Food news: Perilla changes course, Cafe Europa coming, what’s at 21st & Geary?

We have some movement this week among our neighborhood restaurants:

For those of you that pine over the menu at BB Bob’s Diner on California near 6th Avenue, we have some unfortunate news. It’s been closed for the last several weeks and it looks like Cafe Europa, touting “European Comfort Food”, will be opening up there shortly. EaterSF has more details.

Reader Melissa tells us that Perilla (5423 Geary near 18th Avenue) is changing course, including its name and menu. This after just opening in May 2012. They’ve been under renovations for about a month now, and will be re-opening this weekend as Cajun Crawfish Boil, specializing in, you guessed it – crawfish. The restaurant is not changing ownership – it will still be in the family with PPQ Dungeness Island and the remaining Perilla restaurants.

And tons of you have been asking about what is going to open at 21st and Geary in the former Video Cafe location. Now that the facade is revealed, we can tell that a lot has been changed. Truth be told, we don’t know yet! But we are looking into it and as soon as we have some details, we’ll let you know! Last we heard, it was to be a Chinese restaurant.

Bon apetit,

Sarah B.


  1. Awesome! Just what Geary needs – a Chinese food restaurant! I was hoping they’d open a mattress store though.

  2. Certainly doesn’t look like any Chinese restaurant I’ve ever seen, with the giant windows and sign-frame it looks more like a retail space of some sort.

  3. Kim:

    City permits for the two properties (the corner building has expanded into the adjacent building on 21st) state that there will be a commercial kitchen for food preparation purposes. So it does seem like it will be a restaurant.

  4. I heard this weekend that it’s going to be a Thai restaurant. This would make some sense, remember the “Thai Me Up” menu at Video Cafe? Same owners?

  5. You said it Robin. We need more Chinese restaurants and mattress stores like we need another hole in the head. Why can’t somebody open up a taqueria? At this rate, I’d be happy to see a McDonalds move in…

  6. Another Chinese restaurant! I just wonder how long it will last. If I was a business owner, I might do a little neighborhood research before opening a new restaurant. Imagine what a good steak place would do! I guess only time will tell in seeing if it stays or if it goes.

  7. Makes me wonder what the Mayflower owners are up to. I know there are plenty of restaurant workers living in the district, not sure how many can cook though.

    I would like to see a decent shoe store, one that measures your feet. Geary has not been the same since Walter May closed.

    At least neither appear to be massage parlors.

  8. I was so hoping for a breakfast dinner or crepes and sandwiches( boo-hoo).
    Applebee’s where are you?

  9. BB Bob’s Diner will not be missed by me. Does the owner hang out here? Sorry, but that place made a disgusting breakfast and I never saw one person in there.

  10. Does anyone know what’s going in at 12th and Clement? Looks like a liquor store of some sort, would be great to have one with really good beer.

  11. Another Chinese restaurant? Fail! San Francisco refuses to put into play quotas for commercial zones. Why should there be 5-6 Chinese restaurants on one block, unless it’s in a “special” district, like Chinatown? All that leads to is a “race to the bottom” in price, and quality; empty storefronts (when people go out of business); and, blight. Eric Mar, where ARE you on this issue!

  12. Quotas? What a great idea. What about free enterprise? What if there were 6 Chinese restaurants on one block and they were all terrible? #7 could blow them all away, but #7 would be outta luck and we’d all lose. And what about all the empty storefronts? Id rather have an entire block of Chinese restaurants than empty storefronts. If they can survive amongst all that competition – let them! Ever notice how there are 3 “Japanese” restaurants on the same block? They manage. Or how about all the dim sum places? They manage, too. Quotas would also cost the building owners because they have a hard enough time finding tenants. The bottom line is: having only one choice isn’t a choice. Bring on the “race to the bottom!” Nothing else seems to be getting cheaper these days.

    Of course, I’m only talking about independent/small chain Chinese restaurants. Chains of any sort need not apply.

    As a sidenote, wasn’t it those ADA holes who brought about the shuttering of Video Cafe? Whatever happened with that whole fiasco?

    Although Video Cafe wasn’t that great, at least it was always open. It’s hard to screw up eggs and toast. I just wonder what happened to that old lady who worked there since before I was born. And Glowa…I miss Puertola’s, but I never used Glowa, even though I kinda knew Jim (the owner guy? He always wore aviator sunglasses and had a stache).

    As far as what I would put there? I could care less, as long as it tastes good and the prices aren’t exorbitant. Secretly I wish for another Kragen or an FFL, but that won’t happen.

  13. BB Bob’s lost me when the night manager thought he could charge a gweilo $9 for two orders of fries to go. If it’s true that “one of the Europa owners is a former employee of Bistro Gambrinus”, that’s awesome news — Gambrinus is great, but the brutal trek over Lone Mountain to get there is not.

  14. I’m just glad that former 24 Hour Video Cafe place won’t be a bank.

    I’m all for more Chinese restaurants. China’s a huge country. We’ve seen such variety on Geary (and adjacent streets) in recent years. Dong Bei Mama introduced Manchurian food to the area. Sichuan Home is one of the city’s best, if not its best, Sichuan restaurant. Hong Kong Lounge has fully challenged Ton Kiang’s dim sum dominance.

  15. i second a GOOD mexican place that serves booze. all the ones that serve booze in the ‘hood have pretty subpar food.

  16. Why all this hate with Chinese food? Did you know how hard working the Chinese are? They slave all day, 12 hours days. For What? Ungrateful people who don’t like Chinese food. All you naysayers, have you ever run a restaurant? Long hours, chopping all day, cooking in heat, standing on your feet. We are so lucky to have restaurants and for people to come to our neighborhood to eat. Can’t we be grateful that we don’t have any more empty spaces. Can’t we all get along. You naysayers, try run a restaurant and try to pay all your bills towards high rent and high cost of food, pay your workers, and pay for worker’s health insurance. Look at all the restaurants, go to the back of the kitchen, look and see who actually does all the work-Hispanics? Minorities work in the back. High end restaurants? Aziza? Who sweats in these kitchens?

  17. There is a Mexican place that serves booze: Tommy’s. In fact, they have one of the largest collections of 100% agave tequila outside of Mexico. What more do you want? A Chevy’s? Is Celia’s really that far away? How is it that people can advocate for quotas of Chinese food, while others argue for saturation of Mexian restaurants?

    Tommy’s is an institution. In fact, my mom and uncle went to St. Monica’s with the kids. That’s how far back they go. I’ve always liked it. And I’ve always liked Tia and Celia’s. If you don’t like them, then try someplace else. Don’t expect the world to cater to you and your taste buds.

  18. @Kerry: The place at 12th ave and Clement is supposed to be a 2nd location for Healthy Spirits. Very exciting!

  19. @Kerry

    Sarah is right, 2nd Healthy Spirits. My favourite beer store, very excited about that.

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