Wedged between Union Square and SoMa, new restaurant and bar Prosper is offering the kind of complex flavors and creative plating you’d expect to find at a fine-dining restaurant—in a more laid-back atmosphere.
Located on Market Street between Third and Fourth streets, Prosper's menu features a healthy twist on pan-Pacific Rim flavors, devised by chef Bronson Macomber, who's worked in the industry for 11 years.
Prosper, which launched in July, has an unusual location: it's on the fourth floor of the Equinox gym at 747 Market St. But you don't have to be a member to dine there. “[We want to] reach out to a bigger market. Not just the gym market,” Macomber said.
The restaurant's menu and name, however, are inspired by its health-conscious surroundings. Macomber said he felt the name Prosper fit with Equinox’s mission of growing strong and staying healthy. And the menu is all about being “fun, healthy, not too serious. [It’s] elevated gym food.”
Macomber, who learned his trade working at high-end restaurants like Scott Howard and Gary Danko before launching a catering service, Macadamia Events, says he learned to “work smarter, not harder" in the world of fine dining. His menu includes dishes like fried chicken bao, guava and mustard-glazed chicken wings, and a collard green wrap with falafel.
Having little to no presence—both at street level and online—is a major challenge for a newly launched restaurant. But rather than pumping dollars into marketing, Macomber said he's focusing on quality—selecting the best ingredients at local farmers markets, building a solid menu and maintaining a high level of service.
"We're stretched thin right now," he said. "I'm shopping at farmer's markets and going straight to the kitchen."
Macomber also admits that the restaurant's interior is a bit of a blank canvas; he's eager to add pops of emerald, the "color of prosperity," but for now, decor is taking a backseat to food and drink.
"Decor is great, but if the food is off, the beverages suck, the service sucks, people will never come back," he said. "We're making sure we have the food and service, because if we've got those, then everything else is backdrop."
To reach beyond the gym's existing client base, Prosper hosts special prix-fixe dinners once a month at its communal table. For the next edition, Macomber hopes to prepare and serve a whole tuna.
Prosper also serves some weekly specials. On Tuesdays, they offer a taco served on a tortilla or bao, a beer and shot of tequila for $10. On Wednesdays, there's a rotating wine or spirit tasting—offered free of charge.
Macomber says he's looking to build community at Prosper, and one way to do so is giving customers what they want, even if it’s not on the menu. “If we’ve got it in the kitchen, let’s make it. That’s the goal of any restaurant. If you’ve got it in the back, go ahead and make it. You’re gonna make your customer base really happy.”
Prosper is open from 5-9pm on weekdays.
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