Following news that tapas restaurant Bocadillos has closed its doors comes word of a replacement headed to its space at the foot of the Transamerica building: Nico, the Michelin-starred French brasserie currently located in Laurel Heights. Nico co-owners Andrea Delaroque and chef Nicolas Delaroque opened their Michelin-starred restaurant in 2013, but will close it on August 26 with plans to relocate to Jackson Square and open in January.
“We’ve loved this neighborhood and have done very well here,” Andrea Delaroque says of Laurel Heights. But to make their finances work, “we really have to incorporate a lunch service,” and “in this neighborhood, that wouldn’t make sense.” By contrast, a Michelin-starred power lunch could be a hit with the Jackson Square/Financial District crowd.
But, about that Michelin star: By closing and relocating, Nico will miss the guidebook and give up the designation, a decision that involved “a lot of hand-wringing.” But the owners decided it was time to give their staff and themselves a vacation. “How often in this business, or any business, do you really get an opportunity to take a break?” Delaroque asks. The team hopes to “re-earn” their star next year.
Meanwhile, the former Bocadillos space is about half the size of Nico’s current home, which is “a little counter-intuitive” in terms of expansion. But it’s Nico’s services, not its square footage, that will be growing. Stay tuned for the lunch offerings, but expect dinner to remain mostly unchanged.
As for the seeming suddenness of the move, it’s really anything but. The Delaroques have had their eyes on the Jackson Square space for some time, consulting with their real estate broker and Bocadillos co-owner Gerald Hirigoyem for almost a year. It’s a historic location they didn’t want to pass up. As a plaque on the site reminds visitors, 710 Montgomery was once the Black Cat, an early gay bar and a stomping ground for local icons like the drag performer and activist Jose Sarria.
- Nico to Replace Bocadillos in Jackson Square [SF Chronicle]
- Bocadillos Has Closed After 13 Years and More A.M. Intel [ESF]
- Legendary Gay Bar to be Remembered [Bay Area Reporter]