The space formerly known as Dixie has found a new tenant: Sessions at the Presidio. Business partners Evin Gelleri and chef Michael Bilger have signed on with the Letterman Digital Arts Center (owned by George Lucas, whose Lucasfilm and ILM are based there) to transform the cavernous location at the edge of the Presidio into a more welcoming beer-focused restaurant, serving lunch, dinner, weekend brunch and a dizzying selection of over 100 brews.
Partners at Georges restaurant for the past four years, Gelleri and Bilger have jettisoned that business (set to close February 27) in favor of pursuing their beer-soaked dreams in the wilds of the Presidio. The avid homebrewers are focusing on "session-style" beers that are less alcoholic and more suited to an afternoon of drinking, at least compared to the high-gravity IPAs that are currently dominating the craft scene. The duo plans to hire a certified Cicerone to oversee the beverage program, which will include an extensive session-centric tap program, local beers, cask-conditioned beers, large-format bottles, and a few high-gravity options. And since it's their restaurant and they can do what they want, Bilger and Gelleri plan to feature their own beers on tap, a homebrewer's dream.
Given Bilger's extensive background at restaurants like Boulevard and Wayfare Tavern, the menu will skew toward contemporary California cuisine; he hopes to source some items like produce, olive oil, Wagyu beef and wine from the organic farm at Skywalker Ranch in Marin. They'd eventually like to grow hops for their house brews on the ranch as well—just one of the perks associated with having George Lucas as a landlord.
The vast 3,500-square-foot space will undergo some serious reconfiguring from Olle Lundberg (also behind stunners like Mourad, Quince and Hard Water), who plans to split the space into a large private-event area and a 140-seat dining room. Inside Scoop reports that there will be a large outdoor beer garden with views of the Golden Gate Bridge, as well as a small parklet at the entrance of the building, intended to draw in foot traffic from the nearby intersection of Chestnut and Lyon Streets.
Given the recent emergence of the Presidio as a dining hotspot (Traci des Jardins recently opened two restaurants there, with another café in the works), Sessions at the Presidio may find themselves in the right place at the right time. Current plans have the project opening sometime this spring.