It's been several years since the auto body shop at 834-838 Divisadero shut down and since then there have been rumors that the 50-foot-wide building from 1916 would be home to Barrel Head Brewhouse (which went to Fulton at Masonic instead) or turn into condos and retail space (permits were never filed). Finally though, there's an actual plan for the space. As Inside Scoop reports, David Nayfeld and Matt Brewer are opening Che Fico (Italian slang that translates to "what a fig," but actually means "How cool!"), a rustic Italian restaurant, by spring of 2016 (garage cleanup permitting).
There are already several popular Italian spots in the neighborhood (Che Fico is opening pretty much right next door to Little Star Pizza and just down the street from Ragazza), so the biggest challenge Nayfeld (Eleven Madison Park, Cru, Nobu) and Brewer (L20, Hogsalt Hospitality) may face (other than turning an auto body shop into a functioning restaurant) will be differentiating themselves from their neighbors.
The Che Fico menu will focus on handmade pastas, in-house charcuterie, seasonal dishes, and, of course, pizza with the produce coming from a Glen Ellen ranch owned by Brewer's family. And though Nayfeld and Brewer's experience working at some of the best fine dining restaurants in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, is bound to elevate the food, the thing that's most likely to immediately set Che Fico apart from its competition is that it will have a full bar, whereas Little Star and Ragazza only serve beer and wine.
The 115-seat restaurant will be on the second floor and Nayfeld and Brewer plan to work with the existing space; the design (from DMarc Studio) will feature the vaulted ceiling and large windows as focal points. Hoodline reports, "The ground floor will be used for "street-level patios" and bike parking."