It's been a long road for Bacon Bacon, whose fight with NIMBY neighbors led to grassroots campaigning and even a Saturday Night Live cameo before its ultimate victory with the Planning Commission back in July. As it turns out, though, that legislative win ended up being only the first step in a sea of new permits for owner Jim Angelus. "I thought things would slingshot more quickly, but that may have just been my inexperience," he said. Originally expected in October, the restaurant's go-ahead for construction didn't arrive until Christmas, meaning the construction crew had to be rebooked. They got started in February, and Angelus is now targeting April 1 for Bacon Bacon's reopening.
When it finally returns, Bacon Bacon will have more than a few changes in store. First of all, it's no longer the kitchen and refueling point for Angelus' popular food truck of the same name, which now runs out of a commercial kitchen. "You won't even see the truck," he says. At the same time, the space will become more of a true cafe, thanks to some rejiggering that'll allow for 13 seats. Angelus is also toying with the idea of a bacon take-away counter, in which three or four varieties will be sliced fresh and sold by the pound for neighbors to cook at home.
Diners can expect the same lineup of sandwiches, with the shop's signature bacon-y twist: "I want to tread that line between novelty and good food, and I think our sandwiches are really good, and people take that seriously and that's what they come back for." He'll continue to serve Roast Co. espresso drinks in the morning to accompany his breakfast sandwiches, and says he's also looking forward to expanding his dessert program a little (as evidenced by the bacon-tastic cake he served to Robert Downey, Jr. and his wife Susan at a recent Cavallo Point catering gig). He'd eventually like to smoke all his own bacon, though he says that equipment, space, and bandwidth aren't quite there at the moment. "It's the end-all dream."
In addition to a new ventilation system to mitigate the bacon smell that was the source of neighbors' complaints, visitors to Bacon Bacon can expect some changes to the interior, including new tile, the aforementioned seating, and a mural of the original Bacon Bacon truck (which sadly caught fire back in 2012) by a local artist. "That's where it all started, so I wanted to pay tribute," says Angelus. Though the journey to reopening has been long, he credits his neighbors and fans for keeping him going. "I'm so grateful for the neighborhood. I live as well as work here, and I couldn't have done this without them," he says. "We're not downtown, and I don't want us to be. We're a friendly neighborhood coffee shop, that just happens to focus on bacon."