Just as diners bid farewell to the last trappings of Tommy Toy's opulent Chinese restaurant, a new upscale Chinese spot is on the way: Leader House, a two-level Hunan and Cantonese restaurant to be housed in the historic 130-year-old Payne Mansion at 1409 Sutter Street. The Chronicle reports that the restaurant comes as part of a renovation led by Chinese investor Jing Yao, which aims to turn the building into a 10-room boutique hotel as well as a dining destination.
The project is aided by Alon Yu, a co-founder and partner in the recently shuttered Tommy Toy's, who will bring a similar decadent ambiance to the new restaurant. Space for private dining and the kitchen will occupy the basement level, while the street level will host a dining room echoing the sumptuous stylings of the late Tommy Toy's (think heavy drapes, elaborate statuettes and lacquered screens). Recent renovations to the space have included marble flooring, lighting modifications and wall texturing, but the original stained glass windows and woodwork remain, and there may be a dumbwaiter in the works. Leader House is still waiting for liquor and conditional use permits from the city, but the space's planned debut is sometime around the end of the year.