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Chef Martin Yan Is Eyeing a New Restaurant Project in San Francisco’s Chinatown

Plus, here’s what we know so far about the two restaurants opening inside San Francisco’s first Ikea store

2022 James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards
Chef Martin Yan received the James Beard Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2022.
Photo by Jeff Schear/Getty Images for James Beard Foundation
Lauren Saria is the editor of Eater SF and has been writing about food, drinks, and restaurants for more than a decade.

Celebrity chef Martin Yan hopes to reopen a restaurant in San Francisco and has his eye on a historic building in Chinatown, SFGATE reports. The chef tells the outlet he wants to revive his defunct restaurant M.Y. China, which was previously located inside the Westfield San Francisco Centre but closed in November 2020. The restaurant was a partnership between Yan and the Koi Palace team and operated for 10 years before its permanent demise during the first year of the pandemic.

The partners now have their eyes on “a couple of locations,” the chef tells SFGATE, including the historic Cathay House at 718 California Street. It’s far from the first time rumors have spread about the future of the more-than-80-year-old building. In 2019, a group of partners including the Koi Palace team shared plans to revive the building and restaurant, though those plans never materialized. Then in 2022, the bar Blind Pig opened on the second floor of the building — only to vacate the space in April 2023.

Prolific bar entrepreneur plans big downtown San Francisco project

The entrepreneur behind a long list of popular San Francisco bars including Last Rites, Thriller Social Club, and Horsefeather will take over the former OSHA Thai space at 311 Third Street near the Moscone Center. Details are scarce for now but Kingston Wu of Proof Positive Partners hospitality investment fund tells the San Francisco Business Times customers can expect a “dinnertainment” concept that includes food, drinks, and games.

San Jose Italian restaurant reopen after 19 months

More than a year and a half after Poor House Bistro closed its doors to be relocated to San Jose’s Little Italy, the New Orleans-style restaurant is reopened. The Mercury News reports that the Victorian home the restaurant occupies was moved to make space for Google’s planned Downtown West project, but is now serving red beans and rice alongside sugar-dusted beignets at 317 West St. John Street.

New beer hall planned for ex-Mikkeller Bar space

The husband-and-wife team behind Beer Hall on Polk Street will open another beer bar in the former Mikkeller space at 34 Mason Street. The San Francisco Standard writes that they’ll aim to open in October and will have a full food menu.

More details emerge about upcoming IKEA restaurants

The San Francisco Chronicle has a few more details to share about the two restaurants set to open inside San Francisco’s first Ikea store on Wednesday, August 23. The store will be home to the first Swedish Bite and Swedish Deli stores in the United States. Swedish Bite, which will be on the ground floor, will serve “inexpensive, pre-packaged refrigerated meals” while Swedish Deli will have 68 seats and serve the store’s famous Swedish meatballs, “salmon dishes, veggie dogs, and warm, vegan cinnamon rolls.”