clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The Chapel’s New Bar and Restaurant Will Have Trippy Art and Seafood Towers

Curio will replace the former Vestry space this month

In January, Valencia Street mortuary turned music venue The Chapel laid its sister bar and restaurant, The Vestry, to rest. Later this month, owner Jack Knowles (also of À Côté in Rockridge) will resurrect the 85-seat restaurant space, bar, and outdoor patio as Curio, bringing in new artistic direction from Michael Brennan, Curio’s designer and artist-in-residence, and a new menu from chef Mario Tolentino.

Brennan’s paintings and art installations will be familiar to some San Francisco diners, hanging everywhere from Farallon and Jardiniere, where his work was commissioned by Pat Kuleto, to Tonic and Mission Beach Cafe. At Curio, Brennan is taking his cues from the building’s history, past and present, hanging Dali-inspired clocks that tick backwards, painting skeletons on the ceiling, and using instruments like a tangle of trumpets filled with light bulbs as chandeliers.

A post shared by Curio (@curiobarsf) on

Tolentino, a Chopped season 3 winner who was most recently culinary director at The Market on Market, is also a known quantity in the Bay Area. He’s a Mission District native who’s spent 20 years building his restaurant resume, opening businesses under Laurent Manrique and revamping well-known establishments like the Fifth Floor, Fog City Diner, and Betelnut, where he closed out that restaurant’s run as its executive chef.

At Curio, Tolentino teases a menu of regional American cuisine. “This country has such a great variety of things to pull from so I’m focusing in on the American lens,” he says. The menu will also feature a raw bar with fun, flashy shellfish towers and a “holy grail” burger Tolentino hopes will be a signature item, with mushrooms, tomato jam, Raclette cheese, and an option to substitute an Impossible burger patty. Brunch — which was the Vestry’s most popular meal — is also in the works.

Stay tuned for menus and more as Curio’s fateful hour approaches.

Fifth Floor

12 4th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103 415 348 1555

The Market

1355 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94103 (415) 767-5130

À Côté

5478 College Avenue, , CA 94618 (510) 655-6469 Visit Website

Fog City

1300 Battery St, San Francisco, CA 94111 415 982 2000 Visit Website

Mission Beach Cafe

198 Guerrero Street, , CA 94103 (415) 861-0198 Visit Website

The Vestry

777 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110 (415) 551-7306 Visit Website

The Chapel

777 Valencia Street, , CA 94110 (415) 551-5157 Visit Website

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Eater San Francisco newsletter

The freshest news from the local food world