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Former Nopa Chef Will Convert Laundromat to Scandinavian Bakery and Restaurant

Kantine was granted change of use approval for the space

Kantine/Facebook

The former Little Hollywood Launderette (1906 Market) will soon become a Scandinavian breakfast and lunch restaurant called Kantine. As SF residents are wont to do, a few outspokenly opposed neighbors filed a discretionary review of the project, causing delays from the start. But now the owners have been given the go-ahead and expect to open in the spring.

Nichole Accettola, a former chef at Nopa who spent 15 years living in Copenhagen, and her husband Joachim Majholm, started their business last year with appearances at the Ferry Building farmers market. Their pop-ups have won fans with simple nordic food like porridge, which Accettola writes that she’s “trying to make sexy” again, and smørrebrød, open-faced sandwiches San Franciscans can be forgiven for comparing to fancy toast. On Friday (9/15), the team will pop up at Hayes Valley cocktail bar Anina, serving four or five smørrebrød varieties. Starting in October they’ll have a food stand at the Ferry Plaza farmers market every Saturday.

Kantine also operates as wholesale baker: Over the last nine months, it’s quadrupled production of Danish sprouted rye bread, a signature item, to meet growing demand at stores like Gus's and Rainbow Grocery.

Kantine
Caleb Pershan

While chugging along with those projects, Kantine’s owners have had their eye on a permanent space in the former Little Hollywood Launderette space. That’s now closed and had been operating on a month-to-month lease. Last week, the Planning Commission granted unanimous approval for a change of use permit to convert it to restaurant use.

Kantine’s main opponent there was Sonja Trauss, a figurehead (and lightning rod) of the local SF YIMBY movement. Trauss, a habitué of local planning hearings, argued that the neighborhood needed more laundromats. And while the commission ignored her objection in this case, they indicated they might consider a general policy surrounding laundromats and other essential services.

“My husband and I are very happy to be able to move forward with our restaurant project now,” Accettola says. “I’ve helped open restaurants in the past, so I am aware of how challenging the process can be at times. In that way, I guess everything’s going exactly according to plan,” she jokes.

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