The couple behind Cassava, a North Beach-based restaurant known for modern Californian cuisine, is hoping to introduce an “elevated wine bar” experience to Outer Richmond.
According to a post on Cassava’s Instagram page, co-owners Yuka Ioroi and Kris Toliao are currently searching for partners to help bring the concept to life. They share, “We envision lighter bites, classic and elegant wine, and a relaxing atmosphere.”
The concept is planned to open at 3519 Balboa Street, where Cassava operated for more than a decade before the pandemic made conditions, especially the lack of indoor space, impossible to overcome. “We needed a location with more visibility and indoor seating if we were going to survive,” Ioroi tells What Now San Francisco.
The unnamed concept will offer a similar wine list to Cassava, with an emphasis on sake and a collection of sparkling wine. In their search for partners, Ioroi expresses that there will be no wiggle room concerning their no-exploitation policy for the supply chain, “especially when it comes to how our staff is treated.”
For readers who are unfamiliar, Cassava, now located at 401 Columbus Avenue, is a fine dining establishment with a menu that communicates the pair’s unique interpretation of “California cuisine” — informed by their cultural backgrounds, Ioroi is a Japanese ex-pat and Toliao is Filipino-American, as well as their professional experiences working in kitchens across the Bay Area.
Ioroi tells What Now San Francisco that she and Toliao see the wine bar as a way to give back to Outer Richmond, saying, “We have a really strong bond with the neighborhood — Outer Richmond is the neighborhood that raised us.”