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Michelin-Starred Marlena to Close Temporarily for Renovations

Plus, the first photos of the upcoming members-only in the Transamerica Pyramid are here and more food news

Marlena dining room Patricia Chang
Dianne de Guzman is a deputy editor at Eater SF writing about Bay Area restaurant and bar trends, upcoming openings, and pop-ups.

Bernal Heights darling Marlena has had a whirlwind debut since its start in 2020, beginning as a takeout spot in August, and adding outdoor and indoor dining after. In that first year, the restaurant managed to rack up its first Michelin star, and now husband-and-wife chef David Fisher and pastry chef Serena Chow Fisher say they’ve finally reached a good point to renovate the space. In an email to Eater SF Thursday, the Fishers shared that they’ll be closing the restaurant for renovations starting April 16.

Among the improvements the Marlena team will make to the 110-year-old building are creating increased accessibility, improving lighting, and limiting ambient noise. Expect banquettes, new artwork, and a “palette of saturated cool tones,” a spokesperson shared in a press release.

Hayes Valley Mayan-Yucatecan pop-up Akna ends

Father-and-son team Eddie and Ivan Arriaga of the Absinthe Group ran the pop-up Akna since October 2020 inside the shuttered Barcino spot in Hayes Valley. The duo announced they will be shutting down the pop-up as of March 13 on Instagram writing, “It has been a pleasure serving authentic Mayan-Yucatecan cuisine to the Hayes Valley neighborhood.”

Off the Grid returns to Fort Mason tonight

Food trucks will once again be rolling into Fort Mason this Friday, with the return of Off the Grid. It’s been two years since the last gathering, and organizers are pulling out all the stops: expect about 25 trucks, a bar, and live music. Here’s the full lineup.

Breakfast Little opens new sister restaurant on Divisadero

Breakfast Little suddenly announced its new sister restaurant Emmita’s Cafe opens Friday; the restaurant is below an eye center and next to a Kaiser office. Expect the same breakfast offerings and coffee program offered at Breakfast Little “with a few minor tweaks” and an expanded lunch menu with salads, sandwiches, and fresh juices. They’ll be open Monday through Friday to start, but expect to be expand to seven days a week in the upcoming months.

Check out some first photos of Core Club in Transamerica Pyramid

The fact that a members-only club was set to open inside the Transamerica Pyramid raised some eyebrows when it was first covered by the San Francisco Business Times in December — well, that plus news that initial membership fees in 2016 for the New York-based club were $50,000 — but now Biz Times has released images of the ongoing project. The restaurant has plenty of light and is outfitted in neutral tones set against the concrete pillars of the pyramid. Along with the restaurant will be a member suites, a gym, and outdoor space, and is set to open in 2023.

Vegan Puerto Rican catering business opens new space in Oakland

Casa Borinqueña, a vegan catering business, will be opening a brick-and-mortar in Oakland and debuting in late June, per the San Francisco Chronicle. Chef Lourdes Marquez-Nau told the publication she has plans to expand the menu with items like pastelón, but will keep many of the longtime favorites from the menu.