Game-playing Hamburger Mary’s promises March opening
A Castro location of the SF-founded (but since departed) drag restaurant Castro Mary’s has been promised many times since 2014, but never delivered to the former Patio space, which infamous area landlord Les Natali closed for some very slow renovations in 2002. Most recently, it was supposed to open after Labor Day of last year. Now Hoodline reports that the business is hiring and will open in March — which will need to be seen to be believed.
New incubator encourages Joint Ventures
A new space for rotating pop-ups, Joint Venture Kitchen, is getting off the ground and hoping to help budding restaurateurs do the same. The project is from serial restaurant owner Steve Paoli and his partner Kristina Skoro and it’s located at 167 11th Street in SoMa (between Howard and Mission). It’s “mainly dedicated to those in the restaurant industry who want to try to open their own business,” Paoli explains in a note to Eater SF. “We are available for use 24/7/365 and are available by the hour. We offer many amenities including consulting, branding, marketing, a stocked kitchen and dining area which also includes a photo booth!” Sure — why not! Joint venture Kitchen is “fully licensed and even offer insurance to those short term users,” Paoli says. “We are excited to help people figure out the ropes without the huge monetary commitment typically required.”
Off the Grid is back on
Off the Grid’s Thursday night food truck market at Fort Mason Center returns on March 2 for its 8th season, where it will be held every week from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. through October 26. This year, they’ve replaced the individual chairs and tables with communal “beer garden-style” tables and benches, and the truck lineup includes usual suspects like Senor Sisig (Filipino burritos) and The Chairman (creative bao) as well as some newcomers, including businesses that are part of Off the Grid’s incubator program. Those ones will be shacking up in Cubert Cold Prep stations, a new mobile food preparation cube that Off the Grid’s founder, Matt Cohen, is banking on. They include Asha Flora, with vegan grain bowls inspired by Portuguese and Persian cuisines, and Manjé, which serves Haitian Caribbean food incorporating flavors of Africa and Europe.
Native Twins Coffee, owned by identical twin sisters from Marin County, is opening on Divisadero on Saturday in the former Repose Coffee shop. They previously started a granola brand, and they’ll serve avocado toasts, coffee, and other such delicacies.
Wine Country hotels beat expectations
Napa hotels are already on track to match or exceed their revenue of a year ago, an encouraging sign for those who feared a dip in tourism relate to major wildfires that tore through the region last summer. There was an immediate dip in hotel occupancy in the fall, but the recent numbers are a hopeful sign.
Noodle Girl at Belcampo
A new pop-up at Belcampo from La Cocina alum Noodle Girl is serving Vietnamese dishes with Belcampo’s meat at the business’ Polk Street location on Sundays through March 4th. From 3 p.m. to 8 p.m,. Noodle Girl, founded by Hang Truong, will serve dishes like Pho Ga (Belcampo chicken broth, Belcampo chicken, fresh rice noodles), and fresh corn stir fry (shrimp, ground Belcampo pork, and green onion “in a crispy cup”).