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Feb-6-2013

New 21st & Geary restaurant finally has a name: De Place


Photo by @trichris

It has a name! And a sign! The new restaurant on Geary and 21st Avenue is called “De Place”. Yup, that’s it.

As @nance_sf commented” “let’s have dinner at de place”. “What place?” “De place!” Oh dear.” Yeah, we think it could be a better name too.

Driving by at night you’ll see lots of tv screens; EaterSF posted a photo earlier this week of the modern interior. Supervisor Mar left a comment earlier this week saying it is run by the owners of Chinatown’s City View Restaurant on Commercial Alley near Kearny Street, known for its dim sum.

We haven’t seen the menu yet and they don’t appear to be online anywhere, even on Yelp. If you’ve popped by, leave a comment to let us know!

Sarah B.

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10:16 am | Posted under Business, Eric Mar, Food | 41 comments
  1. J said (02/6/13; 10:20 am):

    Wow. Seriously? They spent what is clearly hundreds of thousands of dollars renovating the place, with a great interior and exterior, and they can’t do a tiny bit of market research on potential customers to determine that “De Place” is quite possibly the silliest name every for a good restaurant? How about “Le Thing” or “El Food”. Anyone want to have lunch at “La Lunch”?

    Sheesh.

  2. Owen said (02/6/13; 10:24 am):

    The symbol means “tea,” right? Another bubble tea place, perhaps?

  3. Dan said (02/6/13; 10:26 am):

    This place has actually had a name for a long time. Even before they started renovations there were permits posted with the name of the new business on it.

  4. Amy said (02/6/13; 10:34 am):

    You can see those televisions going by on the 38. Ugh! Televisions in restaurants are a deal breaker.

  5. Serge said (02/6/13; 11:14 am):

    As Dan mentioned, they had permits with the name long ago. I commented on the previous article about the location stating that the name will be “De Place.”

  6. Andrew said (02/6/13; 11:18 am):

    Let’s just hope it’s not another Shabu or Crawfish joint. Geary needs another one of those like it needs another bad driver in a Lexus SUV.

  7. eddy said (02/6/13; 11:21 am):

    Like the televisions they had in video cafe..

  8. sascha said (02/6/13; 11:25 am):

    So..if you go all multilingual in the sign, what we’re really sayin’ is that in french-nese this is a “tea space”.

    ? de place = tea space, or tea house, or salon de thé. sort of in line with a dim sum spot. and yet, still pretty weak tea as far as a name goes…

  9. renee said (02/6/13; 12:37 pm):

    Th Blech! I live within spitting distance of this. After month of construction and weeks of ear-splitting street drill hammering, sometimes untl 1:30 a.m (Supervisor Mar: why is this OK with apartment buildings all around it????) …this is what we have to show for it all: yet another Chinese restaurant. I’ll withhold final judgment, but with the parking situation already so bad, all the tv screens in the world (and they’ve been up for weeks) won’t make it attractive to those who drive and park.

  10. Al said (02/6/13; 1:00 pm):

    I see nothing but negative comments – I don’t see anyone else coming up with ideas for the space. Yes, it’s another Chinese restaurant and it’s named Le Place. Unless you have something better fit, or the funds to make it YOUR restaurant, I suggest we welcome this new business with open arms. I, for one, am excited to see this place open.

  11. SFNoey said (02/6/13; 1:23 pm):

    A wine/tapas bar would be great for the area! it would also be great to have an upscale comfort food type place with great cocktails like NOPA or Wayfare Tavern. In other words something other then Asian food – we have plenty of those in the Richmond!

  12. Lauren said (02/6/13; 1:24 pm):

    A place with good mexican food would be nice. Gordo, Tia Margarita & Tommy’s suck.

  13. Derek said (02/6/13; 4:20 pm):

    If they start serving Happy Meals they’re doomed…

  14. Mex said (02/6/13; 4:39 pm):

    Gordo and good mexican food shouldn’t be mention in the same sentence. Compared to the mexican food offered in the Mission Gordo can take a hike.

  15. buck said (02/6/13; 5:01 pm):

    i heard the owners have hired a herve villechaize look-alike for the grand opening. he’ll be yelling “de place, de place!” no word on a ricardo montelban look-alike

  16. grace said (02/6/13; 6:51 pm):

    according to supe mar (above), de place will be run by the same owners of city view – i’ve been there several times over the years for dim sum and it’s good. i’m not thrilled with yet another asian eatery but if they do indeed offer dim sum, it will at least give ton kiang and others a run for their money and maybe improve the quality of dim sum in the area.

    why is it so hard to get a good german restaurant out here? and i don’t mean stein’s. i mean something like walzwerk…

  17. Jacob Wang said (02/6/13; 6:56 pm):

    Mail clerks & Washington students have a new place to hang out

  18. Russian Mafia said (02/6/13; 7:06 pm):

    I love how people post that they don’t like “De Place” name.

