After eight months of darkness, the Original U.S. Restaurant is returning to North Beach. The red sauce joint temporarily closed in March after nearly 125 years in the neighborhood, only for that temporary closure to soon seem permanent. But now old general manager Alberto Cipollina and San Francisco Giants executive vice president of business operations Mario Alioto are bringing the place back, Inside Scoop reported. It won’t be exactly the same — Cipollina and Alioto moved the concept to 414 Columbus Ave., in the old 120-seat Colosseo space (the upcoming Seven Fishes is opening in U.S.'s old space). The pair plans to reincarnate the restaurant mostly as it is remembered, with Italian-American classics like osso bucco, cannelloni and panelle, plus the addition of pizza. They’ll spruce up the space a bit with some painting, but they largely want to stay true to the memory of the original. Though what the original is is a little unclear — this is actually not the first (or second) time the Original U.S. Restaurant (which stands for “Unione Sportiva” after the fact that the restaurant used to feed SF’s Italian American athletic clubs in the late 19th century) has closed and reopened in a new space.
As for first-time restaurateur Alioto’s sudden involvement, he said that as a child who grew up in North Beach dining at the Original U.S. Restaurant frequently, he was affected by the closure and thinks it’s important to keep the tradition alive. “The city’s changed,” he said. “But no matter how many changes, North Beach is ground zero for San Francisco. If we can be part of keeping a tradition alive, and telling our kids and their kids what this was all about, that’s important.” The reopening timeline is unclear, but stay tuned for more details.