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Hibiscus' New Chef is Gregory Leon

People are waiting to see what's next at Hibiscus, since headlining chef Sarah Kirnon left late last year to start her own project. Today Eater learns that former Mirtille and (long ago) Poesia chef Gregory Leon will be the new executive chef, leading the kitchen in a different direction. He'll be redoing the menu with a focus on California cuisine with a heavy nod toward the South. So, when the restaurant comes back in three to four weeks, the Caribbean shtick will be out.

Leon's new dinner menu will include things like shrimp with stone-ground grits and pork belly, bbq cooked on the smoker out back, a Southern fried chicken sandwich for lunch and he'll be making his own cornbread and biscuits in house. They'll come back first with dinner. Lunch and brunch will follow thereafter.

In addition to developing a new kitchen program, Hibiscus is using this time off to repaint the dining room, add new light fixtures, and make other tweaks to create "the new" Hibiscus' decor. When it reopens, dinner hours will probably be from 5:30 to 10 p.m. although there's no telling yet if they'll be open daily or not. Also do note that the rumors about Christian Baker's involvement in the whole deal seem to be true. That's all for now.

· All Hibiscus Coverage [~ ESF ~]
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1745 San Pablo Ave., Oakland, CA