A new all-day restaurant serving Sicilian specialties from breakfast through dinner is coming to the former La Boulange space at 543 Columbus Ave.
Salvatore Cortara, who's owned nearby Michelangelo Ristorante & Caffe (579 Columbus Ave.) for 13 years, hopes to open sometime in December. He hasn't settled on a name yet and is still doing research on that, he tells us.
The reason Cortara decided to open there, he said, is because "There is no reason for people to come to this block. It’s kind of dead. We'll try to see if we can bring it back alive." We reported that three spaces on that block—521, 527 and 543 Columbus Ave.—are vacant, now that North Beach Gallery, Craig Fonarow Photography and La Boulange have closed.
Though Michelangelo's menu is Italian continental, with "a little bit of everything," Cortara said, the new place will be Sicilian, because he's hired chef Salvatore Di Stefano, who has worked at Il Casaro Pizzeria & Mozzarella Bar, also on Columbus. Breakfast will range from coffee and pastries such as cannoli to omelets; lunch will feature soups, salads, sandwiches and more. At dinner, look for arancini, cannelloni, lasagna, eggplant Parmigiana, focaccia and pizza slices.
There was no kitchen in La Boulange—everything was prepared off-site and brought in—so Cortara has some work to do first to get the space ready. Some items might be prepared at Michelangelo.
The new restaurant will be open daily from morning through about 10pm during the week and 11pm on weekends, Cortara says, and will have about 50 seats. There's no liquor license, so he said he will apply, but realizes it's difficult to get one in North Beach due to zoning.