Details on The Butler & The Chef’s new location

January 5, 2015 / 147 South Park

by Paolo Lucchesi – Inside Scoop SF

Among the many items in this week’s print edition of the Inside Scoop — from Doug Washington’s little side project at Paragon to the OMG news that the American Grilled Cheese Kitchen now delivers — is the news that South Park’s quaint, ever-popular French bistro the Butler & the Chef has some big expansion plans.

“We have outgrown our current place,” says chef-owner Joel Martin. “It’s hard putting a lot of food out of the basement.”

Martin says he’s had his eye on the building next door (147 South Park) for years, and finally found partners to buy the land. The plan is to tear down the existing building, once approval from the city is received (they’ve already been through the historical commission with smooth sailing).

Then, Cass Calder Smith and co. will construct a 40 foot-tall, four-story building in its place. The top floors will be residential, but there will be a first-floor restaurant — the new version of the Butler & the Chef.

Now, the new incarnation of the restaurant would only increase seating by a third — the same 22 bistro tables will make the move over. However, there will be an added dynamic of a 16-person community table in the front area, plus a wine bar that seats 10-12 people.

Perhaps more importantly for Martin, the kitchen will be able to be much bigger than its current state. He says the menu will stay the same, but he’s put a goal of having the best French fries in town.

If all goes to plan, ground would break in June (but that’s still TBD). When the move happens, Martin will let go of the current space (155 South Park), so if anyone wants it…

The Butler & The Chef: 155 South Park Ave.; (415) 896-2075 or