Nice as it is to make headlines and earn accolades, our greatest joy comes from creating places that people love to experience.

San Francisco Chronicle

May 1, 2014

Mourad Lahlou’s 140 New Montgomery project forges ahead

By Paolo Lucchesi

The headliner in this week’s Inside Scoop column takes us to the gorgeously restored building at 140 New Montgomery. If you haven’t stepped inside its lobby, or looked up at the towers’ details, it’s well worth your time.

It was in fall 2012 that news broke that the two ground-floor restaurant spaces at 140 New Montgomery would be filled by Aziza chef-owner Mourad Lahlou and Bar Agricole owner Thad Vogler.

Since then, the building has filled up with office tenants upstairs — Yelp is the anchor tenant, anchoring floors four through 12 — and Vogler’s Trou Normand opened a few weeks ago.

All the while, everyone has been wondering about Lahlou’s project. Is it still happening? Is it not? Obviously, it was stalled … Until this month. Lahlou’s project is finally moving forward, with a late 2014/early 2015 ETA, though you know how those can change with all the permits and such.

The original lease held contingencies for fundraising and liquor license. Both of those qualifications have been met … and it’s go time.

With Olle Lundberg still on the design, much of Lahlou’s original vision for the 6,000 square foot project still remains. It will be his food in an a la carte setting: Moroccan-influenced, personal, clean, and as he puts it, relevant. It will be on a larger scale than Aziza, given 180 seats total between a rear patio, bar, lounge, three private dining areas and a dining room. Do note that the new dining room will have 84 seats only; Aziza has 128. (If there’s a comparison to the way Lahlou envisions translating his food to a larger and more casual space, think loosely of how Daniel Humm pulled it off at New York’s Nomad.)

Still no word on what, if anything, the new project means for Aziza in the Richmond.

Read the original story here.