Back in November we learned that celebrity chef Charlie Palmer who up until now has limited his Bay Area presence to his Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg was finally opening his first San Francisco restaurant, as part of a chef-driven boutique hotel project at the Crescent Hotel off Union Square (417 Stockton Street, near the base of the Stockton Tunnel). Now we get word from a tipster that an opening for what's to be called the Burritt Tavern is coming in mid-April, and this week the existing Burritt Room is closed for renovations in preparation for the opening.
Hiring has begun for Burritt Tavern, about which details are still few (see update below). But yes, following on the breakout success of Park Tavern in North Beach, a "tavern" seems like just the thing for this other park in an adjacent part of town.
Palmer, who made his name at Aureole in New York, has gone on to open multiple restaurants around the country, including Aureole Las Vegas and Charlie Palmer Steak in Vegas, Reno, and Washington, D.C.
As you'll recall, the Burritt Room became a new cocktail hot spot after opening in 2010, and maintained an admirable list up until the departure of bar manager Kevin Diedrich last year. The name "Burritt" is an appropriate one, referring as it does to the alley off of which the 100-year-old hotel's main entrance used to lie, before the construction of the Stockton Tunnel. And there's a piece of literary and film trivia attached as well Burritt Alley is the scene of a murder scene in Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon.
We'll bring you more details as we get them, including the name of the chef de cuisine.
Update: The team just got back to us with chef and concept details, which are as follows: The restaurant is aiming for a speakeasy/men's clubby vibe, with "steaks and chops done right," and wall-in and curtained-off booths and such. The Burritt Room will remain the Burritt Room, headed by barman Liam Gilmore, with a focus on classic cocktails. And the hotel will be renamed the Mystic Hotel.
The chef will be Ashley Weaver, a five-year vet of the Palmer empire who also happens to be a marathon runner. Weaver was a sous chef at Aureole in New York before moving west to be executive sous chef at Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdale's in Costa Mesa.