Exclusive: SoMa’s Sage Lounge to Be Replaced By 1601 Bar & Kitchen

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Sage Lounge Photo: Facebook

A Peninsula chef appears to be taking over the space currently known as Sage Lounge (1601 Howard Street), a lunch spot at the corner of Howard and 12th Street. Chef Brian Fernando who most recently helped open Plates Bar & Grill in Los Altos and formerly was sous chef at longtime San Jose French restaurant Le Papillon is the man behind the new project at the space, which will be called 1601 Bar & Kitchen (that's the working title anyway). Grub Street catches the news over the liquor license wires today, and judging from Fernando's background it sounds like the restaurant will be a bit more ambitious, and dinner-focused, than Sage.

Fernando has French technique down from his years at Le Papillon, and he brought an everything-from-scratch, farm-to-table ethos to Plates, which opened last summer. (See his current menus here.) Fernando is of Colombian and Sri Lankan heritage, and Plates owner Christie West told the Los Altos Town Crier, "Brian is an incredible chef. I was fortunate enough not only to find him, but that Brian was looking to make his mark." Fernando says that his style is rooted in French technique, but that he uses "ngredients from all over the place" and doesn't adhere to any one cuisine.

We'll update you further as 1601 Bar & Kitchen takes shape.