San Francisco chef and restaurant owner Dominique Crenn has leased a space suited to her ambitions in the Salesforce Tower, San Francisco’s newly minted tallest building. Her plans for the retail space in the tower, which opened for business in January, are still in flux, but they’re now in motion: She’s installing a boutique, restaurant, and patisserie under the name Boutique Crenn.
“The patisserie and boulangerie idea is something we’ve always wanted to do,” Crenn told Eater SF. “But we’re not just opening another restaurant.” Crenn currently operates her two Michelin star flagship restaurant Atelier Crenn in Cow Hollow, as well as Petit Crenn in Hayes Valley. She’s busily preparing to open her wine bar, Bar Crenn, on March 13. And now she has her next project laid out before her, leasing 1,000 square feet in the lobby of The Pelli Clarke Pelli-designed tower, and 4,000 square feet in its first floor.
In the collective space, Crenn envisions an arrangement of restaurant, bakery, and pastry shop, with produce provided by her organic and biodynamic Sonoma County farm, Bleu Belle. The cafe portion of Boutique Crenn will serve Crenn’s own line of coffee, sourced from Haiti and Guatemala, plus French patisserie offerings and completely biodegradable utensils; the lobby space will serve wine and classic cocktails.
And beyond cuisine, the chef teases a taste of couture: Boutique Crenn will also be a space to host art and fashion pop-ups.
“Fashion is always on my mind,” said Crenn. “And I think it’s something San Francisco is dying for.” And similar to the way that fashion shows are often driven by art or a political message, Crenn hopes to intertwine art, fashion, and even politics within the walls of her new project. “People around there spend 12 hours staring at a screen,” says Crenn. “When they come down they can have something to engage with.”
Crenn says that though a 2018 opening is “possible,” 2019 seems more likely for an opening timeline. Meanwhile, the Crenn Dining Group’s leadership will expand along with its restaurants, with the imminent hiring of a beverage director and director of operations for the group.
“It’s an ambitious project,” says Crenn. “But, you have to be ambitious in life.”
— Ellen Fort contributed reporting to this article.