Mina’s Touch: Renowned Chef Michael Mina Comes Full Circle

Even though he was focused on a new venture, Mina Group, it took some time to get over the shock of leaving AQUA.

“Nothing made me stay up [more,]” he said. “People committed their life to [it] and I had walk out and I couldn’t say a word to them. It was a big mess.”

But Mina wasn’t done with the AQUA space yet. He describes driving by the restaurant and just admiring the beauty and architecture of the space.

“It was like breaking up with an ex-girlfriend when you’re so in love with her, [and] you drive by her house,” he said. “I’ve always been in love with that space. I always felt that was the sexiest, most beautiful restaurant space in San Francisco. And so when I finally got to walk [back] into the restaurant it was very emotional.”

But before Mina’s return to his culinary home, he tackled other projects. Mina has opened a total of 24 eateries, 19 with his company Mina Group and 5 prior to that. Notable names like Bourbon Steak, American Fish, Arcadia, Clock Bar, Michael Mina, Nobhill Tavern, RN74, SeaBlue and Stripsteak are just some names on Mina’s laundry list of accomplishments. He even partnered up with Andre Agassi eight and half years ago.

But it seems that amongst this long and notable list, MICHAEL MINA reopening on the site of AQUA is what he names as his greatest success.