It’s only been five days since Jewish deli Shorty Goldstein’s shuttered in the Financial District, but there is already word on its replacement. An internationally-focused meatball restaurant called Meatball Bar will be taking over 126 Sutter St., bringing fast casual meatballs to the lunch-eating masses.
Owners Gianni Chiloiro and Angelo Sannino have owned Doppio Zero on the Peninsula for a while, and this is their first venture into San Francisco. Chiloiro is quick to point out that Meatball Bar is not a sandwich shop nor an Italian restaurant. Rather, its focus is on the meatballs themselves, through the lens of several different cuisines. For example, there will be lamb balls with green sauce, pork belly balls in pho, mushroom balls with truffled cream sauce, and, of course, Italian meatballs in red sauce. The varieties — in a sample menu below — will be in meat, vegetable, and fish for $8, with sides (broccolini, kale, quinoa, rice, mixed veggie) clocking in at another $4. Drinks will include kombucha on tap, coffee, beer, and wine.
Chiloiro and Sannino came up with the concept a while ago, and took their time finding a space; Shorty Goldstein’s location was ideal, as they will only need to remodel rather than do any heavy construction. They’ll be lightening up the space, painting the bricks white and adding light wood elements to surround the 25 to 30 seats.
It’s surprising it took this long for a meatball restaurant to invade SF, considering it’s already a sensation at New York City’s Meatball Shop. One-item restaurants are on the rise in the area right now, though, with both a dumpling restaurant and Korean fried chicken restaurant announced just last week. Now it’s the humble meatball’s turn.
At first Meatball Bar will open for lunch and early dinner, with eggy breakfast options following shortly after. Expect a May opening; stay tuned for more.