San Francisco’s Millennium restaurant, which is closing its Geary Street restaurant in a few weeks, hopes to open again in the heart of the East Bay’s Rockridge neighborhood.
The restaurant’s owners — executive chef Eric Tucker and general manager Alison Bagby — have launched a Kickstarter campaign to help raise funds for the move. They are looking to generate $50,000 in donations, and as of this afternoon, have already raised close to $20,000 with 29 days to go. The proposed funds are only part of the money needed: Tucker and Bagby are contributing their own money, and have also raised investment capital.
In January, the venerable vegan restaurant announced that it would be closing its doors this spring. The owners of the hotel in which the restaurant is located decided to sell the building, and the new owners did not want to keep the restaurant. Faced with a deluge of disappointed customers, Tucker and Bagby insisted that they would find a new location.
Today, the pair announced the potential new spot — Rockridge — and it looks like they have their eyes on James Syhabout’s recently shuttered Box and Bells at 5912 College Ave. (at Chabot).
The new Millennium location will continue to host winemaker dinners, hands-on cooking classes and special dinners, and will also have new events “tailored to the new space and location,” the pair write on their Kickstarter page. “We feel fortunate to be able to continue working with the farms and purveyors that we have been working with for a long time and are excited to build new relationships in the East Bay.”
Tucker is very positive about the move. “This creates an opportunity to go to a new location, get a new dining room, tweak our concept a little bit and to continue the trends and traditions of Millennium, which is to serve some of the best vegetable-based you’re ever going to find,” he said on Kickstarter.
While Tucker and Bagby did not announce the exact location, the footage in the Kickstarter video reveals the patio and interior of Box and Bells.
Attempts to reach the owners had proved unsuccessful at press time.
“We have found a fantastic location,” said Bagby on Kickstarter. “I cannot imagine Millennium in a better space.” Bagby is particularly excited about the patio. “We plan on serving brunch here and hosting special events here. Eric would love to grow an herb garden back here for the restaurant. We plan on using the space regularly as long as the weather permits.”
Bagby added that the kitchen will make for a much more “efficient operation than what Eric has made work for the past two decades in San Francisco.”
The restaurateurs have 30 days to secure the location, and they plan to open this summer, pending successful funding. Visit the Millennium Kickstarter site for details.
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