San Francisco’s restaurant scene is about to get a burst of big lunch energy with the arrival of New York’s posh restaurant, Freds at Barneys New York. It’s opening on the sixth floor of the San Francisco department store at 77 O’Farrell this September, with its famed chopped chicken salads in tow.
The SF version will essentially replicate the winning formula of NY’s flagship restaurant, which was opened by chef Marc Strausman in 1996. Since that time, it’s been a destination for celebrities and society types, drawing diners like Laura Bush, Hugh Grant, and former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen. It’s also spawned locations beyond the cloistered confines of Barneys Madison Avenue, adding locations in downtown NY, Beverly Hills, and Chicago.
The menu will include a large selections of salads, appetizers, pizzas, pastas, and mains similar to the New York offerings, which include a grass-fed burger ($25), a lobster club (market price), and Baltimore crab cakes with fries ($38). Strausman says there will be a few San Francisco-influenced dishes on the menu, too. (The Beverly Hills location features a $19 avocado toast, for example). And, as is the requirement for a power lunch (or brunch or dinner), there will be plenty of wines by the glass, and craft cocktails.
In preparation, Barneys has moved its menswear department to a new building, making room for a 64-seat dining room, seats for 30 in the bar and lounge, and views of Union Square. Like the menu, the interior will closely resemble the mod-looking NY dining room, from its swivel chairs to the mirrored bar.
Do San Franciscans need more places to broker deals, see and be seen, and drink white wine near designer clothing? It’s certainly a romantic notion for a city currently obsessed with corporate cafeterias, electric scooters, and battling a growing housing crisis. Stay tuned for more details on an opening date, space, and more.