in 2008. And he's also talking to Sightglass about being the coffee source for The Corner's ongoing daytime cafe.
As for how regular each pop-up concern's appearances will be, Glennon's leaving that up to the crowds. "If people want to keep coming back the same night each week, we'll start to make things more regular. But if people seem to like more variety, we'll try to have the pop-ups alternate more each week, and mix it up more." He's hoping to fill every night of the week at the restaurant, and to structure it so that pop-ups just getting off the ground can pay less of a "rent" payment for nights earlier in the week. Look for the full, finalized schedule on The Corner's website in the next week or two.
Sidebar: That semi-temporary Proxy development in Hayes Valley is also going to feature a revolving pop-up venue, with some outfits appearing only once, starting this spring.
Earlier: Chef Alex Jackson No Longer Involved With The Corner as Strange Allegations Emerge [Grub Street]
Further Details Regarding the Case of Alex Jackson, From Parada 22 Owner Philip Bellber [Grub Street]