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Popular SF Bakery Wants to Take Over Toy Boat Dessert Cafe

Also: The Toronado prepares to reopen, and more news to start your day

Jane The Bakery might take over Clement Street’s Toy Boat Dessert Cafe
Blatteis Realty

Jane The Bakery is in talks to bring Clement Street’s Toy Boat Cafe back to life

Cries of despair filled the Richmond District when the owners of Toy Boat Cafe, a 38-year-old Clement Street ice cream, snack, and toy shop, announced its closure. Owners Jesse and Roberta Fink, battered by the pandemic and reportedly denied a Paycheck Protection Program loan, decided to retire, and put the spot on the market, including its inventory, fixtures, and tchotchkes. Now Amanda Michael, the owner of SF mini-chain Jane The Bakery, tells Hoodline that she might soon take over the spot, bringing her baked goods, salads, and sandwiches to a fourth location in the city.

Jane’s made a name for itself this past decade with sit-down spots serving weekday breakfasts and huge salads in the Tenderloin and on Fillmore. In 2016 they opened a huge production space and cafe in a former Taco Bell/Kentucky Fried Chicken on Geary Boulevard, painting the former tenant’s iconic bucket a matte black.

Now Michael says she wants to head even further west to Clement Street, telling Hoodline that she’s met with city officials to confirm that she’d be able to open in the space and that “she’s optimistic” about the plan.

If she buys the spot, expect “a little bit of Jane brought into a lot of Toy Boat,” Michael tells Hoodline, saying “I want the feel to stay the same.” That includes serving ice cream — a first for the Jane empire — as “who doesn’t need ice cream right now?” The deal isn’t sealed yet, but if all goes well, Michael hopes to open Jane #4 in Toy Boat by the end of the month.

And in other news...

  • In addition to its newly-opened Lower Haight spot, local brewery Fort Point Beer Co. is opening a new location in Rockridge (inside the former Trappist Provisions) “by the end of August.” [SF Chronicle]
  • The Presidio’s 14-acre, $118 million Tunnel Tops park will contain two restaurants: the former Transit Café, “and a new 6,000-square-foot restaurant space.” The Presidio Trust will be seeking an operator to run both of them before the end of the year. [SF Business Times]
  • Vault 164, an eight-your-old fine dining restaurant inside an historic San Mateo bank, has closed for good. [East Bay Times]
  • The owners of Outer Richmond dive bar Hockey Haven have battled both breast cancer and an unprecedented pandemic in the less-than-three years since they bought the spot. [Richmond Review]
  • The Toronado, a longstanding Lower Haight bar known for its extensive beer list, is partnering with sausage-serving neighbor Berliner Berliner to open a streetside space for outdoor drinking with room for up to 24 seated patrons. [SF Gate]
  • 112-year-old Union Square restaurant John’s Grill (which, most recently, sued its insurance company after its business interruption claim was denied), will open today for the first time since the pandemic began. They’ve built a 700-square-foot outdoor dining area they’re calling the “Oasis on Ellis Street,” but it remains to be seen if the venue’s longstanding patrons take to the street’s unforgiving winds as they enjoy their steaks, seafood, and cocktails. [Bay City News]
  • Cafe Zoetrope, director/vintner Francis Ford Coppola’s North Beach restaurant, will reportedly shrink in size. A portion of its 916 Kearny Street building will be converted into a boutique hotel, and the lobby will take over a portion of the restaurant space. [Connect California]
  • North Beach Delivers, a 10-person volunteer food running service, says it’s helped generate about $50,000 is sales for restaurants in the area. [KPIX]