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Young Fava Pauses Delivery-Only Experiment to Seek Dine-In Restaurant Space

Chef Anthony Strong wants more permanent kitchen space to serve more diners (with seats this time)

Eric Wolfinger

Young Fava, the delivery-only restaurant from former Locanda chef Anthony Strong, launched in mid-May, offering upscale food designed specifically for home consumption. The launch was so successful, says Strong, that he’s temporarily halting service as of today (July 10) as he looks for a bigger kitchen space — this time, with room for diners.

The launch was something of a test to gauge finicky SF’s interest, with Strong and his team operating out of the small kitchen of Turtle Tower, a Vietnamese restaurant in SoMa. “I made the call before we gained too much momentum,” said Strong of his decision to pause operations so soon after opening. “We were just doing crazy amounts of business out of that small space much quicker than I anticipated.”

After this weekend’s service, Strong decided turn his focus to finding more real estate to suit his needs, something he says he couldn’t do while “getting my ass kicked.” The process has been a learning experience for the restaurant chef, with less predictable busy periods. “We’d just get killed on a Wednesday,” said Strong. “The exact opposite of a restaurant where everyone is coming in on the weekend.”

After Strong’s provocative, delivery-only pitch, the chef also admits that he missed interacting with customers, creating in-person experiences. As a result, the next iteration of Young Fava will include a small seating area for casual dining in, though there will still be a large focus on delivery. “It won’t be a fine dining space,” said Strong. Either way, the hunt for SF real estate isn’t for the faint of heart; Strong is open to all neighborhoods and locations at this point.

When Strong brings his project back, however, it won’t necessarily be the Young Fava diners encountered the first time — either in name or menu. “There’ll be some surprises,” hinted Strong. (Robots, maybe?) While he’s looking for a permanent location, Strong plans to do some ticketed dinners to test new menu items and keep momentum going. Stay tuned for more info.