Pastry chef Elizabeth Falkner isn't the only San Francisco export looking for real estate in New York. Mama's is headed east, too. The North Beach breakfast spot, which has been slinging pancakes and Monte Cristo sandwiches since the sixties, and which has stayed in the family of original owner Frances Sanchez ever since, has been featured prominently on the Food Network and in guidebooks for years, leading to a perpetual line down the block. Now, several family members plan to start a new brand concept called Mama's, A Family Affair, which they want to launch in New York. If they could just nail down a location ...
Daughter Jennifer Strome made the announcement this week via press release, saying that the family is eyeing locations near Union Square, or on the Upper West Side. According to the Chronicle's Inside Scoop blog, they are also seeking potential licensing and investment opportunities, thus the early announcement.
The concept itself is for a small, approximately 2,200-square-foot version of Mama's, serving signature items like their Jewish coffee cake, Dutch baby, and raspberry jam M’OmeletteTM. There would also be an attached bakery called Little Mama's.
As granddaughter Felicia Sanchez-McDonnell tells Grub Street, "The idea was born out of a desire to create opportunity for the many members of the Sanchez family who still love the restaurant business." She further explains that the businesses will be owned and operated separately from Mama's. So it's not an expansion, per se, since the new spot wouldn't be Mama's so much as it would be inspired by Mama's.
In any event, look for something that is somehow related to Mama's, somewhere in Manhattan, sometime in 2013, maybe.