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Seafood Boils are Back at Alamar in Oakland, and Other Restaurant Reopenings

A curated list of the most notable restaurant reopenings in San Francisco and the Bay Area

Roasted Oysters with salsa verde, pork longaniza and parmesan butter Dana Plucinski

With the state and counties easing coronavirus restrictions, many restaurants and bars are coming out of winter hibernations, and reopening and expanding service in spring of 2021. This is a curated list of San Francisco’s most notable restaurant and bar reopenings, with new updates published regularly. See a reopening opening we missed? Then drop us a line.

If you’re looking for new restaurant openings, as opposed to reopenings of existing restaurants, then tap right this way.

July 19

NORTH BEACH — Raise a glass at Tony Nik’s, the long standing North Beach watering hole, once again; the neighborhood bar reopened on June 2 and, according to a Facebook post, is offering outdoor seating for the first time since its opening in 1933.

MISSION — It’s been two years since the smell of freshly fried dough filled the air at the Jelly Donut, but the family-run doughnut shop reopened in late June, Mission Local reports. The shop closed in August 2019 for “renovations and seismic retrofitting,” with its reopening further delayed by the pandemic.

POLK GULCH — Maison Danel, a soignée destination for tea and French pastries, first opened just before the pandemic in February 2020, but is now finally, fully open for on-site dining, Hoodline confirmed. The salon de thé is from husbands Danel and David de Betelu, the owners of the now-closed Baker Street Bistro.

OAKLAND — Chef Nelson German, who recent competed on Top Chef, has reopened his East Bay seafood restaurant Alamar for dine-in service as of July 14, as first reported by Berkeleyside. The acclaimed Oakland spot is serving a menu including shrimp tacos, roasted oysters, and wings for dinner Wednesday through Sunday.

BERKELEY — Fans of Masse’s Pastries’s Bouche de Noel can breathe a sigh of relief: the bakery is reopen for walk-in business as of July 14, Berkeleyside reported first. Summer hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and until 4 p.m. Sunday and Monday; the bakery is closed on Tuesdays.

SACRAMENTO — Diners can once again enjoy French toast or a thick slice of chocolate cream pie among the lush greenery of Sacramento’s historical Tower Cafe. As announced on Instagram, the restaurant reopened on July 12 and is serving breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner to walk-in guests only.

SACRAMENTO — One of the Sacramento area’s top restaurants, Ella, reopened on July 14 after being closed for the entirety of the pandemic, the Sacramento Bee reports. The menu of steak tartare and salmon is back for lunch and dinner, though seating is limited so reservations (available online) are highly recommended.

July 13

CHINATOWN — Mister Jiu’s upstairs sibling, Moongate Lounge, returns July 24 for dim sum and cocktails inspired by the lunar calendar, as announced this week on Mister Jiu’s website and Instagram. Reopening night will feature DJ Abby Imperial spinning 7 p.m. to midnight.

HAYES VALLEY — Pläj was closed for much of the pandemic after a short-lived run with takeout, but as of July 9 the longest-standing Scandinavian restaurant in San Francisco has reopened for dinner service. Pläj returns with a fresh summer menu from chef Roberth Sundell, new decor in the dining room, and as always, one of the best selections of Aquavit in SF.

NOPA — A+ neighborhood bread slinger The Mill is back, owner Josey Baker announced over the weekend, at the same time hilariously touting a “better toast station for faster avocado toast.”

CASTRO — After a nine-month hiatus and taking a few weeks to see how California’s grand reopening shook out, Castro arcade bar and restaurant The Detour reopened July 5, according to Hoodline. Its roving cocktail and beer cart is no more, but as of Monday, July 12, the full lineup of weekly events is back.

SOMA — Traci Des Jardins’s burger haven by the ballpark, Public House, reopened on June 25 for pre-game beer (there are 24 on tap), wings, and fish and chips, after staying closed since SF’s shelter-in-place order on March 17, 2020.

FIDI — The Ritz reopened its dining room on July 1. It’s San Francisco’s first luxury hotel to reopening the dining room at full capacity to both guests and non-guests. Room service, on pause for over a year, returns Thursday, July 15.

MISSION — Martuni’s, San Francisco’s premiere (and debatably, only) piano bar reopened in late June, reports SFGate, a relief for the bar’s many longtime devotees who feared its loss after more than a year closed.

July 1

HAYES VALLEY — So maybe you can’t order the Extra Cheesy Burger from Nightbird anymore. The good news is that the restaurant reopened on June 23 and chef Kim Alter’s ever-changing prix fixe menus are as stunning as ever. The restaurant’s bar, the Linden Room is also reopened for walk-ins only as of June 15.

