It's been over a year since the first breathless rumors of Charles Phan's much anticipated return to the Mission arrived, and it's finally becoming a reality next week, kids. Wo Hing General Store is set to open Friday, October 28, in the very spot where Phan made his name with the original Slanted Door (584 Valencia) and the first official pre-opening event was last night. The place is named for Phan's uncle (Wo) and father (Hing), pays tribute to his family's business when they emigrated from China to Vietnam in 1951, which was a general store. The concept is Chinese and street-food-inspired, and there's a whimsical cocktail program from bar star Brooke Arthur (formerly of Prospect and Range), including a tart and delicious pina colada, a "lower-alcohol" gin martini, and a great new twist on the daquiri.
There's also an extensive local wine list, a list of sophisticated non-alcoholic mocktails with a new-school soda-fountain flair, and a large selection of Chinese teas. But for obvious reasons, the prospect of a new restaurant with a full bar in the inner Mission has a lot people pretty excited.
In contrast to Phan's other Chinese concept, Heaven's Dog, the menu is more casual and Mission-friendly, with cocktail-friendly food and smaller plates like congee, noodles, salt-and-pepper spareribs, Dungeness crab fried rice, and Shanghai dumplings. (See the draft menu here, to get an idea, which is subject to change and is still missing prices.) The chef de cuisine is onetime Chron Rising Star Michelle Mah, who most recently was executive chef at Midi downtown.
For longtime fans of the old Slanted Door, we're told the layout is pretty similar, but with a bar up front. And the design, by architect Olle Lundberg, includes a bar made from reclaimed wood from a bowling alley, and recycled glass and steel from former city bus shelters forming the railings.
Check out our sneak peek from last night's opening party, and expect some more finished photos next week, when all the tables and chairs move into the space.
Wo Hing General Store - 584 Valencia Street between 16th and 17th - Opening on October 28
Earlier: More Details Emerge About Charles Phan’s Wo Hing General Store
Charles Phan Sets Us Straight About His Plans for the Old Slanted Door