empire building

New Casual Concept From James Syhabout to Be Called Box and Bells, Featuring Late-Night Gastropub Fare

The former Somerset.

The former Somerset.Photo: Google

Commis chef James Syhabout, who expanded his empire to two restaurants last year with Hawker Fare near downtown Oakland, is opening a third restaurant next year, as earlier reported, in Rockridge. It's the space that formerly was home to Somerset (5912 College Avenue), and as the Scoop now discovers, the name will be Box and Bells. The menu will be inspired by the sophisticated but casual fare that Syhabout and chef Benjamin Coe prepare for staff meals at Commis, like a potato boxty with salt cod and herbs; fried chicken with raw oyster mayonnaise; crock-baked beans; and an aged cote du boeuf for two with a fricasse of snails and watercress salad. They plan to be open late, and they'll be doing some Box and Bells preview pop-ups at Hawker Fare starting in January. [Scoop, Earlier]

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