SOMA — Oasis owner D’Arcy Drollinger got very creative during the pandemic but as of June 26, the LGBTQ nightlife destination is back, SFist reports. Not only is Oasis one of the biggest gay clubs in the city, it’s also known for being community-focused, hosting events such as an all-Black drag show, drag king cabaret, and sing-alongs.

SOMA — The Eagle, known as the oldest operating leather bar in SoMa, reopened on June 25, just in time to celebrate Pride Month. Things are already swinging with a full schedule of drag shows and DJs available on the bar’s Facebook.

APTOS — Chef-owner David Kinch, whose Manresa restaurant holds three Michelin stars, opened Mentone as a takeout-only operation last year. But as of May 28, customers can enjoy a 12-inch pizza, plate of handmade pasta, or cocktail in the restaurant’s dining room, the Mercury News first reported.

FIDI — Credo reopened for indoor dining on June 9. Grab a seat in the dining room or on the patio to enjoy the restaurant’s menu of pizza, pasta, and other Italian fare.

LAUREL HEIGHTS — Tofino Wines, the airy and expansive retail shop (which specializes in natural wines) and bar, reopened for indoor shopping on June 4, and as of June 18 customers can pull up a stool to the bar Friday through Sunday.

DUBOCE — Immersive cocktail destination Last Rites is reopened as of early June, Hoodline reports. The bar, known for its extensive selection of rums and cocktails that feature the spirit, is serving drinks Tuesday through Saturday nights.

DUBOCE — Sunny neighborhood breakfast and brunch spot Wooden Spoon, located on Market Street, reopened in April, Hoodline reports.

HAYES VALLEY — Step aboard: Smugglers Cove, the tiki bar designed to look like the inside of a pirate ship, is open and serving its expansive menu of rum-forward cocktails as of June 15. Air travel may not be in the books quite yet but an frosty zombie is practically a vacation in a glass.

NORTH BEACH — Drinkers once again have good reason to turn down an alley off Broadway with top-notch cocktail hideaway 15 Romolo reopen as of late May. Head over to enjoy a tight selection of cocktails and tunes on the jukebox.

OAKLAND — Downtown Oakland’s Golden Bull Bar reopened on June 18. A group of new owners (including silent partner Billy Armstrong — yes, that Billy Armstrong) purchased the business just 10 months before having to close due to the pandemic. Now the music venue is pouring pints of beer and shaking cocktails for indoor and outdoor service again.

May 25

RICHMOND DISTRICT — Cozy Richmond restaurant Pearl 6101 resumed indoor dining Tuesday, May 18, simultaneously announcing it would no longer accept takeout orders, “In an effort to return to our “pre-COVID business model.” So slide into a booth for handkerchief pasta and perfect martinis.

FINANCIAL DISTRICT — The Shota, one of San Francisco’s swankiest omakase restaurants, reopened for reservations on Wednesday, May 19. Yubu by Shota, its pandemic-born takeout and delivery offshoot, is currently closed.

RUSSIAN HILL — Those pillowy Neapolitan-style pies are even better dropped fresh on the table. Fiorella’s two locations, Clement Street and Polk Street, reopened for indoor dining on May 14, with both accepting dinner reservations for up to six people and reserving a few tables for walk-ins.

FISHERMAN’S WHARF — After rumors circulated of a permanent closure, Pompei’s Grotto manager Michael Carden has told the San Francisco Chronicle that it does, in fact, plan to reopen next month. He aims to open the 75-year-old seafood restaurant sometime in June.

UNION SQUARE — Taj Campton Place, the landmark hotel right on Union Square, reopens its Bar & Bistro on Thursday, May 27, nightly from 5 to 10 p.m. Hopefully, the Michelin-starred fine dining restaurant might follow suit, soon.

CASTRO — Castro gay bar Moby Dick, one of the oldest in San Francisco, reopened its doors May 21 after a 14-month hiatus, Hoodline reports.

SOMA — SoMa nightclub DNA Lounge announced it will reopen for in-person events Saturday, June 19, with live shows from Hubba Hubba Revue and Bootie Mashup. Details can be found on the club’s blog, which also documents that past year’s renovation work.

NAPA — The Napa Valley Wine Train resumed its luxury rail service on May 17, returning with a three-hour Napa Valley tour and four-course meal, with plans to reintroduce its full lineup of tours in mid-June.

May 13

SOMA — Palette, the fine dining restaurant that blends art and tech in SoMa, already reopened their wildly imaginative parklet on April 3. But now, the restaurant is finally opening the bar and art gallery for the first time, welcoming guests inside on May 27.

