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The interior of Yellow Moto Pizzeria.

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Inside the Colorful New Pizzeria and Bar Motoring Into This High-Profile Mission District Space

In the former Flour + Water Pizzeria space, Yellow Moto veers wacky, retro, and colorful

Lauren Saria is the editor of Eater SF and has been writing about food, drinks, and restaurants for more than a decade.

We warned you it was coming: a substantial rebrand and makeover of Flour + Water Pizzeria, the Mission restaurant that, until earlier this year, was part of the ever-growing Flour + Water Hospitality Group empire. Well, now it’s ready to roll. Starting today, July 6, diners and drinkers can step inside the new Yellow Moto Pizzeria, with its redesigned space on the prominent corner of Valencia and 18th streets. Owner David White, one of the original partners behind Flour + Water, says he hopes the new look will create a more casual place for the neighborhood to grab a pizza and a cocktail. “It’s really beautiful,” he says of the design. “It really livens the space, which is our goal — that it would be a very fun, tongue-in-cheek, not serious experience.”

There’s good news, though, for fans of the space’s previous tenant; much of the menu, still overseen by chef Oleg Sheyner (formerly of RT Rotisserie), remains the same. White and the team took a bit of an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it attitude,” focusing their energy more on additions than any unnecessary improvements. The biggest change is a new focus on lighter and vegetable-filled options, including a “really simple, really fresh and light” snap pea antipasti and a bibb lettuce salad swathed in avocado green goddess dressing. There are a couple news pies to try as well, including a clam pizza — it technically made its debut just before the restaurant closed to be flipped, but nevertheless should feel fresh to most customers.

Pizzas, pasta, and salads on a table.
Sugar snap peas at Yellow Moto Pizzeria.
Cauliflower from Yellow Moto Pizzeria.

More noticeable will be the changes on the beverage list, which now includes seven cocktails thanks to the addition of a full bar. The menu comes from Enrique Sanchez (El Alto) and Donny Henderson, who aim to please drinkers of all stripes with the list. White says there’s a slight favoritism for agave spirits — since the restaurant is in the Mission, after all — so there’s both the tequila-based La Tapatia, which leans light and refreshing thanks to Aperol and grapefruit, and the mezcal-based Green Dragon, made with verdita, a zippy combo on pineapple, cilantro, mint, and jalapeno. A no-alcohol section features both two mocktails and fresh lemonade, in an effort to make the drink list accessible even for those avoiding alcohol. “We wanted to not have that be an afterthought,” White says.

Studio KDA updated the space while Project 13 handled the rebranding, which centers on White’s own bright yellow vintage 1963 Italian Lambretta scooter. In keeping with the theme the space now pops with bright, colorful accents and wacky custom art — think, a vibrant oversized butterfly alighting on a black-and-white cityscape and a couple frolicking on a pair of scooters down a dark street, with yellow and pink dahlia bulbs in places of heads. And don’t forget to look up: In the bathroom, there’s a redwood canopy mural stretching across the ceiling, while the parklet shines under a rainbow of paper lanterns.

The restaurant will begin taking reservations via Resy on Sunday, July 10 — but for now the restaurant is open for take out and dine in. Even once reservations begin, White says he wants local residents to be able to stop in whenever they please so they’ll always hold about half the seats for walk-ins. The bar will also be available for anyone wanting either a quick drink or a full meal. “We want to encourage people to pop in,” White says. “We really want the bar to be kinda boisterous and fun and noisy, as casual as you can make it.”

A red cocktail in a tall glass.
A yellow cocktail in a tall glass.
A close up of a pepperoni pizza.
A salad.
The dining room at Yellow Moto Pizzeria.
A mural in the Yellow Moto Pizzeria bathroom.
The bar at Yellow Moto Pizzeria.
The exterior of Yellow Moto Pizzeria on Valencia Street.

Yellow Moto Pizzeria (702 Valencia Street) will be open for dinner everyday from 5-9 p.m.

Yellow Moto Pizzeria

702 Valencia Street, , CA 94110 (415) 341-0154 Visit Website

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