SF chef luminary Nancy Oakes (Boulevard), restaurateur Anna Weinberg (Marlowe et al.), and red-hot designer Ken Fulk (the Battery, Leo’s Oyster Bar) have the keys to Tosca, the century-old North Beach landmark, which they’ll resurrect this winter according to the Chronicle.
Late last month, the 1919-opened “cafe” served the last of its famously alcoholic house cappucino drinks under previous owners April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman. The New York restaurateurs, famous for their West Village restaurant the Spotted Pig, took over Tosca from longtime SF owner Jeanette Etheredge in 2013, re-opening a closed kitchen and returning Italian food to Tosca’s tables. But in 2017, they were embroiled in scandal when more than 10 women accused Friedman of sexual harassment. After declaring a split from Friedman, Bloomfield attempted to keep Tosca running as is, before eventually finding a buyer in the new trio of owners.
According to the Chronicle, some of the same investors that backed Tosca — minus Bloomfield and Friedman — will carry on with the new team. It’s a homecoming of sorts for chef Oakes, who grew up in North Beach and waxes nostalgic for the neighborhood she saw in her youth. In 2001, Oakes won a James Beard Award for Best Chef in California, in 2010, she opened Prospect, and in 2012, Boulevard won the Beard award for Outstanding Restaurant in the United States.
The Tosca news is also big for Fulk, who is busy with serious projects like a redesign of the dining room at Saison. He holds stake in NY and Las Vegas restaurants, but hasn’t yet dipped a toe into SF restaurant ownership. At Tosca, Fulk is talking about some light remodels of the space, and will hopefully go light on the taxidermy this time. Last, the new ownership structure is a change of pace for Weinberg, who is working outside of her usual Big Night Restaurant Group on this one.
Stay tuned for more news on the Tosca changes as they occur.