Women-focused co-working space The Wing arrives in San Francisco today, and with it comes a new restaurant and cafe that carries the same feminist messaging.
At the helm is The Wing’s culinary director Dani Dillon, a former sous chef at Alex Raij’s New York restaurants La Vara, El Quinto Pino, Txikito, and Tekoa, and a former baker at East Coast pie sensation Four & Twenty Blackbirds. She developed the menus for The Wing’s three New York locations, Washington, D.C. location, and now, San Francisco’s Financial District location. Coming from a series of women-led kitchens, The Wing was a natural fit for Dillon.
“I’ve always surrounded myself with women and I’ve always had really clear strong examples for how important community is for women working in food and beverage, but by that same token, how we often don’t have that community,” Dillon says.
For the San Francisco restaurant — which is only open to members and their guests — Dillon reached out to dozens of women in the Bay Area’s food scene. Some are represented on the menu through collaborative dishes while others provided The Wing with specialty products. For Dillon, it’s important to both work with women and support them economically.
“I always wanted to make sure we were bringing in the local community as much as possible,” she says. “It’s going to be a really beautiful representation of how many women in the Bay Area are impacting the food and beverage community.”
On the menu, there’s a savory bread pudding from Elisabeth Prueitt (Tartine); a quinoa-squash bowl from Madelyn Markoe, Jessie Barker, and Casey Rebecca Nunes (Media Noche); and a dish of grits topped with a poached egg and salsa that will benefit La Cocina. Local women-owned or co-owned purveyors are incorporated into loads of dishes: sourdough from The Midwife & Baker, cheese from Cowgirl Creamery, jam from June Taylor, honey from Countertop Foods, and more. There are INNA shrub sodas, Steep Tea matcha lattes, Equator Coffee drinks, and Diaspora & Co. turmeric lattes, not to mention a wine list that entirely comes from women winemakers. And overall, Dillon aimed to pull from a variety of San Francisco subcultures, so there are Mexican flavors, dim sum, and a lot of sourdough in addition to a fleet of grain bowls and sandwiches with cheeky names like Fork the Patriarchy and Vegan But Make It Fashion. (See the full menu below.)
The other key aspect here is that The Wing’s restaurant will be staffed entirely by women and non-binary people. The goal is to create a supportive environment with an emphasis on mentorship.
“I come from kitchens that, though they’ve been led by women, were generally male dominated. A lot of things happen in the walk-in that aren’t great. A lot of comments happen that aren’t great,” Dillon says. “At The Wing, that’s not there. It’s amazing what happens when gender is taken out of the equation.
It costs $215 per month to access The Wing’s 8,000 square-foot co-working space, which includes conference rooms, a feminist library, an art gallery, a lactation room, and a beauty room. The restaurant’s hours are the same as the co-working space: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends at 115 Sansome Street in San Francisco.
- The Wing [official]
- Does SF need another co-working space? The women-first Wing founders are betting yes. [SF Chronicle]