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Dec 14, 2006 07:15 PM

Aura, we hardly knew ye?

Walked by Aura last night in Bernal Heights (the old Cafe Chez Maman) and it was closed, with a sign in the front thanking its customers for all of their support. Does that mean they are closed for the holidays, or for good? Is the owner going to change the restaurant again? We only ate there once, but it certainly had potential once they worked out the kinks. That would really stink if we have to wait another 6 months for something new to go in there- we are still waiting for something to go into the old Moki's (and does anyone know anything about that?).

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  1. From the Chronicle's Inside Scoop:

    "After much snooping, I found out that chef Carlos Altamirano, who also owns Mochica (937 Harrison, near Fifth Street), will take over the old Moki's space at 830 Cortland in Bernal Heights and reopen it as Piqueos before the end of the year. He'll serve Peruvian tapas that will span multiple regions, and is traveling to Peru's rain forests next month to do more research."

    "Prices will be $7-$10. The restaurant will open for lunch and dinner, and possibly brunch. It will seat around 90, including the expanded enclosed patio built by the former owners. The look will be more sophisticated than Mochica, but will still use bright, warm colors."

    I think that's still the plan. They have a Beer Wine application on the window with that name.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Calvinist

      Great. just what the neighborhood needs. sure, it will be 'tapas' but I would be a lot happier if it were Spanish tapas, and not Peruvian, given the proximity of Mi Linda Peru, Inka's, Fresca, etc. At least it has good genes (given the owner's connection to Mochica). but still...

      Now a good Izakaya, *that* would be cause for celebration!


    2. I've eaten at Aura twice. The first time was pretty good. We had dinner there last week and it was strictly mediocre, and nowhere near full on a Saturday night. Chez Maman used to pack 'em in.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Atomica

        If Chez Maman used to pack 'em in, why did they close? The one here on Potrero Hill is so popular that I can't imagine why the Bernal Heights one had trouble making money.

        1. re: grishnackh

          They morphed into Aura, but didn't really close. I assumed it was because the Maktub Group wooed Mike Yakura and decided to turn Chez Maman into Aura for him. I could be wrong.

      2. Walked by the old Aura location last night and saw the Beer and Wine license application for Tinderbox, Inc. Anyone know what's going in there?

        Or with a name like Tinderbox are they just planning on burning it down for the insurance money? (Just kidding. Really!)