NOPA — Cool new chicken spot Hina Yakitori has retired the takeout boxes, and reopened reservations for the full sit-down tasting menu, starring lots of skewers and smoke, as of May 12.

MARINA — The mechanical bull is still kicking. Westwood western bar is back in action on May 12, serving smoked brisket, barbecue ribs, and bourbon sours. The restaurant closed doors for a few weeks while opening new sister restaurant Wilder.

CHINATOWN — After months of takeout and outdoor dining on the alley, Michelin-starred Mister Jiu’s officially reopened for indoor dining on May 5. Nothing like duck and dumplings in the warmth of the historic banquet hall.

FISHERMAN’S WHARF — Down at the docks, Crab House Pier 39 reopened for the first time in a year at the end of April. The restaurant’s new owners — the Simmons family, who also own Fog Harbor Fish House and Pier Market — seem to be stacking up quite the crustacean monopoly in the tourist-favorite neighborhood.

HAYES VALLEY — Robin retired the creative pink takeout boxes in February, and officially reopened the omakase counter on April 7, going back the full experience of its Cali-style sushi.

OAKLAND — New-school red sauce joint Mama plans to reopen mid June, after going quiet for many months, and they’re now joining forces with Hi Neighbor Hospitality Group. If you just can’t wait for meatballs, they are doing some pop-ups at the Vault in the meantime.

OAKLAND — Duende tapas bar plans to reopen in Uptown in June, after a closure of 10 months, Berkeleyside reports.

OAKLAND — The Alley piano bar reopened on April 29, after the community rallied and raised $94,000 to save the 88-year-old institution, according to Berkeleyside.

PALO ALTO — Quattro, the full restaurant within the luxury Four Seasons Silicon Valley, reopened for indoor dining on May 12.

MOUNTAIN VIEW — Xanh, the modern Vietnamese restaurant slash lounge, reopened at the beginning of May, following a closure of more than a year, the SF Chronicle reports.

May 3

SOMA — The Cavalier is bringing back the Scotch duck eggs and lamb scrumpets after being closed for more than a year. The London-style brasserie within Hotel Zetta reopens on May 12. Sister restaurants Marlowe and Leo’s Oyster Bar both remain temporarily closed, but hopefully this is a sign that the Big Night Restaurant Group will start easing open its other establishments.

SOMA — Mourad will shimmer back open on May 5. Throughout the pandemic, sister restaurant Aziza has consistently been serving comforting takeout in the Avenues, but Mourad has largely been closed downtown, so this finally signals a welcome return of the Michelin-starred Moroccan fine dining palace.

HAYES VALLEY — Monsieur Benjamin snaps back to bistro business on May 5, bringing back the flawless oeufs mayonnaise and chicken liver terrine for indoor and outdoor dining.

MISSION — Tijuana-style brewpub Lupulandia triumphantly returns on Cinco de Mayo. They’re kicking it with a welcome-back mercadito, featuring arts, crafts, and live music, and of course craft beer and fish tacos.

EMBARCADERO — One Market is reopening doors for indoor dining on May 5, bringing back the classic prime rib and seafood dinners, and also incorporating a few new dishes from Mark ’N Mike’s, the New York deli pop-up that the restaurant launched during the pandemic. So never fear, the reuben is still here, both on the One Market menu, and available for takeout.

DOGPATCH — Chef Heena Patel of Besharam has been cooking solo in the kitchen of her award-winning restaurant for many months, but she has finally hired back staff and is reopening for sit-down dining on May 4. Expect all of the Gujarati veggie comforts, including her grandmother’s hand-pounded mango chutney.

SOMA — Ayesha Curry and Michael Mina are firing up the grills and reopening International Smoke on May 4. The sticky-sweet ribs, mac and cheese, and curry cornbread have been available through the Mina Family Kitchen mashed-up takeout menu, but it’ll feel good for them to return home to their own restaurant on Mission.

NOPA — Che Fico Alimentari is at least reopening up the downstairs dining room, with options for indoor and outdoor dining, starting May 3. Come through for spicy pineapple pizza and cacio e pepe.

SOMA — After a yearlong hiatus, with a couple of beautiful takeout pivots, Benu is back to the full fine dining experience that earned it three Michelin stars. Reservations are now open for the month of May.

MISSION — Junior, that chill neighborhood cocktail bar in the Mission, seems to have eased back open with a few hours in March, and officially reopened for indoor drinking in April. Their dogs and humans look thrilled.

SOMA — Fang Chinese restaurant reopened in April, with a beautiful new private dining space upstairs. It’s the more modern SoMa sister restaurant to the legendary House of Nanking in Chinatown.

