There’s good news for anyone in the NoPa and Western Addition neighborhoods who’s been craving a daytime dining destination since the closure of the all-day restaurant Automat last year. Former brunch pop-up Early to Rise will open in the sunny corner space by late February. Chef Andrew McCormack, who brings experience cooking in fine dining restaurants including Spruce and Quince to the restaurant, will bring a menu of simple, homestyle breakfast and brunch fare to 1801 McAllister Street starting February 29.
McCormack operated Early to Rise as an intermittent pop-up before settling into a space in Nob Hill in 2019. During the pandemic, he sold “brunch in a box” to the neighborhood, until closing down that operation in 2021 to focus on finding a permanent home for his fan-favorite bagels and fresh-baked English muffins. Then the Automat space freed up.
For those who aren’t already familiar with Early to Rise, expect a breakfast and brunch menu with Southern influences — McCormack grew up in South Carolina — backed by the kinds of fine dining techniques McCormack honed cooking in Michelin-level kitchens. That means most everything on the menu including butter, hot sauce, and preserves will be made at the restaurant. Since the Automat space already housed those big ovens, he’ll continue to bake bagels and English muffins in-house. Plus he’s brought in a massive 900-pound smoker to produce bacon and other meats. And fans can look forward to McCormack’s popular doughnuts, which have come in flavors such as cannoli (stuffed with ricotta and topped with dark chocolate, pistachio, and orange zest) and Earl Grey with lemon sugar.
There will also be a small beverage list with classic breakfast and brunch options including local wines, beer, mimosas, and two cocktails: a greyhound and bloody mary. It’ll be dine-in only for the first couple of weeks or so, but then McCormack plans to resume takeout options including the picnic-style boxes launched during the pandemic, which will be easily portable over to the Panhandle or Alamo Square. Stay tuned for more menu details and a first look inside the renovated space, which McCormack hired ROY Hospitality and architect Chris Telles to refresh.
Early to Rise (1801 McAllister Street, San Francisco) will open on Thursday, February 29.