Food & Libation

About Fat Angel

Fat Angel was born out of a passion for The Fillmore District. We are a casual wine bar and cafe that serves comforting food and drink to the community. We offer a handpicked, eclectic mix of wine and beer that spans the globe, focusing on regions and producers that offer exceptional value and quality. Our restaurant was built with reclaimed, repurposed, and recycled materials from around San Francisco. This creates an intimate, old world environment, perfect for hanging out with friends, drinking a glass of wine, and eating a nourishing meal. Fat Angel's mission is to become The Fillmore's benchmark in food, service, price, & atmosphere.

Fat Angel is Open!

As I sit at the bar on a Friday night at 2am, after everyone’s gone, the floors swept, the last rack of dishes clean, I can’t help but think that the opening of FA last week was a complete miracle. More than one customer has mentioned that from the looks of things 2 weeks ago we had another month-easy-before we we opened. I agree completely. If it wasn’t for a chance meeting a few months back of a contractor and his crew, we’d still be whipping the donkey of a construction crew we had working on the space. From the uncomfortable moment we kicked the Wall Construction crew to the curb 2 weeks ago the burden of uncertainty and frustration melted away. Even when we looked at the complete mess they left it still felt freeing. Like we had a brand new shot at making this thing work.

I need to say thank you to Sonny Inc. for saving Fat Angel’s butt. In 7 days, Sonny and his crew did the impossible and took a total mess and cleaned it up, working nonstop to get our doors open by February 1st. Looking at the space now in all her glory brings a smile to my face, seeing what once was a vision turn into a reality is somewhat surreal and all the more exciting.

Stamped tin ceiling with our chandelier in the dining room.

Our kick-ass 99 year old salvaged bar back.

A view from the front door.

38 wines by the glass takes a lot of room.

Um, Di and I with our first sausage order.

Dining room looking at the bar.

1) The Falcon holding a wheel of French cheese. 2) Cyrick feeling all too comfortable around the sausage nun chucks

So we’ve finished day 9 and are stoked at the reception the community has given us. People have been watching and waiting for us to open and are coming in droves to take a seat at the FA bar. We couldn’t be happier at the response from everyone. Early mornings and late nights are part of the deal but seeing this place take on a personality of its own is quite fun to watch.

We’re here waiting for you to swing by so please do. Our hours are M-Th 5pm to 12am, F-S 5pm to 1am, and Sun from 5pm to 11pm. We will be starting brunch in a few weeks so stay tuned.

Thanks again for all your support!


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The fat angel has taken her spot in the lights. A fitting home for our special baby. 

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Finished product. Looks really good

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New Bohemia Signs putting the finishing gold leaf touches on our front door logo.  

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Some friends helping with the final touches for FA's February 1st opening.  Tin ceiling is getting a well deserved rub down 

Final Touches

We’re nearing the end of what’s proven to be a very challenging 2 years. We knew the minute we signed up to open an eating and drinking establishment in SF that we hopped in a boat sailing up-river, against prevailing winds, using a hanky for a sail. In most instances, the pitfalls we thought were out there never materialized. However, the ones that we never thought in a thousand years we’d have to deal with were the game changers and, subsequently, the life changers.

Most of our time since last I wrote has been spent babysitting our general contractor. It’s an unfortunate turn of events, truly, as Wall Construction (formerly known as Great Wall Const.) came out of the gates strong, dripping with optimism. They peaked sometime in October and it’s been a nightmare ever since. Typical problems we’ve heard regarding GC’s are that they show up for a few days and then disappear. Fortunately we didn’t have to deal with the no-show shenanigans. Our issues ended up being man power and craftsmanship, not enough of each. Without trashing a business and wrecking a family, suffice to say , the job was a little too big for GW. Here we sit, 4 months and some change, chomping at the bit to open our doors and get the real heartache and headaches started. On those really rough days I look at Cyrick and after a few colorful words and say, “We have to run a business after this is all finished? Seriously!” A few weeks in St. Somewhere is really the only place we belong when the dust settles. Alas, wish in one hand,…

This past weekend saw our first foray into our new kitchen. Equipment is in, shelves are up, everything is functioning and we start some basic cooking tomorrow. It’s like taking a new cruise ship on its sea trials. We’ll do some basic prep, bake a few things, light some stuff on fire, see how the space feels. Our kitchen is not your traditional “restaurant kitchen”. Part of the reason we could afford this venture is that we skipped the whole venting and gas process which would tack on a good $50,000 to the process. So we don’t have one of those big stainless steel hoods or an open flame. Everything runs on juice. Our kitchen is SUPER small too, maybe 100sf. However we packed this thing to the gills with everything the health department requires to prepare food and also a few nuggets of our own. Our American comfort food works great with the space and equipment, you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference.

We are spending the remainder of this week shoring up all the details with construction. Painting and decorating will hopefully happen by weeks end, inspections next week, and doors open February 1st. We figure Valentines Day (biggest restaurant day of the year, outside of Mother’s Day) will be a good time to get our teeth kicked in and tossed into the fire.

I can say with confidence that if the chaos and stress we’ve experienced in the buildout phase of FA is anything like the operating ones, then we’ll be prepared. Better yet, now we’ll have 40 wines by-the-glass and 15 or so beers at our ready whenever things get sideways. See, things are already looking a whole lot better:)

1) Back bar is still waiting on some much needed molding and stain. Should look killer once completed. 2) We used the wood flooring to face our bar. The patina on this would is amazing, it’s really beautiful. Ones we’re finished with the light sanding and seal, it will really pop.

1) Yes, that’s her, The Fat Angel. Soon to be gracing our exterior. She’s 40+ years old so she’s a classic. She’ll be well strapped. 2) Looking behind the bar. Keg cooler to the left, bottle cooler to the right, and an ice machine up front.

1) Looking back towards the hallway that leads to the bathroom and the kitchen off to the left. Obviously things will look a whole lot better when cleaned. 2) These three windows fold open, accordion-style and allow the whole 9’x5′ section to be wide open. There’s a marble bar underneath all that junk. So you’ll literally be sitting at that counter with nothing in front of you, just the people walking by and all that beautiful southern sun.

1) This metal frame has been a nice, fat pain in the arse It took 8 days, a fork lift, and 5 guys to hang it. 800lbs and a structural engineer later and it’s finally in place. I’ll tell you the whole sordid story over a pint


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Preparing the storefront for next weeks awning and Angel Box install. All starting to come together albeit 3 months behind. We're hoping next week will be the final push for the finish line.  We're shooting for 3 weeks until we open.  Pulling Wall construction kicking an screaming all the way there. -jk

More improvements

I’m not going to spoil this one. J and I are working on another improvement to our bar. Here’s a glimpse of what’s to come.

J “the mad scientist” Kirmse working our project with only reclaimed materials. Keep the WORLD GREEN people.

Did someone order a metal frame?

It’s amazing how these guys can move such a large piece of metal that weighs nearly half a ton, and they’re only working with inches between a wall and a car. Here’s a couple of shots and videos of the box frame.
The box arrives. It still needs to be painted.
The easy part is unstrapping the metal frame, and bringing it down. The tricky part is moving it around. See how long this thing is?

I wanted to try driving that thing with the box frame, but I would most likely take out everyone around me, and most of the vehicles on that block, so I decided not to even try to volunteer.

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Angel frame has arrived. 1000 lbs. We're praying it fits

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