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Fall Previews: The Nine Big Deal Restaurants to Watch

With myriad openings slated to grace the city during these autumnal months, please use the below list to help digest the heavyweights. Inevitably, some will get delayed and drift into the darker winter days, but consider this a quick guide on what to obsess over in the coming weeks and months. Stay tuned for a preview of the neighborhood game-changers too.

2009_09_ftquince.jpg1) Quince
Address: 470 Pacific Avenue, Jackson Square
The Situation: By now, the situation is well-known, so we won't rehash it completely, but rest assured the eyes of the city (and maybe even the nation) will be upon the reborn Myth space over the next few weeks as the upscale Pac Heights staple makes the big move eastward in what is hoped to be a huge boost for SF's fine dining scene.
Major Players: Michael Tusk, Lindsay Tusk, David Lynch, William Werner
Projected Opening: October 1st
Buzz Factor: 9
Further Reading

2008_09_ftspqr.jpg2) SPQR
Address: 1911 Fillmore Street, Pacific Heights
The Situation: No, it's not a newcomer per se, but when SPQR returns from its two-week hiatus next week, it's going to be a new restaurant in many, many ways. Former Craft LA and Per Se chef Matt Accarrino is revamping Nate Appleman's menu, and they're even going to take reservations.
Major Players: Matthew Accarrino, Shelley Lindgren
Projected (Re)Opening: Sept 30th
Buzz Factor: 9
Further Reading

2008_11_perello.jpg3) Frances
Address: 3870 17th Street (Noe and Sanchez), The Castro
The Situation: Melissa Perello's long-awaited solo project in the old Palencia space. She started at Aqua under Michael Mina, was the executive chef at Charles Nob Hill at 25, then nabbed three stars while in charge of the Fifth Floor.
Major Players: Melissa Perello
Projected Opening: Oct/Nov
Buzz Factor: 7
Further Reading

2009_09_ftburgerbar.jpg4) Burger Bar
Address: 170 O'Farrell Street, Union Square
The Situation: In the Union Square Macy's, one floor below the Cheesecake Factory, Hubert Keller's first local outpost of his fancypants burger chain is set to move in. It's going to be a big one too: 7000 square-feet, over 150 seats and a sizable wine list too. Check the website for the Vegas and STL locations to get an idea of what the sixth floor is in for.
Major Players: Hubert Keller. He's kind of a big deal.
Projected Opening: Mid/Late October
Buzz Factor: 8
Further Reading

2009_09_ftbracina.jpg5) Bracina
Address: Jack London Square, Oakland
The Situation: Another one of the incoming eateries in the Jack London Square revamp, it will be Daniel Patterson's first East Bay project. He's already got a four-star joint in Coi, and more recently, his Cane Rosso has been certified brilliant, but Lauren Kiino will be the executive chef at Bracina. The 80-seat venture will be on the first floor of the JLS market building and (update!) will "reflect a Northern California sensibility, highlighting the best local and seasonal ingredients."
Major Players: Lauren Kiino (exec chef), Daniel Patterson (partner)
Projected Opening: Probably closer to December early 2010 at this point.
Buzz Factor: 6
Further Reading

2009_09_ftsmugglers.jpg6) Smuggler's Cove
Address: 650 Gough Street, Hayes Valley
The Situation: In the old, three-level Jade Bar space, it's already been declared "the greatest tiki bar on earth." Need we say more?
Major Players: Martin Cate
Projected Opening: November
Buzz Factor: 9
Further Reading

2008_09_ftagricole.jpg7) Bar Agricole
Address: 355 11th Street, SoMa
The Situation: It's seemingly been in the works forever, but when it finally opens, Bar Agricole will capitalize on all kinds of San Francisco fetishes: cocktails, coffee, all-day ingredient-driven food.
Major Players: Thad Vogler, Brandon Jew, Mark Ellenbogen (Slanted Door)
Projected Opening: Winter
Buzz Factor: 7
Further Reading

2008_09_ftbluest.jpg8) Bluestem
Address: One Yerba Buena Lane, SoMa/FiDi
The Situation: The ambitious, 6700 square-foot, 220-seat modern steakhouse brasserie slated for the side of Yerba Buena lane facing Market Street.
Major Players:: Former PlumpJack Director of Ops Adam Jed, chef Michael Magliano (Craft LA), Designer Olle Lundberg
Projected Opening: Late fall
Buzz Factor: 6
Further Reading

9) Cantinetta Piero/Vita
Address: Yountville
The Situation: We'd be remiss if we didn't mention the two major goings-on up in Kellerville, because everything in Yountville makes waves. Opening first in the upcoming tiny 20-room boutique Hotel Luca will be Cantinetta Piero, a casual, 90-seat Italian eatery. Less imminent but more of a heavyhitter will be Laura Cunningham's Italian-inspired solo venture, Vita. The latter will be a huge deal when it opens (which probably won't be fall); the former probably won't unseat Bottega atop Yountville's Italian hierarchy.
Major Players: For Luca, the Monterey-based Mirabel Group (more here). For Vita, Laura Cunningham and Sir Thomas Keller.
Further Reading


3870 17th Street, , CA 94114 (415) 621-3870 Visit Website

Bar Agricole

1540 Mission Street, , CA 94103 (415) 341-0101 Visit Website


1911 Fillmore Street, , CA 94115 (415) 771-7779 Visit Website


470 Pacific Avenue, , CA 94133 (415) 775-8500 Visit Website