OAKLAND — Palmetto swung back open for tropical cocktails and serious steak in a neon-pastel space on April 30. From the same team as the Kon-Tiki, the bar originally opened in May 2020, which was a raw deal, but it’s finally thundering in full force.

OAKLAND — The Lede appears to have found a new home, taking over the former Cafe Encinas space and reopening on April 9. Chez Panisse veteran Cal Peternell is back in the kitchen with sausage rolls, broccoli melts, and wine and snacks, Berkeleyside reports.

SACRAMENTO — Fieldwork Brewing, originally founded in Berkeley, is expanding and reopening its Sacramento location. The taproom says it has tripled the size of the patio, going from 1,400 to 4,900 square feet, and a fresh menu is serving up pizza, salads, and a baked feta with charred cherry tomatoes.

LOS GATOS — Manresa is retiring the family meals, and returning to the full fine dining experience on May 19, shining up those three Michelin stars. Reservations are now up for grabs.

April 19

MISSION — With a shiny new oven to replace the one that went down in a fire, Reem’s Arab bakery triumphantly reopens in the Mission on April 21, with that beautiful man’oushe flatbread, and extended hours for Ramadan.

SOMA — 25 Lusk is finally reopening the glorious rooftop patio on April 20, and plans to reopen indoor dining soon. Say a happy-hour prayer that the fog will part in time for woodfire pizza and margaritas.

DOGPATCH — Kin Khao has reopened its more casual outpost in the Dogpatch, so the fiery chicken wings are officially back starting April 15. The original Kin Khao, the Michelin-starred Thai restaurant downtown, remains on hiatus.

DUBOCE — Blackbird Bar has been open for takeout bottles, but officially reopened for sit-down drinking in a new parklet on April 14, Hoodline reports.

SOMA — Burma Love has reopened their downtown location in April, a rep for the restaurant group confirmed. Located just across from Westfield, it has a cozy heated patio on Mint Plaza.

JACKSON SQUARE — Bix reopened for old-school martinis and tartare on April 7, with outdoor seats on their quiet back alley.

HAYES VALLEY — Absinthe reopened for full service outside on March 24, so fans can now cozy up under the heat lamps for French onion soup and coq au vin.

OAKLAND — Shiba Ramen reopened its downtown location on April 9, Berkeleyside reports, bringing back the spicy ramen and chicken wings.

MILLBRAE — Millbrae Pancake House, a 62-year-old hotcake favorite, reopened after being closed for four months, Mercury News reports.

April 13

COW HOLLOW — Atelier Crenn, Dominique Crenn’s acclaimed restaurant with three Michelin stars, has been doing luxury dinner kits for the better part of the pandemic, but just released reservations for the month of June, bringing back the full 14-course tasting menu focused on fish.

NOB HILL — Acquellero, the upscale Italian spot in Nob Hill, is winding down takeout on April 17, and reopening the dining room on Tuesday, May 11. Longtime fans can look forward to the triumphant return of freshly rolled pasta, starched white tablecloths, and over-the-top flower arrangements.

JAPANTOWN — Nari, Chef Pim Techamuanvivit’s big modern Thai restaurant in Hotel Kabuki, is finally reopening for indoor dining with a family-style tasting menu on April 16.

THE RICHMOND — Chef Mourad Lahlou is waking up both of his acclaimed Moroccan restaurants after a long winter’s hibernation, starting with Aziza reopening for indoor and outdoor dining on April 8, and with Mourad anticipated to follow.

FIDI — Tadich Grill, the oldest continuously run restaurant in San Francisco, tried to crack open doors a couple of times during the pandemic, but reopened in earnest on April 5, the SF Chronicle details. The owners of the seafood institution told the Chron that they were waiting on 50 percent capacity for the cioppino math to finally make sense.

MISSION — The stone pots are sizzling once more. Namu Stonepot has been doing steady takeout and delivery, but they reopened the original location in Mission Dolores for indoor and outdoor dining on April 3, Resy spotted first.

BERNAL HEIGHTS — After an uncharacteristically quiet year, favorite queer dive bar El Rio busted open the back patio in Bernal Heights on April 1, as reported by the SF Chronicle. (Virgil’s Sea Room just next door was sadly not so lucky, closing permanently in March.)

CHINATOWN — China Live has been takeout and outdoor dining on the ground floor throughout the pandemic, but with the return of indoor dining, the Chinatown emporium is reopening on all levels, recently bringing back Cold Drinks Bar and the fine dining Eight Tables by George as of March 31, the restaurant confirmed in a release.

TENDERLOIN — After a long hard year deprived of bouncy noodles and creamy pork broth, cult-favorite ramen shop Mensho Tokyo finally reopened on March 26, serving an exclusive 30 bowls per day.