    The business owner spent $$$$ to renovate, he can name it anyway he wants! Ya’ll such critics, How about you open your own business and lets see how you can develop it.

    I wonder how many of these so called opinionated experts have the GUTS to invest in a restaurant…..until then S H U T De E F F up!!!!

  19. Russian Mafia said (02/6/13; 7:10 pm):

    BTW That Myron Lee is soooooo over exposed!

  20. Ed said (02/6/13; 7:44 pm):

    “De Place”…will they “de-liver”??

  21. Rob S. said (02/6/13; 9:44 pm):

    Another chinese restaurant? Good grief!

  22. renee said (02/7/13; 12:43 am):

    russian mafia (what an apt name you chose!): This is a blog. Everyone’s entitled to express their opinion. I don’t see where anyone posting here about the restaurant has claimed to be an “expert.”. Just because you don’t agree with some of the comments does not mean that the posters should “shut de eff up!” Rude!

  23. Lisa said (02/7/13; 9:19 am):

    Did anyone notice the giant crawfish or is it a lobster sculpture in the restaurant??

  24. J said (02/7/13; 11:04 am):

    Hey Mafia person, it’s not about the owner having a right or not having a right to name it any way they want. It’s about a grave business miscaculation. If you are going to spend $$$$ to renovate, you might as well spend $ on doing market research. Seriously, get together a few focus groups of people who eat at restaurants, especially Chinese ones. Ask them what they think of the name. If people universally come back and say “What the ***? De Place? You have got to be kidding” then maybe you might want to reconsider the name. The name of a place is important, especially for a fancy restaurant. That’s why you have places named “Prospect” and “Cyrus” and “French Laundry”. It would have been better to name it something completly in Chinese. No one not Chinese knows what “Ton Kiang” means, but it doesn’t evoke a snicker. “Mayflower” also doesn’t evoke a giggle…but this name does. Bad choice.

  25. 4th Generation Richmond Districter said (02/7/13; 12:41 pm):

    Is anyone among the ownership or their relatives named De or Der? There have been a few in the phone book (back when I actually used one). Isn’t Henry Der a restauranteur or was one say 25-30 years ago?

  26. Jason said (02/7/13; 4:41 pm):

    It’s a great name. Nobody has forgotten it right? It’s silly and memorable and fun.

    Chill haters.

  27. Toby said (02/7/13; 11:30 pm):

    City View has good, expensive dim sum. It’s going to be a high end Chinese. I’m glad they finally have a sign and I’ll be happy when they finally open. It’s seems to be taking a long time with the water dept seriously closing off the street to dig down in rainy weather. Thank you for putting money into a classy restaurant and not leaving another abandoned buidling!

  28. phil said (02/8/13; 1:30 am):

    A few things:

    I heard that it will be dim sum during the day, with an emphasis on fish in the evening. We’ll see.

    The name: I don’t like the name, but it *is* memorable and catchy. Heck, we’re all talking about it, right? If the food turns out to be good, the irony in the name may help the restaurant do even more business.

    Russian Mafia: Your behavior and your online sig are a disgrace to your homeland – i.e. trying to claim some kind of weird legitimacy by modeling your behavior and your image after an organization that is as barbaric and heartless as they come. You like the idea of “crocodil”? trafficked women? Unsafe Russian neighborhoods, with steel bank doors on apartments to keep the scum mafia out? the animal named Putin? Nevertheless, you have the right – just like the owners of De Place – to name yourself whatever you want. That said, I’m sure the owners of De Place would not condone your behavior. Grow up!

  29. ALY said (02/10/13; 2:59 pm):

    I do not care what it is called, I just do not want another Chinese restaurant let alone a high end one. One thing all the little old places had going for them was prices. Sure they lacked class and their signage was god awful, but hey, they were cheep, local, and they served a purpose. Now there seems to be a migration of overpriced, loud, impersonal, touristy Asian business from down town, like the karaoke on 23rd and Clement and the face slapping at 13-th, new auction house on Clement and 25th (which apparently hates dogs and promises to prosecute them with legal action); and now this off shoot of the City View. It is starting to look like a cheesy touristy, fake neighborhood, overpriced for no good reason… talk about identity crises..

  30. Steven Hiatt said (02/11/13; 1:42 pm):

    I’m happy to see a good Chinese restaurant in the neighborhood (though I’d rather have a new branch of Straits Cafe, since we lost ours a few years ago; or Spanish; or a branch of Walzwerk, as someone suggested). What’s odd is the secretiveness of the owners, given how much has been spent on the renovation.

