In this edition, a Japantown ramen spot plots an expansion in the FiDi, a SoCal-based coffee roaster is working to open a cafe in Polk Gulch, and a Nob Hill pop-up coffee shop quietly closes its doors.
Hinodeya Ramen (668 Clay St.)
Veteran Hoodline tipster Al M. reports that Japantown ramen favorite Hinodeya is poised to open a new location on the border of the Financial District and Chinatown. It'll be taking over a vacant ground-floor space at the former Balmoral Hotel North No. 2.
Hailing directly from Japan (its original location is in northern Tokyo), Hinodeya specializes in ramen made with dashi, a traditional Japanese fish stock made with dried fish, scallops and seaweed. It also offers chicken, pork and vegan variations.
Owner Masao Kuribara, a former Japanese Embassy chef, has cooked for the former Prime Minister of Japan, Ryutaro Hashimoto, and countless heads of state, including Bill and Hillary Clinton.
It's still early days for the new location. "Construction has yet to commence, and no opening date has been determined," said Al. A search of public records hasn't revealed any details about the new restaurant, but it appears the hotel upstairs is also being remodeled.
If the menu mirrors the Japantown flagship, expect to see an assortment of traditional Japanese starters and snacks like gyoza, braised chicken wings and edamame, in addition to the various ramen options. (You can check out the full lineup here.)
The original Hinodeya also serves beer and sake; there's no record at present of an application for a beer and wine license at the new outpost, but we'll keep you posted.
Klatch Coffee (1450 Franklin St.)
Hoodline tipster Andrew wrote in to let us know that Southern California-based coffee chain Klatch Coffee is planning to open its first location in San Francisco.
He noted that the business recently installed a "coming soon" sign on a corner property at Bush and Franklin streets, "a commercial space that's been unoccupied for a while now."
Founded more than 25 years ago, Los Angeles-based Klatch has "evolved into a global wholesale roaster and retailer with its coffee featured daily on three continents," according to its website. It has five brick-and-mortar cafes in Southern California, but this will be its first in the northern half of the state.
Klatch is big on variety, offering close to three dozen different single-origin and blended coffee and espresso beans for sale online and in its cafes. (Check out the full list of coffees on offer here.)
We reached out to get a bead on a possible opening date, but did not receive a response. We'll let you know when Klatch makes its debut.
Megafauna Coffee (1098 Jackson St.)
Tipster Al M. and several Yelpers have confirmed that Megafauna Coffee has permanently closed its doors after about a year in business, and taken its website offline to boot.
Last February, the coffee shop moved into the space formerly occupied by champagne bar The Fine Mousse, which closed in January 2018 after about two years in business.
At the time, The Fine Mousse said that Megafauna would be a pop-up, without stating how long it would last. The coffee shop drew praise from Yelpers for its food and coffee offerings, but many of them noted erratic opening hours in the months prior to its closure.
So far, there's no word on what's taking over the space. A search of public records has not revealed any new building permits or Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control applications on file.
But our hardworking informant Al has spotted some movement in the space. "There's activity," he said. "I'm just not sure what they're doing, as all of the windows are covered."
As always, Al plans to keep an eye on the space and report back with updates.
Thanks to Andrew and Al M. for the tips! If you've seen something new in the neighborhood, text your tips and photos to (415) 200-3233, or email [email protected]. If we use your info in a story, we'll give you credit.