Bay Area/ San Francisco/ Food & Drinks
Published on December 16, 2019
SF Eats: Grilled Cheese Kitchen closing in FiDi, Mina to open plant-based eatery in Cow Hollow, moreThe FiDi location of the American Grilled Cheese Kitchen. | Photo: Geri Koeppel/Hoodline

Here's the latest in SF food and drink news. In this edition: a grilled cheese-focused eatery closes its downtown location, a Parisian-style tea salon will open in the Tenderloin, and a healthy eatery and market is on its way to Cow Hollow.


Jackson Square

The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen (799 Battery St.)

Nate Pollak, owner of the American Grilled Cheese Kitchen. | Photo: Geri Koeppel/Hoodline

After almost five years of business, The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen's Financial District location (Battery and Broadway) will close at the end of this month. The closure is the second for the grilled cheese-centric eatery, which shuttered its Mission location in 2016.

Owner Nate Pollak said he has sold the FiDi location, which was a difficult decision. While it was a smooth operation and performed well financially, he said, “it was just time."

Pollak and his wife and business partner, Heidi, had a baby this year, and he said that's driven him to focus on new ventures while keeping the most important parts of the old ones.

That includes the decade-old original American Grilled Cheese Kitchen at One South Park, which will remain open. Pollak said he's currently working out a lease renewal with the landlord. A franchised location in Florida will also remain open. 

Meanwhile, Pollak has joined a new startup as the general manager of the Bay Area market and said he is thrilled about the challenge of building a second company from the ground up. In an emailed statement, he offered his thanks to the restaurant's staff, vendors, investors, and partners. 

"And most importantly, thank you to the customers for all of your support, feedback, and friendship; and granting us the honor to serve your community," he said.

Pollak declined to disclose the new occupant of the FiDi space. We'll keep you posted as things develop. 



Maison Danel (1030 Polk St.)

The Tenderloin will soon get a Parisian-style cafe, tea salon and patisserie. According to Eater SF, Maison Danel will open at 1030 Polk St. in February 2020. 

The business is owned by the married couple behind the Marina's Baker Street Bistro, David and Danel de Betelu. The couple told Eater that they will bring some of Baker Street Bistro’s most popular items (like steak frites and onion soup) to the Tenderloin location, along with new items made by pastry chef Adrien Chabot, who has recently arrived in the area from Paris.

Among the offerings will be handmade macarons and viennoiserie like croissants and pain au chocolat. There will also be some larger breakfast plates like eggs Benedict and pain perdu. Afternoon tea will transition into a champagne-centric happy hour. 

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Maison Danel is a family owned business by owners David (left) and Chef Danel (right). ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Those of you familiar with local gem, Baker Street Bistro will recognize this duo. Chef Danel (on the right) is a classically trained French chef from Biarritz, part of the Basque country in southwest France, where he first learned to cook with his grandmother. For the past 10 years, he has owned and operated Baker Street Bistro, a favorite neighborhood French bistro in Cow Hollow. He believes that eating well is essential to living well. Life is too short not to enjoy great food, wine, and coffee. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ By day, David (left) is a Marketing Director at a large San Francisco based retailer and in his second role, the Chief Creative Officer of Maison Danel. Talk about great partners!

A post shared by Maison Danel (@maisondanel) on

The space is an expansive 3,000 feet, including pastry cases and a tea salon with 26 tables. Upholstered chairs, cushions and a tufted banquette are intended to make it a comfortable environment.

The arrival of Maison Danel adds another player to what's become a robust bakery scene in this corner of the Tenderloin. Another French bakery and cafe, Le Marais, is just two blocks away, as are Mr. Holmes Bakehouse and Jane on Larkin. 

Cow Hollow

Indie Superette (3060 Fillmore St.)

The former Real Food space at Fillmore and Filbert will house three new businesses. | Photo: Shirin Jones

A cafe and market focused on healthy food is on its way to Cow Hollow, with celebrity chef Michael Mina at the helm. According to the Chronicle, the Mina Group will open Indie Superette in January, in the former Real Food Company space at 3060 Fillmore St. 

The Chronicle reports that Indie Superette will offer plant-based fare like smoothies, fresh juices, salads, veggie burgers and vegan pastries and ice cream. Produce and artisanal food products will be available to-go.

The 700-square-foot market and cafe will take over a portion of the building. The two other sections will be occupied by boxing gym Rumble Training and SF's first location of national burger chain Shake Shack, which should be opening in the coming months.

If you've seen something new (or closing) 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.