Photo Credit: Big Night Restaurant Group
Look for Big Night Restaurant Group, the hospitable folks behind Park Tavern, The Cavalier and SoMa fave Marlowe, to get even bigger this year with the addition of a fourth San Francisco restaurant called Leo’s Luxury Oyster Bar. Named for the son of owners Anna Weinberg and James Nicholas, Leo’s will be located at 568 Sacramento Street, near the Financial District, in the former home of Wexler’s.
Leo’s will focus on high-end craft cocktails, champagne and seafood—all particular personal passions of the Big Night team. The cocktails will have a lighter hand, to naturally pair well with seafood: apertivi, refreshers and coolers, and lighter spirits that skew floral, mineral, aromatic, bitter. Big Night is working with some collectors of rare Champagnes in order to show a selection of vintage finds not often seen, especially in a smaller seafood bar. Chef partner Jennifer Puccio will offer grilled oysters, chowders, shellfish bisque, lobster roll, salads and many bites still in the works. Pastry chef Emily Luchetti will provide the scrumptious desserts that she does to the group’s other eateries.
As with many of their spaces, Leo’s will be a collection of small, intimate experiences. Designed by Ken Fulk and Ken Fulk alum Jon de La Cruz, the 40-seat residential-feeling space will feature a raw bar, a cocktail bar and a champagne bar, and all to serve food throughout.
“We liken it to an elegant 1950’s New York apartment,” says Weinberg.
“Leo’s was inspired by the great cocktail and oyster bars of the golden era. It’s a dose of mid-century sleek mixed with a dash of the exotic,” Fulk adds.
At the entrance is a conservatory atrium with a skylight and ferns, “a kind of perfect martini-in-the-afternoon space” says Weinberg. That leads into a mahogany-paneled jewel box with banquette seating on one side, and the cocktail and raw bar directly facing. The bar itself will be a dramatic uplit salmon onyx, which then transitions into the smaller brass raw bar. The back of the space is the Champagne bar. Lined with cabinetry throughout, no liquor is shown except for a glowing container for vintage Champagne. Moroccan tile and oxblood banquettes front whimsical floral patterns. The food served in the back bar will be small plates on cocktail tables, such as shrimp toasts and caviar sandwiches.
We can’t wait until this new sure-to-be haute spot opens and promise to keep you posted on exactly when it does.