Prubechu, the Guamanian favorite, is bringing the party back to the Mission. After months of anticipation, chef Shawn Naputi and GM Shawn Camacho have finally set an official reopening date: Tuesday, December 3, with reservations now live online. The restaurant is known for introducing the city to Chamorro cooking, the native cuisine of Guam and the Marianas Islands, which mixes Spanish, Japanese, Filipino, and American influences. Reopening in the former Commonwealth space on 18th Street, it’s a major kitchen upgrade for the five-year-old restaurant, which is tripling its staff, expanding the menu, and rolling out a new party-style format.
Naputi and Camacho ran Prubechu on Mission Street for four years before losing their original space, and spending the past year doing pop-ups around town. They briefly considered moving into old Aster space with Daniel Patterson. “It’s all for the best,” Camacho says. “We feel so blessed to have found a great space within a year, and we’re super juiced to be back home in the Mission.” They only wound up moving six blocks to the intersection of Mission and 18th, a major food corridor with Gracias Madre across the street and Mission Chinese a couple of doors down.
The Commonwealth space was great to begin with, says Camacho. “We’re just cleaning up a bit, after 10 years worth of restaurant life, and shaking it up, making it brighter and more vibrant.” They’ve hired D-Scheme Studio, a local architecture firm. At about 1,500 square feet and 40 seats, the restaurant isn’t much bigger than the first spot. But the kitchen has seen a major upgrade, moving from induction burners and tabletop fryers to a full range, plancha, combi oven, deep fryer, and their first walk-in. They’re also tripling the staff, going from 5 or 6 employees at the original to 16 people on this opening team.
That means the new and improved Prubechu can have a bigger, bolder menu — one they plan to serve up like a party. Instead of their former six-course tasting menu, Naputi and Camacho will roll out a “fiesta table,” with everything served out in two big, family-style rounds. The first round will include kelaguen (ceviche), sweet rolls, and other small plates, and the second round will feature crispy smoked pork belly, potato salad, red rice, and other share platters. The fiesta is $55 per person, and the whole table has to get in on the action. But there’s also an a la carte menu, featuring old favorites like mushroom empanadas and BBQ pork ribs, and introducing new contenders, including octopus with scallions and hot peppers, steak ceviche tossed table side with fresh lime, and grilled eggplant sunk in coconut milk, which happens to be a vegan and gluten-free dish.
Prubechu reopens on Tuesday, December 3 at 2224 Mission Street, starting with dinner, Monday to Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m., and Friday to Saturday from 5 to 11 p.m. Reservations are now available online. Stay tuned for updates on lunch, brunch, and special events.