Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

  • Doing Good

    Not only does the Bay Area food scene provide amazing dining experiences, it also does good for the community and world. Let’s look at five local groups that are doin’ good work in the world.

    La Cocina – “Cultivating Food Entrepreneurs.” We first worked with the La Cocina incubator for El Huarache Loco with owner Veronica Salazar’s magnificent take on the flavors of Mexico City. You don’t have to travel to MEX to taste some bold DF flavor! It’s located just over at the Marin Mart! First of all, go there. It’s delicious. Secondly, props to La Cocina for bringing Veronica and a host of diverse culinary projects to life that may not otherwise have found the resources to get something going in the exorbitant (don’t think this is an exaggeration, unfortunately) Bay Area market. La Cocina operates on the belief that “a community of natural entrepreneurs, given the right resources, can create self-sufficient businesses that benefit themselves, their families, their community, and the whole city.”Here’s a list of their graduated businesses. We know you’re hungry.

    Cala – We’ve written about this before but damn if it’s not worth revisiting! Gabriela Camara opened Cala in 2015, another Mexico City goddess of food, this time with an ambitious take on higher end Mexican cuisine. It’s a beautiful, airy, Meyer sound developed space that definitely conveys the hip vibe of the Condesa or Roma Norte barrios of Mexico City. We love all of these things, but they’re not what put Cala on our list. For that, we just have to look at their hiring philosophy. With the lack of staff generally available in a saturated restaurant climate, Camara and co-owner Emma Rosenbush look a little deeper for talent. About 70 percent of the staff is recruited from Delancey Street, the San Francisco Adult Probation Dept. and other similar rehabilitation centers in the area, providing work opportunities for a community that generally isn’t considered as a legitimate talent pool.  Cala is doing good on many levels and we are proud to be a part of their project.

    Food Runners – The mission of Food Runners is trifold: to help alleviate hunger in SF, to help prevent waste, and to help create community. Founded in 1987 by Tante Marie’s creator Mary Risley, an incredibly down to earth and saucy advocate for culinary activism, it has been awarded “Humanitarian of the Year” by the James Beard Foundation, and the program provides 5,000 meals per day from over 450 restaurants, caterers, grocery stores and other businesses. You can donate money of course, here, or join the community and volunteer. And if you don’t already know Mary, may we suggest acquainting yourself with this masterpiece: Just Put the F&*%ing Turkey in the Oven

    CUESA – If you have ever enjoyed the magnificent Ferry Building Farmer’s Market, then you have enjoyed CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture).  They are committed to “cultivating a sustainable food system through the operation of farmers markets and educational programs”.  They have great classes like the upcoming Knife Skills 101 on April 9th . Really, their website is a veritable cornucopia of incredible farm to table events, articles featuring producers and artisans, and, well, good ol’ food porn. It’s a Bay Area food treasure.

    CHEFS – ECS, the Episcopal Community Services, has an incredible project that provides safe housing, and counseling services to a sizeable percentage of the city’s homeless population, in and of itself a noble task. But the unique part of this program is the culinary training it provides from professional chefs, preparing the students to work in actual pro kitchens upon graduation. This site gives a sense of the scope of ECS and particularly the CHEFS program, and if you’re looking for a really fabulous way to get involved, you MUST attend their annual fundraiser, Summertini (coming up June 3rd!). Get yourself a lil’ dolled up, taste food & signature cocktails from top establishments all over the Bay AND the CHEFS kitchen, and join the fun of the auction for a chance to bid on unique items like private chef dinners, custom bespoke suits, and rare wines for your collection.

    For a city that places so much importance on food, these kinds of programs speak to a larger sense of progress. And we’re thrilled each and every time we get to participate in bringing them to the world or helping to sustain them.

    If you hold dear any food-related programs that could benefit from our services, please do get in touch. You can just hit reply! We offer reduced rates for certain projects that fit the scope of culinary community development.

    Tags:, , , , ,
  • A Year in Review

    Bringing Dreams to Life

    It’s been quite the year for restaurants, and the busiest yet for the elves over here at ABC License Company. Eater SF is right, it El Niño-ed Michelin stars in SF (congrats to Kusakabe, Mourad, Atelier Crenn, Aster, & Lazy Bear from our fab client list btw).  We’re extremely proud to have helped so many dreams become a reality this year.

