The fine-casual restaurant, specializing in Chamorro cuisine, plans to move into the space that formerly housed Commonwealth, which shuttered in August.
General Manager Shawn Camacho told Hoodline that he and Chef Shawn Naputi ceased operations at the 2847 Mission St. location in 2014 due to a rent increase, and because it was not equipped for an expansion. Since there was no potential for increase in revenue, they decided to close it in October of 2018 and look for an entirely new location.
Camacho said rent is high all over San Francisco, so their priority was to find a good landlord, favorable lease terms and a space where they didn't have to do too much renovation work. In the meantime, Naputi has cooked at popups at breweries and charity events, and has also done some private catering.
“This new space is everything we were looking for," Camacho said. "Perfect size, an upgrade for us in every aspect, an adjacent parking lot, which just doesn't exist in the Mission, [and] it's just a few blocks from our former location, and in an established food destination in the 18th St. corridor,” he said.
Renovations will not be too drastic, just a minor facelift. SF-based architecture firm D-Scheme Studios is leading the design effort, a collaboration that Camacho said has given their project a new life.
"We're just putting some design touches that will make it our own,” he said.
Several of the menu items will stay the same. However, the tasting menu will be replaced by the "Fiesta Table", a new family-style dinner which Chef Naputi calls a "sharable feast”, designed for passing around plates and free-flowing conversation.
It will also feature an expanded a la carte list including old favorites such as red rice, Chamorro empanadas, and BBQ pork ribs, as well as new items like kadun pika (a traditional spicy stew), and an entire section dedicated to Kelaguen (Guam’s version of ceviche served w/ coconut flatbread).
In addition to a full kitchen, the space also boasts a 12–seat bar that will be open for happy hour. Its beverage program will focus on craft beer, local and natural wines, and low-ABV cocktails.
Naputi said it’s important for his team to offer a neighborhood joint where you can bring friends and family for a unique dining experience. “But now [with the new bar space], we have the ability to host a really great happy hour with the game on and bar-only ‘Chesa’ menu." (Chesa is the Chamorro word for small bites or appetizers.)
In addition to dinner service, the restaurant may eventually open for quick-service lunch and Sunday brunch.
For more information about the grand opening and for additional popups and updates, Camacho encourages people to sign up for their newsletter here.
Currently, they are booking private events and holiday parties in the new location, which they expect to be available next month
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