SF: Food Trucks’ Days are Numbered as China Basin Prepares for Focaccia

Sam's ChowderMobile in the courtyard at China Basin.

By John Birdsall | SFWeekly.com

Sam's ChowderMobile in the courtyard at China Basin.

China Basin, the South Beach office complex at 185 Berry that lost a Specialty’s Cafe last month is preparing to fill the void with focaccia. Make that Focaccia with a capital F, the FiDi bakery and cafe now readying its second location at 455 Market (at First St.). Focaccia owners David Davari and Amir Akbari are hoping to launch the Market Street branch in about two weeks. The one at China Basin, near AT&T Park, will open in stages, Akbari tells SFoodie, as the former Specialty’s is renovated and expanded. The first stage should start in a week or so, when Focaccia starts selling breakfast pastries, Caffe Umbria coffee, and cold lunches from a temporary space. The completed cafe should roll out sometime in the fall. The original Focaccia, at 119 Sacramento (at Drumm), opened in 1993.

Meanwhile, 185 Berry has been hosting daily food-truck minipods (JapaCurry, Senor Sisig, Little Green Cyclo, Brass Knuckle, and more) since Specialty’s departed. They’ll disappear once Focaccia starts selling, says Richard Hayes, vice president of leasing for McCarthy Cook, the company that manages China Basin. “The tenants love it, they absolutely love it,” Hayes says about the trucks. “It’s interesting, because nobody seems to miss the [Specialty’s] salads.”