photo: Philip Liborio Gangi
Construction workers take a break after putting the finishing touches on the new Park Chalet
By Peter Sciacca
The Beach Chalet Brewery is known for its brews and views of the Ocean Beach coastline but visitors will soon get to see another side of the brewery and restaurant - the Golden Gate Park side.
Owners Lara and Gar Truppelli will open a combined indoor and outdoor cafe-style restaurant on Monday, April 12, that will be called the Park Chalet Garden Restaurant.
"The Park Chalet has a fun, casual and relaxed atmosphere," Lara Truppelli said. "Beautiful landscaping will surround it."
The restaurant is bordered by retracting glass doors. Other prominent design features include a centralized fireplace surrounded by leather ottomans, a full bar, stained concrete floors and accessibility from all sides. The main entrance adjoins the ground level Golden Gate Park Visitor’s Center.
The menu will range from $6 for appetizers to $19 for entrees. The eclectic range of choices will include pizzas, onion rings, organic salads, seafood platters, griddle sandwiches and dessert specialties, such as caramel candied apples and banana splits.
"We also have great foggy day favorites, like French onion soup, cioppino and a braised lamb shank shepherd's pie," Truppelli said.
Planning for the Park Chalet began when the Truppellis opened the Beach Chalet Brewery and Restaurant on the second floor of the historic Beach Chalet about seven years ago.
"Our original dreams for this great building were to expand the back of the Beach Chalet in order to create a strong anchoring presence in the west end of Golden Gate Park," Truppelli said. "The opening of the Park Chalet has been a long time coming."
She said the SF Planning Department, Fine Arts Commission, Civic Design Board and the Historic Landmarks Preservation Commission approved the proposal for the restaurant before construction began last July.
The 3,000-square-foot restaurant can seat 100 patrons and will be staffed by 50 employees. It cost $2 million to build and took nine months to complete.
The Park Chalet was designed by Heller-Manus Architects, the same firm that restored the Beach Chalet after several years of vacancy. The company's other credits include the restoration of San Francisco’s City Hall, Columbarium, Shell Building, Fleishhacker Estate and One Maritime Plaza.
The Park Chalet, which has the distinction of being the only restaurant in Golden Gate Park, will be open for lunch and dinner daily with a modified brunch menu on weekends. The main Beach Chalet restaurant’s hours will not be affected by the new eatery.
Truppelli said the Park Chalet adds a new dimension to the Beach Chalet building.
"It extends what the Beach Chalet offers but with a fun, playful twist," she said. "You go to Golden Gate Park to take a break and enjoy this beautiful oasis we have in the City. The Park Chalet gives you one more reason to get out and enjoy the moment."