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Michael and Lindsay Tusk Just Unveiled a Gorgeous New Private Event Space Above Vesuvio Cafe

Officina is a test kitchen by day and a swanky private event space at night

A room with high ceilings and a wall of windows.
Officina is a new event space in the former Cookhouse space at 253 Columbus Avenue.
Meg Smith
Lauren Saria is the editor of Eater SF and has been writing about food, drinks, and restaurants for more than a decade.

Anyone looking to host a private dinner or party in the city will be happy to hear there’s a new event space officially open for bookings, and it’s got a prime location plus the backing of one of San Francisco’s most well-loved culinary couples. As first reported by the San Francisco Business Times in March, husband-and-wife Michael and Lindsay Tusk have taken over the former Cookline space at 253 Columbus Avenue, just above the historic Vesuvio Cafe.

The couple spent the past three months renovating the space to emulate “a private apartment revolving around an open kitchen,” per an email from a spokesperson. The venue is now called Officina, which translates to “workshop” and by day, it’ll function as chef Michael Tusk’s test kitchen. At night, it’ll flip into a private event space. There’s room for groups of up to 35 for standing receptions, and up to 20 for seated dinners, which will take place at a 16-foot oak table handmade by local furniture designer Josh Podoll.

A round table with four chairs. Meg Smith

Members of the couple’s culinary membership program, Quince & Co., will have “regular gatherings” at Officina, and the Tusks hope to plan “a series of events inspired by music that are ticketed and open to the public.” Husband-and-wife duo Julie and Matthias Cattelin, who moved to San Francisco to work at Quince, will oversee Officina operations; Julie will run service, while Matthias takes care of the wine program.

San Francisco diners are likely to know the Tusks as the couple behind Michelin Guide-worthy Cotogna, located in the Jackson Square neighborhood, as well as their three-Michelin-starred restaurant Quince, which they closed temporarily at the top of the year so the historic 1907 brick and timber building could undergo renovations. The couple’s casual wine bar Verjus has been closed to the public since the onset of the pandemic, but in February, the Business Times broke the news that the couple has signed a lease on the former Station café space on the corner of Pacific Avenue and Kearny Street. In February, a spokesperson told Eater SF the plans for the 596 Pacific Avenue space were still in progress. Stay tuned for more details on what the couple’s cooking up there.

A yellow brick entry way. Meg Smith