A co-founder and onetime partner of hit fine dining restaurant Lazy Bear, John Litz, is taking over a corner restaurant space at Fillmore and Pine (2001 Fillmore), which was long occupied by the now-closed Thai Stick. His new venture there won’t involve Lazy Bear chef David Barzelay, who holds two Michelin stars at his unconventional Mission restaurant. Instead, it will be far more casual and less expensive.
Still, the arrival of a project from Litz, who helped pick a winner in Lazy Bear, is good news for a mostly stagnant dining strip. Litz is familiar with the area and some of its obstacles: He worked as general manager at Yoshi’s, the once famous venue whose eventual closure left a major hole in the lower Fillmore scene. From 2010 to 2011, he increased Yoshi’s revenue and righted the ship before moving on to other projects.
But in Yoshi’s absence, restaurateurs like David Lawrence have cited far less foot traffic as a cause for closures. Lawrence’s restaurants 1300 on Fillmore and Black Bark BBQ couldn’t survive without more feet on the street, though he hopes to relocate Black Bark on a livelier block of Fillmore.
The Thai Stick space, north past Geary, is on a more upscale strip that hasn’t seen much exciting restaurant action of late. It appears ready to welcome it: Up several more blocks, a younger crowd has packed into The Snug, the newest neighborhood bar.
Litz says he’s got two chef-partners in mind for the 2001 Fillmore project, but isn’t ready to name names. When it opens, his restaurant will serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The lease is reportedly signed and an architect is on hand to redesign the space.
Eater has reached out to Litz for more details, so stay tuned.
Update, 5/6: Speaking to Eater, Litz says he still can’t get too specific about the project,“I can say that I’ve definitely closely studied the San Francisco dining space, also specifically fast casual,” he says. And he’s got the idea of growth built into the model for the new restaurant. “The model will be built to scale, so the long-term vision is to have multiple locations,” he adds.
- Lazy Bear founder taking over Thai Stick [The New Fillmore]