Local Kitchen and Wine Merchant is rekindling its love affair with sister restaurant Oola. The two originally launched as partners, but eventually went their separate ways. But as of two weeks ago, they're back in business together: the team behind Local Kitchen has completely taken over Oola's operations.
According to Director of Sales and Marketing Eva Morris, Local Kitchen's managing partner/co-owner Jeff Handy has assembled an all-star team to improve operations across both restaurants, as well as lay the groundwork for an upcoming third concept (more on that below). Sommelier Dylan Peters (Saison, Prospect) will join as beverage director for the restaurants, while Brick Loomis (Coi, Bourbon Steak) will take on the role of operations manager.
At Oola, executive chef Ola Fendert's "San Francisco cuisine" will remain the same as always, as will the interior. The main difference: the new owners plan to revamp the bar program under Peters' direction. Oola's liquor license is currently in the transfer process, meaning they can't serve booze until it goes through; as a result, they've temporarily shuttered, excepting to-go orders and deliveries via Caviar. The timeline for reopening is dependent on the ABC, and could take anywhere from a week to a month; once they're back in action, they plan to throw a grand-opening bash to celebrate.
On top of reacquiring Oola, the group is already at work on a new brewery and restaurant that's set to debut in the spring, called Methodology. They refused to comment beyond that, but a little searching reveals that they're planning to team up with an upstart brewery, Method, to build a restaurant and brewpub in an undisclosed location on Rincon Hill, with a brewery and taproom on the ground floor, a second-floor event space, and a rooftop bar and beer garden. It'll be operated by a quartet of science and technology vets, with an emphasis on empirical testing to produce better beer, as well as an open-source recipe process.
Allie Pape contributed to this story.