A new Italian restaurant appears set to open at a busy Mission District corner, but according to licensing records, the woman behind the old-school, red-sauce spot is a controversial figure just as well-known for closing restaurants as for opening them.
Diners will recognize 1001 Guerrero Street as the former home of Aster, a Michelin-starred restaurant from oft-controversial chef Daniel Patterson. It’s the spot that brought Patterson’s then-partner Brett Cooper to fame, but when Cooper decided to move to Los Angeles to be closer to his wife’s family in March of 2019, Patterson opted to shutter the restaurant.
Aster was a collaboration between Cooper and Patterson, and the first project of its kind for the Alta group, where Patterson partnered with up-and-coming chefs to open new restaurants. That strategy fell apart, as later that year, three star chefs of color dissolved their partnerships with Patterson. This specific space on Guerrero was almost home to Guamanian destination Prubechu, before Patterson and Prubechu owners Shawn Naputi and Shawn Camacho decided against a collab, with Prubechu reopening on its own. And so, despite being a prime location, the space has remained empty for more than a year.
But now, another controversial personality appears to have taken over the lease. According to California Alcoholic Beverage Control records, the new name on 1001 Guerrero’s liquor license is Luisa Hanson, a colorful character with a reputation for buying, opening, and closing restaurants across San Francisco.
The SF Bay Guardian reported in 2007 that Hanson had applied for more than 22 liquor licenses over two decades, filing for bankruptcy in 2009 with debts of between $10 and $50 million. According to Grub Street, as of 2007, she’d been named in more than 57 different lawsuits, and that’s not all: city inspectors have allegedly caught Hanson working without permits, and health inspectors suspended her license to operate a Union Street restaurant due to roaches and mice. She is perhaps most notorious for enraging locals by buying then shuttering the John Barleycorn, a 40-year-old landmark pub in Nob Hill.
Hanson’s new Mission spot is — based on its sign and the menu posted to its window — called Andiamo, and it appears to be an old-school joint serving clam linguine and ricotta cannoli. In addition to Andiamo, last year, there have also been reports that Hanson was opening other Italian restaurants and wine bars in Cow Hollow and on Columbus Ave. Could this be a sign that the once prominent restaurateur is beginning to rebuild her empire? If you have any intel on Hanson’s latest efforts, please do get in touch.