Gather to Open New San Francisco Restaurant called Verbena
I’m thrilled to share the news that Gather, one of my favorite restaurants in Berkeley will be opening a new restaurant in San Francisco at 2323 Polk Street at Green.
It’s been over a month since Marbella/Rex Cafe closed shop on Polk Street, and the folks behind Berkeley’s Gather are in the pole position to take over the high-profile Russian Hill space.
The three partners at Gather are Eric Fenster, Ari Derfel and Esquire’s 2010 Chef of the Year, Sean Baker. According to Fenster, the Polk Street location isn’t a done deal quite yet, but it’s in the final stages and he’s “very confident” it should be completed in the next few days.
As such, details are scarce in the earlygoing, but the plan is for the cocktail program to play a larger role. Also, since the Marbella space is smaller than the Berkeley original, Baker will be able to put out a more refined version of what he’s done at Gather, concentrating more on composed plates than say, a burger.
They’re going to keep the center bar where it is, near the front entryway — “to keep the lively experience,” says Fenster. The new restaurant will almost assuredly will not be named Gather. Stay tuned for further updates.