Yesterday was the last day of business for popular brunch/pan-Asian spot Tangerine (3499 16th Street at Sanchez) in the Castro, and as we learned earlier this month, they're relocating somewhere nearby. But where? Grub Street spoke to one of the staff yesterday who said the lease is still being negotiated but that they would be moving within the "Castro/Upper Market Area." There are a few spaces currently up for grabs in the neighborhood, but only one or two that make sense for Tangerine Blue is too small, for instance, and the recently shuttered Trigger space would require too great a remodel and a kitchen buildout. But rumors are swirling that the owners may be in negotiations with local bar owner Les Natali who has been sitting on the empty, enormous space once known as The Patio Café (531 Castro Street) since the late nineties.
Natali renovated the space, which includes a large back patio, about five years ago, but the place has remained empty for a decade despite numerous reports of interested parties. We've heard that Natali's deal terms haven't always been too favorable, but that a recent issue with the full liquor license in the space (the city may no longer want to honor the dormant license Natali has held for twenty years) may be encouraging Natali to consider a deal with Tangerine, who will only want to serve beer and wine (and sake cocktails).
Tangerine would have made a fine tenant at Home, but as we know now that is becoming a Chipotle. The only other possible space they could be considering is the former Luna (558 Castro), which remains empty since closing in January.
Stay tuned as we expect the restaurant to make an official announcement about the move within a week or two.