After 14 years, the Fifth Floor, one of SF's most legendary launching pads for chefs, will close its doors to transform into a more casual concept. The good news: all the key players on the current staff will remain, including chef David Bazirgan, bar manager Brian Means, and pastry chef Francis Ang. The new concept, yet to be named, will be oriented around cocktails and small plates, with an emphasis on local produce. (A tipster told us that Trick Dog and Maven were named as reference points.) Another new addition will be a patio in the current atrium, complete with a fire pit.
Housed in the Hotel Palomar, the restaurant was a proving ground for the likes of George Morrone, Melissa Perello, Laurent Gras, Jake des Voignes, and Laurent Manrique, and was consistently ranked among the city's top spots, earning 3.5 stars from Bauer in its most recent review in 2011 and a Michelin star in 2010. Fifth Floor will close January 17; no word on when it will reopen, but the overhaul is expected to take several months.
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· Bazirgan and Fifth Floor Earn 3.5 Stars From Bauer [~ ESF ~]