This summer on Fillmore Street, the line out the door for dinner at State Bird Provisions showed how popular and buzzing the hotspot-restaurant really is. Chef-owners Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski closed the widely lauded restaurant on August 10 to renovate and grow their business as they take over the Harput’s Market space next door. The duo plan to reopen the restaurant sometime next month. Bay Area Bites interviewed Brioza and his comments have been edited for clarity.
Bay Area Bites: What has been the biggest surprise for you and Nicole with the restaurant expansion?
Brioza: How much time it takes (laughs). No matter how planned out you think you and your group are, you knock down a wall and you never know what will be in between the wall. The biggest surprise is what you don’t know.
Bay Area Bites: With the construction and restaurant closure, are you cooking in your home kitchen or other restaurant kitchens?
Brioza: We’re doing a little bit of that for sure. Believe it or not just because we’re closed, it’s still a tremendous feat managing everything and a lot of what we’ve been doing is related to administrative work to get ahead. In the last year and a half, we’ve been such a small and busy restaurant, all the ideas we had, we never had time to do them.
So it’s been a nice chance to write recipes, restructure the front of the house, and set goals and timelines. That’s been a fun, evolutionary part of business. Then it’s more, “Hey let’s think about the food.” We have been cooking at home and have had time to think about the upcoming menu. It’s gonna be a surprise for you all.
Bay Area Bites Do you have any business mentors?
Brioza: We have a good core group with a business manager and office manager. We just hired a GM named Ryan Anderson from Austin. A GM is a new role for us and we’re excited. He’s helping to define what we are as a restaurant even more.
Bay Area Bites: You are doing a Sandwich Invitational event in Portland and then back in San Francisco for the Taste America James Beard Foundation dinner early in October. What’s it like doing these events?
Brioza: We try to not do too many things because this has been the quietest time we’ve had in a year and a half.