    Here’s a list of some of our favorite 2015 openings, in no particular order:

    One of the most innovative projects we’ve worked on with their progressive hiring strategy of staffing with individuals who have a conviction history, a move inspired by GM Emma Rosenbush. This is helping address the staff shortage so many Bay Area restaurants are finding while doing a social good, all in a very much for-profit environment. And the food is excellent. Amazing work that these boss ladies are doing.

    149 Fell Street, San Francisco

    Their family-style, blind tasting menu is one of the best social dinner activities we’ve tried, and we love the bar program here. Whether you go with a seasonal cocktail or explore the impressive wine list, passion comes through here in every aspect of the experience.

    8 Mint Plaza, San Francisco

    Team Paganini strikes again with the downtown outpost of Delarosa. It’s always so inspiring to watch Back of the House, Inc. navigate expansions; their restaurant business acumen is unparalleled.  And this is easily BART-able for us, because Oakland.

    37 Yerba Buena Ln, San Francisco

    Speaking of Oakland, there is some KILLER Oaxacan food at 23rd & Broadway. There’s a wall of tequila & mezcal to explore and the Queso Flameado Con Huitlacoche appetizer is life-changing.

    2337 Broadway, Oakland
    Teleferic Barcelona
    A little further east and you’ll find phenomenal Basque food in Walnut Creek! Their 2nd floor patio is perfect for a leisurely meal under the stars in the Basque tradition.

    1500 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Walnut Creek

    SF Wine School
    Their new facility in South San Francisco is elegant and spacious, the perfect place to delve a little (or a whole hell of a lot) deeper into your wine education. If this helps keep the Bay Area one of the most knowledgeable wine regions in the world, you can be sure we are 100% behind it!

    415 Grand Ave, Suite 301, South San Francisco

    Brett Cooper’s new spot is gorgeous and approachable. Definitely save room for dessert.

    1001 Guerrero, San Francisco

    Coco Frio
    Venezuelan cuisine by a chef formerly of Nobu, A16, Quince & Coi? What more do you need to know? Full bar & tasting menu option, because one of our resolutions is to make less decisions in the new year.

    2937 Mission Street, San Francisco

    What does 2016 have in store?

    We can’t wait to announce some of the projects we’re lining up for next year…

    Hope you’re enjoying your holiday season however you like it best.

    ABC License Company

  • Patio Party

    Here in San Francisco, summer has finally arrived.  Although Mark Twain didn’t seem to enjoy it, we do have some stellar places to eat & drink outdoors during the long light hours of the season.  Many of our clients, in fact, do the outdoor dining thing very well!  May we recommend…


    Terrapin Crossroads
    As good a reason as any to get yourself to Marin County.  The Lesh’s have a gem on their hands with an incredible outdoor space to dine & dance right on the water in San Rafael.  If you haven’t gone yet, it’s a must try.

    via Yelp

    Classic German beer garden picnic tables hit the right note to create a jovial social atmosphere in the heart of Hayes Valley.  Make new friends!  Enjoy the sausages & brews!  It’s one of those places that make you think everything will work out.

    via Yelp

    4505 Meats
    Ryan Farr knows how to bring that BBQ.  4505 has an uncomplicated outdoor space, great for getting your hands dirty with the ribs, burgers and beer at 705 Divisadero. So meaty and good!


    Gitane – Café Claude – Claudine
    The Claude Lane Trifecta has a sultry little patio area on Claude Lane in the Financial District.  Perfect for leisurely lunching or those romantic city evenings.

    via Gitane

    With the Supreme Court decision making the rainbow flags fly high, the Castro will certainly be a hot spot for the next 9,999,999 days.  Beso has a fabulous front patio for people-watching and enjoying Chef Nick’s delectable Spanish cuisine.

    The tea empire is now serving beer & wine at its Yerba Buena location.  If you have not yet been, this outpost has a sprawling, sunny outdoor space that overlooks Yerba Buena Park from a satisfyingly elevated vantage.   We recommend this for a relaxing afternoon respite.


    Equator Coffees & Teas
    A beautiful build out and a “Marklet” for a posh place to enjoy a coffee or tea cocktail, like the ‘Naughty Steep’ or a ‘Coconut White Russian’ with something delicious from the kitchen.  The Equator team brings a nice Marin ease to the Warfield stretch of Market.  And worth noting that they hired almost the entire staff by setting up tents on the sidewalk and interviewing anyone who passed by.  “There are so many diamonds in the rough,” says Manager of Operations Katie Solinger.


    We hope you enjoy many warm rays of sun in this mischievous Bay Area summer!  BUT… don’t forget to always carry your light sweater.

    ABC License Company

    Tags:, ,