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FiDi bistro Aquitaine moving to Castro's former Crepevine space

Aquitaine closes today at 175 Sutter St. | Photo: Aquitaine/Facebook
By Steven Bracco - Published on December 20, 2019.

Today is French restaurant and wine bar Aquitaine's last day in the Financial District. After six years, it'll be moving from the Crocker Galleria (175 Sutter St.) to 216 Church Street (at Market), the former home of Crepevine. 

Laurent Manrique, who also owns Union Square's Cafe de la Presse, opened Aquitaine in 2013, serving wine and food inspired by the cuisine of his native Gascony, France.

Manrique did not respond to a request for comment, but earlier this week, he told the Chronicle the move was necessitated by a provision in his lease that required him to make way for construction.

He hopes to keep the restaurant nearly identical in his new location, with the same menu, employees and furnishings. 

Aquitaine will be opening at 216 Church St. | Photo: Steven Bracco/Hoodline

The Chronicle reported that Manrique signed a lease on Tuesday for an 1,800-square-foot spot at 210 Church St. However, that address is for the apartment building above the ground-floor retail spaces.

Property owner Veritas Investments confirmed to Hoodline that Aquitaine is taking over 216 Church St., the onetime Crepevine space. 

216 Church St. had previously been leased in January to Mark White, who announced plans to open Gramercy Park Brasserie & Wine Bar there. Now, it appears those plans will not be coming to fruition.

White's other Castro restaurant, Cook Shoppe, also remains shuttered. Located across the street in the former Chow space at 210 Church, it closed in August in the wake of an investigation by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control for serving alcohol without a license.

Inside Aquitaine at 175 Sutter St. | Photo: Aquitaine/Facebook

After being hit hard by commercial retail vacancies in 2019, including the closure of several longtime businesses, the Church and Market corridor appears to be slowly refilling with new tenants. 

Newcomers like Italian restaurant Il Casaro and plant store Plant Therapy have filled long-vacant spaces, while the former Aardvark Books space will be the site of a forthcoming yoga studio.

"We're excited to be able to provide space for a popular retailer like Aquitaine and to bring more activity to the important Church/Market/Castro neighborhood," said Veritas spokesperson Justine Shoemaker.

Manrique told the Chronicle he hopes to re-open Aquitaine on Church Street in March. We'll keep you posted on its arrival. 

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