In the coming months, Kim Alter, Dominique Crenn and Gabriela Cámara are slated to make high-profile moves into Hayes Valley. But it seems another restaurateur with a fine-dining pedigree could be headed to the neighborhood, as signs point to Eric Lilavois, former Chief Operating Officer at Thomas Keller Restaurant Group, bringing a restaurant to the ground floor of DDG’s 400 Grove at Grove and Gough.
The street-level commercial space has been rumored to become a restaurant since the building’s website was launched earlier this year, in which it hinted at a “new restaurant.” In addition, a building permit filed with the city in December of 2014 requested approval for the construction of a new restaurant on the ground floor.
Now, thanks to a liquor license filed on June 23rd by the company F2 Founders LLC, we’re finally getting some details on who might be moving in. The application lists Eric Lilavois as behind the project. Lilavois has previously worked at a number of Thomas Keller restaurants, including stints as head sommelier and then Director of Operations at Per Se in New York, as well as Bouchon Bakery in Yountville. He became COO of TKRG in 2007.
According to a bio on Thomas Keller’s website, Lilavois left his job in May of last year to launch a “fast-casual restaurant company” – which we can only presume is the new venture at 400 Grove, though the concept has not been confirmed. So far, we haven’t been able to get in touch with Lilavois to discuss his plans further, but we’ll update readers when we get more information.
The restaurant’s name has yet to be announced, and the space is still under construction. However, according to a trademark filing linked to F2 Founders, it appears the restaurant could be called “Little Gem”.