Today San Francisco Waterfront Partners announces that Charles Phan has signed a lease to take over their 1300-square-foot bar and restaurant space on Pier 3. The new concept is inspired by a canoe salvaged by Phan's long-time architect Olle Lungberg. And it's going to be a Cajun restaurant. Now. As anyone with a pulse in San Francisco knows, Phan's restaurants to date (Slanted Door, Heaven's Dog, Out the Door and the latest Wo Hing General Store) have all served some form of Asian cuisine. Creole certainly isn't what you'd expect from Phan, but the next part does make a whole lot of sense. The new idea will hinge around a creative seasonal cocktail program, something that's been a consistent strong suit for most of Phan's restaurants. The Pier 3 food menu will hinge around the creations of Phan's esteemed bar manager Erik Adkins. That is, the menu will compliment the cocktails, not the other way around.
The new nameless restaurant will open this summer. Around the same time, San Francisco Waterfront Partners will break ground on another project across the way: 8 Washington. Much, much larger in scope, the development promises 20,000 square feet of street-level restaurants, cafes and retail; 30,000 square feet of parks and public space; a $12 million, 38,000 square-foot outdoor aquatics and fitness center; and 145 residential housing units in LEED-certified buildings with green rooftops. Good news for Phan: when 8 Washington is completed in 2014, there will be more hungry upwardly mobile types than ever before, milling around The Embarcadero.
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Charles Phan and his buddy Alicia Esterkamp Allbin of San Francisco Waterfront Partners, standing by the inspirational canoe. [Photo: Jack Hutch Photography]