Last month, Aziza’s Mourad Lahlou signed a lease on the big, coveted downtown restaurant space at the historic Pacific Telephone Building. This week, Bar Agricole’s Thad Vogler finalized a deal for the second, smaller space at 140 New Montgomery.
There, he will open Whiteside Company — an all-day cafe, restaurant and bar, named after a turn-of-the-century dried foods company in San Francisco.
“It’s going to be beverage-oriented,” he says. “The idea is nothing unique and original, but an all-day beverage location with a food component, like a Parisian or Roman cafe where you can come any time of the day and have the appropriate beverage for that time of day.”
Of course, as the night progresses, it will evolve into a bar open until 2 am. Bar Agricole’s butcher, Salvatore Cracco, will be in charge of the food which, like the entire project, is anticipated to be more rustic and less complicated than Bar Agricole. So expect “simple foods” out of the butchery program, plus a raw bar.
On the beverage side, Vogler says that they will highlight the repertoire of Bill Boothby.
“He was working in the Palace Hotel just down the street from [140 New Montgomery],” says Vogler. “We are huge fans of his book, so we’re going to focus on his book and excavate old recipes and resuscitate lost ingredients, a number of which are found in that book.”
There will be about 80 seats, half inside and half outside in the back patio, which is connected to the Aziza project. The entire construction — the building renovation and the two restaurants — is scheduled for completion in September 2013.
And how does Vogler, who had been rumored for the project for a few weeks, feel about finalizing a deal next door to the future Aziza concept?
“One of the coolest things about the project is we’ll be neighbors. I love Mourad and I think we both see it as a collaboration.”
“It’s exciting to be a part of this. It’s a seminal piece of architecture. It’s going downtown. It’s with a friend on the other side. I opened the Slanted Door in the Ferry Building with the same developers. Without taking it all too seriously, it’s auspicious.”
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