After months of sitting empty, its iconic neon sign gone dark, the venerable Elite Cafe is finally stirring.
“Big visual changes, but still very much in spirit with the restaurant,” says new owner Andy Chun, who has promised the Art Deco period piece will be maintained and refreshed. “We are mainly doing cosmetic work — paint, finishes, new lighting fixtures — and furniture.”
Chun says the New Orleans flavor of the menu will continue when the restaurant reopens. “August is a big month for us,” he says. “Everything has been ordered and we are putting everything together. We’re hoping to be open in mid-September.”
FAREWELL HEIDI SHOES;
HELLO ATELIER COLOGNE
”My lease was up and I had to decide if I wanted to dedicate more time to my business or to my family — and when I put it that way, it became a simple decision.” So Heidi Sabelhaus Myers — who for a time had three women’s fashion shops on Fillmore — closed Heidi Says Shoes at 2105 Fillmore at the end of July and has consolidated operations at the original Heidi Says at 2426 Fillmore.
The ex-shoe shop will become a new home for Atelier Cologne, a parfumerie with boutiques in Paris, New York and Hong Kong.
NOAH'S BAGELS CLOSES
ITS FILLMORE OUTPOST
After more than 20 years at 2213 Fillmore, Noah's Bagels has shuttered its shop on the street.
There is no shortage of bagels in the neighborhood, however, with Wise Sons' bagel factory at 1520 Fillmore going strong.
EMPTY, BUT RENTED
With the continuing onrush of national and international fashion and cosmetics brands onto upper Fillmore Street, retail space has become so sought after that corporate tenants are willing to pay rent for months while their storefronts sit empty, waiting for city permits to be approved.
A dozen storefronts north of Bush Street are now vacant, but almost all are already leased.
Among the stores in the works:
• Intermix, the Gap’s newest acquisition, is taking over Brooks Brothers’ Black Fleece space at 2223 Fillmore.
• 45rpm, a Japanese clothing brand, is coming to 1905 Fillmore.
• Space NK, a cosmetics company based in London, plans to open at 2000 Fillmore, former home of Paolo Shoes.
• Frye Boots is building out the space at 2047 Fillmore formerly occupied by Vitamin Express.
CITY PUTS YOSHI'S
UP FOR GRABS
More than a year after it went dark, Yoshi's jazz club and restaurant at 1330 Fillmore is still looking for new life.
City officials have announced they are looking for interested buyers — and for local citizens to help choose among the ideas proposed. More information and applications are here.
To stir up activity in the meantime, the city is offering to lease some of the public areas in the building to community groups. Book here.
COMING AND GOING AT
DIVIS AND CALIFORNIA
The busy intersection of California and Divisadero is getting ever livelier — and tastier.
• Longtime local favorite Food Inc. closed after more than 20 years and has been replaced by a new wine bar called Scopo Divino.
• Across the street, Tataki has moved its sushi bar a few doors west into a sleek new home. In its old space, the owners have opened Limu & Shoyu, which they’re billing as “San Francisco’s only sustainable poke bar.”
• On the corner, Wild Hare has been taken over by the owners of Lightning Tavern on Union Street. The name will remain the same, but there’s a new menu, and changes to the look of the place are coming.
• Bistro SF Grill, the burger joint that got its start as a pop-up on Saturday mornings at the Fillmore Farmers Market, has moved to Castro and 24th. “We’re sad to leave,” said co-owner Hasim Zecic. “We know our neighbors. When we got here it was just cars, no people. Now it’s friendlier and busier.”