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El Chato, a taberna Española, is opening at 2301 Bryant Street in the Mission District, taking over the space previously home to Cafe Murano. The new dining concept is brought to us by Erin Rickenbaker and Rafa Saenz, who confirm that they are aiming to open El Chato by mid-January 2022.
Rickenbaker was the former wine director for SoMa’s Bellota, where she met and worked alongside Saenz, who also happens to be native Spanish. Originating from an idea to bring people to Spain, El Chato is a way for the co-owners to share the country’s culinary culture with San Franciscans.
El Chato’s primary focus is its Iberian-centric wine list, in addition to sherries and vermouth on tap. Most of their libations will be sourced from Spain, Portugal, and the French Basque area. According to their menu, a “chato” is a colloquial Spanish term for “buddy,” and it’s also what they’re calling their 3-ounce glasses, which are perfect for tasting the whole drink menu.
In addition to shareable plates and a few desserts, the menu features Pinchos, Charcuteria, Latos y Conservas, which includes various small bites on artisan bread, gourmet salads, albondigas and more. All of this is meant to offer guests “a truly authentic gastronomic experience.”
When they finally open their doors, El Chato promises a “chill spot to sample Spanish wine, beer, and vermouth in the namesake 3oz. glass. Plus food and music, good vibes and good bathrooms.” Based on this information you can bet you’ll be seeing El Chato all over your friends’ Instagram feeds in the near future.