Steak and Stripper Poles: A New San Francisco Nonstaurant at Bruno’s

In the continuing vein of restaurants-that-aren’t-really-restaurants (a.k.a. “nonstaurants”) popping up in odd places with low overhead, now comes “Good Evening Thursday.” The concept: a Rat Pack–style steakhouse that appears one night a week in the private room at Bruno’s in San Francisco’s Mission District. It’s the project of a group of restaurant-biz buddies (chef Chris Kronner, formerly of Slow Club and Serpentine; Danny Bowien of Farina; and Sam White of Chez Panisse) and is serving American classics like filet mignon for two with a side of roast potatoes and creamed spinach, chopped salad, oysters Rockefeller, martinis, etc.

Though Bruno’s has seen past iterations of fancy dining ventures, of late it’s been more famously known as the kind of bar where tri-curious couples could go to pick up a “thirdy.” (The private party room upstairs, where the nonstaurant operates, has a big sign on the wall reading “Pussycat Lounge,” stripper poles placed throughout the floor, and a bad scarlet color scheme.) But the “Good Evening Thursday” crew has classed it up, not only with delicious food, but also with beautiful staff (girls in little black dresses, guys in ties and vests). The first night saw a few kinks in the service (a leek terrine that didn’t set properly, and no coffee—there’s no heating element in the “dining room,” though the organizers are using the moribund kitchen downstairs), but they were far outweighed by the energy and food. There was even an Alice Waters sighting! “The theatricality of it is half the fun,” says Kronner. “And the idea is that this is mobile now—we could take this group of people and do this anywhere, which would ideally be the goal. I feel like we could cook out of the back of my car.” But does your car have stripper poles?

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