Our sister site may have declared her annoyance with the molasses-paced SoMa project, but sadly, we cannot quit Mint Plaza. Yet.
1) As a whole, the plaza looks quite legit, between the completely open walkways and developing foliage. Compared to a month ago, the entire complex is cleaner and shinier ... with more security guards roaming around.
2) To the restaurants! Question the first: is there a tenant for 418 Jessie Street? Work has been furious within, which would seem to indicate something. About a month ago, we had on good authority that Limon was finally taking the space after some initial cold feet, but our source quickly retracted the statement, saying nothing official had been signed yet. Meanwhile, the Mint Collection site still speaks of a "a two-story Nuevo-Latino/Peruvian restaurant-lounge on the street level." Curious.
3) A proclamation: of the four restaurants-to-be, the most intriguing space is the supposedly unclaimed one, pictured above. There are (at least) a trio of levels, plus the location is literally front and center in the promenade.
4) Right before construction workers shut the windows and shooed us away, we caught a glimpse of the doings at Chez Papa. The dark motif continues, with a black tapestry-like decoration adorning the wall behind the bar. In what might be perceived as an ominous sign given this week's reviews, the tapestry is decorated with multiple fleurs de lys.
5) Other thoughts from the Chez Papa front, which was busy doing wiring work: in addition to the dark colors, there's a lot of metallic going on (outdoor light fixtures, bar tap, bar, etc). Could be a cool little design.
6) Oh, and they took down that Zagat sticker (last item).
7) Blue Bottle and Sushi Groove are, for all intents and purposes, neck and neck as far progress goes. As mentioned earlier, you can track the Blue Bottle progress on their Flickr page. If we had to put money on it, we'd go with the coffee underdogs to open first since we've never once seen anyone inside Sushi Groove, but then again, we know nothing.
· And Now, An Update From Mint Plaza [~ESF~]
· New Blue Bottle Aims to Get You Wired, Drunk [~ESF~]
· SoMa Rife With Development, Gag-Inducing Smells [~ESF~]
As always, your Minty thoughts in the comments field or directly to us.