Early to Rise, a pop-up brunch from chef Andrew McCormack (Quince, Spruce) that’s known for homemade bagels and lox, is settling into a permanent home on Nob Hill. And it doesn’t get more classic than this one at 1098 Jackson Street.
“It’s iconic San Francisco,” says partner Ben Rogers. “The cable car drives by, and you’re between the Fairmont and Grace Cathedral a couple blocks away.”
Rogers, a 15-year resident of the neighborhood, previously ran a champagne and fries-focused restaurant, the Fine Mousse, at the location. That closed in 2018, but Rogers retained the lease — convinced that what Nob Hill needs is quality, well-priced breakfast fare. Now, he’s partnered with McCormack, who ran Early to Rise for two-and-a-half years as an on-and-off pop-up through the site Feastly.
“A lot of common brunch things in SF scare people away,” admits McCormack. “People don’t like waiting in line for two hours, [and] it can be expensive and take your whole day.”
Not so with Early to Rise, the team suggests: Two book-ahead, prix fixe brunches per day on Saturdays and Sundays means no waiting, and serving dishes family style and preparing them at a larger scale (46 people per seating) keeps costs reasonable.
The first 11 a.m. seating for $25 lasts an hour and 15 minutes: The focus is homemade bagels and lox, with chive schmear, capers, red onion, and tomato, plus extra thick bacon and slow-cooked scrambled eggs. Bottomless sparkling Italian greyhounds cost another $15: Low proof vodka, orange bitters, Campari, and fresh grapefruit juice, kegged and carbonated in-house.
The second seating at 1 p.m. — not quite so early to rise — is a more languorous affair for $39. It starts with mini bagels and lox schmear, and culminates with a riff on eggs Benedict on homemade English muffins and apricot French toast of homemade challah.
As they continue to test dishes and build buzz on weekends, McCormack and Rogers hope to start running Early to Rise on a daily basis, operating as a more traditional brick-and- mortar restaurant. But not so soon: These are early days, yet.