The Bar at Osito, sister spot to Michelin-starred live fire restaurant Osito, permanently closed as of February 3. It was a short-lived run as the space, which formerly housed cocktail bar Liliana, only flipped into the Bar at Osito at the beginning of the year. The name change came with a lineup of new menu items including creamy fondue and ornate seafood towers; now those items, and a new a la carte menu, will be available at Osito so fans can order a quick dinner if they’re not up for the full Osito experience.
Osito will eventually sublease the adjacent bar space to a yet-to-be-determined proprietor who, if everything goes smoothly, will begin operations by March 2024.
The handsome bar always shared a kitchen with its fine dining counterpart. But chef and owner Seth Stowaway says it was a bit too distracting running two establishments at the same time. He was betting on the area coming back to life after the worst of the pandemic, which, in many ways it has. “We took on this big project,” Stowaway says, “but it’s always felt like splitting my attention between two different things. It doesn’t feel like a working model in this climate.”
Stowaway took the lease to both spaces on 18th Street in the Mission in the early days of the pandemic, opening both Lilliana and Osito in 2021. Now, the chef wants to prioritize the work he and his team are doing in the austere dining room at Osito. Rather than just celebratory meals, he wants to focus on accessibility — in part, through the addition of an a la carte menu option. “The focus I would love is ‘We have this special place. It feels like we should put all our attention to that dining room, and make it more accessible,” Stowaway says. “The city always ebbs and flows.”