The Couple Behind Cassava Is Hoping to Bring an “Elevated Wine Bar” Experience to Outer Richmond

Co-owner Yuka Ioroi sees the concept as a way to give back, sharing, "We have a really strong bond with the neighborhood — Outer Richmond is the neighborhood that raised us."
The Couple Behind Cassava Are Hoping to Bring an "Elevated Wine Bar" Experience to Outer Richmond
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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.

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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.”

An opening date has not yet been announced, so stay tuned to Cassava’s Instagram and Facebook for additional updates.

Elise McCorkle

Elise McCorkle is a freelance writer for What Now Media Group. She is an alumna of The University of Texas at Austin and has experience working in the creative, advertising, and events industries. She is currently based in Lisbon, Portugal.
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