Trendsetting Tenderloin bistro Huxley is closing after brunch this weekend. Tablehopper heard the news first, which owner Kris Esqueda confirms to Eater SF. He’s leaving the city after 12 years for greener, more affordable pastures, and plans to settle in Nashville or elsewhere outside California. He classifies the restaurant closure as a personal decision.
Esqueda opened Huxley to acclaim roughly three years ago, garnering a three-star review from Michael Bauer. Opening chef Sara Hauman since left the premises to cook at Mister Jiu’s, and is now chef de cuisine at Melissa Perello’s Pac Heights restaurant Octavia. The current Huxley team is helmed by chef Manfred Wrembel and sous chef Paul Amoroso, and it’s not clear where they’ll be off to next.
“It’s bittersweet,” says Esqueda. “I’ve been able to employ people in San Francisco for three years, and do all these things that I’ve felt great about.” But at the same time, “I’m tired of having to work 70 hours a week to live in the Tenderloin,” he says.
That’s not a knock on the area he’s lived and worked, which has experienced a minor renaissance thanks to Huxley and others. “I enjoy the time I’ve spent there, but it’s still very much the Tenderloin,” Esqueda says.
What’s next for 846 Geary? “It’s going to become fast casual,” the restaurant owner predicts in all earnestness. “What else can it become in San Francisco?”