Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 8 / 22 February 2018

Business Briefs: Changes
for Castro's cuisine scene


The corner of 18th and Castro will soon be home to Kpop, a Korean restaurant. This and other new restaurants promise a changed dining landscape in the Castro this fall. (Photo: Steven Kasapi)
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As the summer draws to a close, a number of new restaurants are prepping for their debuts on the Castro dining scene.


Korean on the corner

The marquee storefront at the corner of 18th and Castro (499 Castro Street) will be the new home of Kpop, a Korean restaurant. Owner Nam Kim describes the eatery as "authentic Korean cuisine in a modern setting," featuring tapas-style small plates and family-style platters.

The space is currently papered over and undergoing renovation. The major work is happening in the back of the house, where the kitchen is being overhauled and expanded to become a "full-use kitchen," according to Kim.

Kim hopes to open Kpop in about six weeks, depending on when the beer-wine license is issued. Kpop will feature traditional Korean cocktails made with soju, as well as makgeolli, a thick, sweet, rice-based alcohol.


Chipotle makes a move

On August 1, foodie blog Grub Street ( broke the news that national chain Chipotle has signed a lease to move into 2100 Market Street, the former site of restaurant Home.

Representatives from the company have already met with Supervisor Scott Wiener and Terry Asten Bennett, president of the Merchants of Upper Market and Castro, to prepare for their eventual permit application. They also plan to meet with various community groups in the coming month as part of the neighborhood notification process required for formula retail.


Other changes to the Castro restaurant scene

Tangerine (3499 16th Street) has announced that it will be closing the doors on its current location August 26. A sign posted on the restaurant's door says that Tangerine will be moving to a new location, which will be announced soon. Requests for comment from owner and chef Sean Pattansuvoranun were not returned.

Signs have gone up at the site of the former Criolla Kitchen (2295 Market Street) announcing that SliderBar: United Tastes will be opening in September. According to the pending liquor license application, the owner is Ashwani Dhawan , who also owns SliderBar Cafe at 324 University Avenue in Palo Alto. As the name suggests, the signature menu item is the mini-burger, or slider, offered in close to a dozen different styles.

Construction is under way at the former All Season Sushi (524 Castro Street). According to a pending license application on the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control website, the new restaurant will be named Wasabi Bistro.

A new restaurant named Shanghai will be opening on the site of the former Gingerfruit (2029 Market Street). The restaurant is scheduled to open on August 22, according to a worker on the site who declined to give his name.


From Top Chef to Tout Sweet

Yigit Pura, the openly gay winner of the first season of Bravo's Top Chef: Just Desserts, has announced that his new project, Tout Sweet Patisserie , will open its doors on September 8. The opening was delayed two weeks due to construction issues, primarily the late arrival from Italy of a custom-built display case.

Tout Sweet will be located on the third floor of Macy's in Union Square (170 O'Farrell Street). In addition to sweet treats, the eatery will serve light breakfast and lunch items, with seating to accommodate 20 diners.

Tout Sweet will also carry a line of signature sauces, jams, curds, and other confections, which will be available for online ordering beginning in September.

For updates, visit


Fresh approach to fresh designs

Crane and Canopy, a new Bay Area-based start-up, wants you to change your linens – and not simply with a fresh set out of the laundry. They are hoping that their mix of design, technical innovations, and a new business model will induce you to revamp your whole bedroom, all at an affordable price.

Leading the charge is Johnny Moallempour , the lead designer for Crane and Canopy. "We want to bring not just fresh design, great colors, and beautiful, clean linens. We also want to bring people products which are functional and easy-to-use," said the San Francisco-based designer, who is gay.

He points to innovations such as duvets that tie to the inside of duvet covers, to avoid bunching. The duvet covers also close with hidden zippers instead of the traditional, but clumsy, buttons.

Crane and Company debuted its direct-to-consumers website on July 16, with the goal of eliminating the middleman to reduce prices. According to Moallempour, "We eliminated showrooms to remove the overhead. We are the designers, directly overseeing the manufacture of the product. We cut corners on the sales process – not the product quality."

The current product line features names drawn from San Francisco neighborhoods, such as the gray geometric "Sunset" line and the mossy green and white latticework of the "Noe" set.

To see the full product line and to learn more about Crane and Canopy s product innovations, visit


South Asians party for a purpose

On Saturday, August 18, Club OMG (43 6th Street) is hosting Bollywood by the Bay, a fundraiser for Trikone and Bay Area Solidarity Summer. Trikone is a support and advocacy group for LGBT folks of South Asian descent, and BASS is a summer camp for South Asian youth aimed at developing a new generation of social activists.

The party begins at 10 p.m. and runs until 2 a.m. Tickets are $15 at the door, or $12 in advance. Students with a valid ID cost only $10. The event is 21 and over only.

To purchase advance tickets and to learn more about Trikone, visit To learn more about BASS, visit


Castro Concerts continue

The Jane Warner Plaza concert series continues this week with Full House Rhythm performing from 1 to 2 p.m. on Sunday, August 19. The concerts are sponsored by the Castro Community Benefit District and are scheduled to continue until October. For the full schedule, visit


Certifiably gay

The next Golden Gate Business Association Talk of the Town speaker series will take place on August 28 at the offices of New York Life (425 Market Street, Suite 1600). Representatives from the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce will discuss how to certify your business as LGBT-owned.

The event is sponsored by Southwest Airlines and runs from 6 to 8 p.m. The session is free to the public, however reservations are required. For more information visit

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