  31. De few2rcustomer said (02/12/13; 12:10 pm):

    i live in the neighborhood & every time i passed by it made me think they’re renovating that corner forever & finally the other day i saw a name or a sign if you will, LOLz the owner must be filthy rich to hv spent so much $$$ & good luck & hope i like what they’ll be serving, so they can save me fr cooking often! someone mentioned here the mexican taqueria Gordo, i’m one of their biggest fans, that place is reasonable & good! well it remains to be seen about this place tho i luv chinese foods! welcome i’d say to the neighborhood!

  32. Bob said (02/13/13; 7:42 pm):

    I’m the last person to enforce a code of political correctness on anyone.

    But I have to say, to choose to live in a neighborhood that’s more than 50% Chinese (which the Richmond has been for several years now) and then scream “Oh, no! It’s another Chinese restaurant! What were they thinking?” is, at the very least, a bit jarring.

  33. ALY said (02/14/13; 11:11 am):

    @Bob: We are talking food choices here. I would think all Chinese do not go only to Chinese restaurants, or all Russian only to Russian produce/delis, or French only to French establishments. I do not see any reason for anyone living in any district of any California city to meekly welcome any new eatery. Diversity, for which so many people value SF means variety, so too much of any one thing , well, is too much.

  34. phil said (02/15/13; 11:33 pm):

    @Bob

    Bob, many cities have “business zoning” laws (Los Altos is one small city that comes immediately to mind), where a business cannot open if there is the ‘same, competing’ business already open within a certain diamter of the new proposed business’ location.

    So, if I want to open a Catonese restaurant next door to a Taishan restaurant, that’s one thing – but if I want to open a generic Chines restuarant next to another generic Chinese restaurant, the rules won’t permit it.

    Benefit? You end up with a lot less business turnover. Landlord in the Richmond (and, all over the city) love the current arrangement, because they don’t share any risk. We’re supposed to be a “smart” city. The current policies relative to business licening, especially restaurant licensing in dense restaurant areas are just plain dumb.

    I have nothing personally against De Place, and hope they do very well. But, if the latter happens, will it be because they are drawing MORE, NEW business to the Richmond, or simply recycling customers from other eateries of a similar kind, with the latter slowing fading to black? That’s the kind of scenario thinking that is not taking place in San Francisco, relative to several enterprise sectors, including the restaurant sector.

    Our distinguished Supervisor and his staff should be looking into this problem, and doing something to change it for the better.

  35. sean p. said (02/16/13; 10:34 am):

    Yay! Another Chinese restaurant!

  36. T. Miller said (02/18/13; 3:09 am):

    After reading the posts, I don’t know what to say now. I was eager to see what would open after more than a year of construction. I had been hoping it would be some kind of Diner that could be open 24 hours (similar to the old Video cafe, but better). Since this didn’t happen I’ll just have to wait and see what their menu has to offer. Hopefully not another place I’ll never go to. There is such a lack of variety now in this area. Nowhere in the immediate area to have Breakfast, which I miss.

  37. Dan said (02/20/13; 4:33 pm):

    I can’t believe all these ignorant posts here. Complaining about “another Chinese restaurant” in a predominantly Chinese neighborhood, complaining about the name (ever stop to consider that the restaurant may not be named with your taste for, or understanding of, restaurant names in mind…?). Touristy, fake, cheesy, overpriced? What the hell are you talking about? What overpriced Chinese restaurant is there in the neighborhood? (Actually there is one, just one – Quan Ju Fu on Clement, which I predict won’t be around too long as their food sucks).

    Yeah, let’s have a German restaurant like Walzwerk. That’s a big in-demand cuisine.

    All I can say is that anything would be better on that corner than the vile, filthy eatery that was there before.

  38. Sean Barnett said (02/26/13; 4:00 pm):

    I finally walked past this place, after reading the blog post a while ago. You guys are a bunch of cry babies! I think it looks AMAZING! Crazy chandeliers, a ridiculous amount of TV’s, and a glass waterfall with a human sized lobster greeting you at the door – ARE YOU KIDDING ME? This is why I live in the Richmond!

  39. De Place closes after only three weeks; cites hiring woes as the reason | Richmond SF Blog said (03/18/13; 10:05 am):

    [...] There was a lively discussion a few weeks ago about the new Asian restaurant at 21st and Geary called, simply, D…. [...]

  40. ken said (04/8/13; 12:28 pm):

    Anybody knows why this place closed?

  41. Administrator said (04/8/13; 12:32 pm):

    @ken – more info here on the closing:

    http://richmondsfblog.com/2013/03/18/de-place-closes-after-only-three-weeks-cites-hiring-woes-as-the-reason/

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