As Claude Lane don Franck Le Clerc plans a French brasserie at Sutter and Kearny, big expansion plans come to light for his existing Cafe Claude. As some of you may know, LeClerc owns three adjacent businesses: Gitane, Cafe Claude and Claudine, but he also owns the 5 Claude Lane gallery space in between. In the new year, LeClerc will close the gallery and turn it into an 1100-square-foot extension of Cafe Claude, with a lounge area, "more bar" and a jazz quartet until midnight, five nights a week. Le Clerc can only fit a jazz trio right now at Cafe Claude, and there's not much room to sit and listen. The extension will create a real place to take in music and a drink before or after dinner. ETA is May or June.
Meanwhile, escrow has just opened for LeClerc's takeover of Joe Manzare's Hecho. Architect Elmer Lin (Bocadillos) and designer Charles Doell (Gitane, Chambers Eat + Drink) will create a "woodsy, warm" French brasserie with a "mid-Century look," as LeClerc wants the room to feel "like it's been there forever." The space is an interesting one, with a 1,800 square-foot, semi-hidden second floor. LeClerc wants to integrate that level better, bringing some energy to it with a bustling, vintage bar. "I love the cute little bar upstairs at Wayfare Tavern," he adds.
LeClerc is slowing down his Cafe Claude project in the Marina to get the brasserie open by the end of April. To that end, he should have a chef picked out by the end of the year.
· All Cafe Claude Coverage [~ ESF ~]
· Franck LeClerc plots a French brasserie in the Hecho space [ISSF]
5 Claude Lane gallery. [Photo: Consortium SF]
Hecho. [Photo: Eater SF Flickr Pool/ bubbletea1]