Three new restaurants opened along Geary Street near the end of 2016, all of them focused on drinks, small plates and snacks for sharing. Here's a look at each of them.
La Marsa (454 Geary St.) is two restaurants in one: a cafe and creperie serving Illy coffee in the morning, and a wine bar in the evening.
In its cafe form, La Marsa will offer sweet crepes, pastries and breakfast sandwiches until 11am, and salads, sandwiches and savory crepes for lunch until 3:30pm, said owner Rafik Bouzidi.
Then it will close for about an hour each day, reopening as a cozy space offering beer, wine and snacks like cheese and charcuterie plates.
Bouzidi has been in the restaurant business for over a decade, and has always wanted to open his own place. “You couldn’t ask for a better location,” he said, noting that La Marsa is right across the street from the newly remodeled Curran Theater.
For the moment, La Marsa's menu is limited, as Bouzidi puts the finishing touches on its serving system and looks to hire a chef. He plans to hold at least a few grand openings in early 2017, to invite his friends, former co-workers and the community to enjoy the space once it is fully up and running.
Specializing in Spanish-style tapas, paellas, and wine, Bota is the newest addition to the inside the Warwick Hotel (490 Geary St.) To align with its name, which means “a container to share wine with the people around you,” it encourages diners to share dishes and drinks around the table.
Bota launched with a soft opening menu in December, but is still in the process of decorating and finalizing its permanent menu, said Warwick general manager Kris Betz.
It's open for breakfast from 6:30-11am on weekdays and brunch from 11am-3pm on weekends. Dinner is served from 5:30pm-10pm Sunday-Thursday and until 10:30pm on Friday and Saturday. A grand opening is planned for later this month or early February.
Pineapple Bistro and Bar
The other new debut is also part of a hotel: the Pineapple Bistro and Bar, inside the Alise Hotel (580 Geary St.) Built in 1913, the Alise was previously the Best Western Hotel California, and its restaurant space housed fine-dining vegan restaurant Millennium, which relocated to Rockridge in 2015 after more than 20 years on Geary.
Named for the Alise's new owners, hotel group Pineapple Hospitality, Pineapple Bistro and Bar offers breakfast, snacks and espresso by day, and signature cocktails and local craft beer and wine on tap at the bar.
A representative for the hotel says that much of the art in the space was custom-commissioned; there's also a large “gathering room” at the back of the lobby for relaxing, with comfortable couches and chairs.
Pineapple Bistro & Bar is open from 6am-noon and 3pm-9pm on Mondays and Tuesdays, 6am-11pm Wednesdays and Thursdays, 6am-midnight Fridays, 7am-midnight Saturdays and 7am-9pm on Sundays.
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