After a little over a year in business, Box and Bells, the Rockridge gastropub from Michelin-starred empire-builder James Syhabout, will close its doors today, January 15. The restaurant opened just over a year ago, serving meat-forward small plates and entrees inspired by the staff meals at Syhabout's upscale Oakland restaurant Commis. It met with relatively positive reviews from Bauer, Tasting Table, and the EBX, but its heavy, rich fare might not have been what the sprightly yuppies of Rockridge were craving.
In a statement, Syhabout and team agreed that it wasn't the right fit: "Despite our greatest efforts, the concept simply did not resonate with the neighborhood and result in the success necessary to sustain the restaurant. We are so thankful to our supporters over the past year." Syhabout's other restaurants in Oakland (which also include Hawker Fare and The Dock at Linden Street) are still going strong, and will remain unimpacted by the closure. And his San Francisco debut, a second outpost of Hawker Fare in the Mission, is still on schedule for a late-January opening in Valencia's former Amber Dhara space.