Pearl, a long anticipated sister and neighbor restaurant to the Richmond’s much prized Pizzetta 211, opens at last on Tuesday, May 29th. When it does, Pearl is liable to generate the same friendly — and typically busy — neighborhood atmosphere as its sibling, while taking on a life of its own with a larger, 40-seat space and all-day service.
Pearl is a café by day, with coffee and wood-fired bagels, and a full bar and restaurant by night, with cocktails, seafood, and homemade pasta. It’s employee owned (and designed) with Pizzetta owner Jack Murphy overseeing operations. Mel Lopez (Pizzetta 211, Baker & Banker, Aziza, Zero Zero) and Joyce Conway (Zero Zero, 20 Spot) are co-chefs, members of the Pizzetta team known for their monthly feminist pop-up dinner series, B.L.U.D. (Bitches Liven Up Dinner). In the new space, they’ll avail themselves of a wood oven for everything from baked ricotta to a family-sized portion of octopus. John Heffron (an alum of Andytown Coffee Roasters and Pizzetta) will run the coffee program, and bar manager Nahiel Nazzal has an evening menu of cocktails — check that out, and all the menus, here.
Pearl’s home at 6101 California Street was previously a laundromat and a drugstore before that, past lives recalled in its deco, tiled interior. Leather booths beckon diners into the space, which general manager Susan Dunn hopes will be “a glowing gem in a foggy, sleepy neighborhood.”
“We’re striving to go above and beyond to create something really special,” she says.
When it opens, Pearl’s cafe hours will be 7:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. daily, with dinner from Tuesday to Sunday from 5 p.m. 10 p.m., and weekend brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.