We knew it wouldn't stay empty for long, and today Grub Street learns that the vacant Criolla Kitchen/Bagdad Café space (2295 Market Street at 16th) will become SliderBar Café, a Palo Alto-based restaurant that's big on (you guessed it!) sliders. Owner Ashwani Dhawan is expanding north and becoming a mini-chain, moving right into the midst of two other local burger chains, Super Duper and Slider's, also in the Castro and, we should mention, across the intersection from the Lookout, which is already serving up some awesome sliders, but we digress.
As you may recall, the southern-inspired Criolla Kitchen appeared to have some troubles in its first year, temporarily closing in December during a mysterious ownership change. After it finally closed for real in March we learned that there had been some kind of ugly lawsuit involving a produce vendor which may have been the final straw.
SliderBar owner Dhawan also owns Mantra, a modern Indian-fusion restaurant in Palo Alto that features things like paneer ravioli and chana chaat poppers.
You can preview the SliderBar menu here, and as you can see it's fairly simple: ten slider options that can be ordered singly, in threes, or by the dozen, including an American Classic, a lamb patty with feta, a BBQ pulled-pork option, a chicken burger, and two vegetarian options, one of which appears vegan. Also, there's breakfast we're kind of most excited about the breakfast slider options, including one with pepper Jack and chipotle sauce which, curiously, is on a wheat tortilla (not sure how that works, but okay). Also, there are a couple of salads, and they'll have beer and wine, including beer by the pitcher, assuming they stick with their college-town format.
We'll update you as we learn more about the timing, but let's just assume we're looking at a summer opening here.