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Clown Alley reborn as Pickles this week

larochelle Feb 24, 2009 08:47 AM

Back in the 1980's when I was young, poor and worked in the area, I was a fan of Clown Alley on Columbus. It wasn't particularly great food but it worked. That space has had its ups and downs...actually mostly downs...over the years.

When I went to the Bund Chowdown a couple of weeks ago, I noticed the space was under construction.....well, this week its reopening as Pickles with a Myth alum as the chef. The interior looked pretty fancy and there's heaters & a sliding roof on the patio. What's odd is that when I checked on Yelp, apparently its been a place called Pickles in the past and seemed to have closed.

The menu is apparently still burgers hot dogs and other American comfort food although slightly fancified.

Anyway, I may wander by some time next week to check it out and see what they've done to the old Clown Alley. If anyone else makes it there, let us know how it is.

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Pickles Restaurant
42 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94111

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  1. Robert Lauriston RE: larochelle Feb 24, 2009 08:59 AM

    Clown Alley was bought by (now former) Myth owner Tom Duffy and changed its name to Pickles almost two years ago.

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/405381

    8 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston
      larochelle RE: Robert Lauriston Feb 24, 2009 09:44 AM

      I looked into it further.

      Apparently Pickles closed for renovation so tomorrow is the "re-opening" with a new chef and updated menu.

      1. re: Robert Lauriston
        Chuckles the Clone RE: Robert Lauriston Feb 24, 2009 10:02 AM

        It was a re-born Clown Alley too. The place spent the beginning of the .com era as Sophie's Cookhouse and then Spaghetteria, neither of which seemed to do very well in that space. It came back somewhere around 1999, just in time for the age of post-irony which it clearly was not cut out for.

        1. re: Chuckles the Clone
          Melanie Wong RE: Chuckles the Clone Feb 24, 2009 02:12 PM

          Here's my old and unfruitful post looking for the 'cue master of Sophie's Cookhouse.
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/24354

          Pickles rebirth was featured in Daily Candy today.
          http://www.dailycandy.com/san_francis...

          1. re: Melanie Wong
            Robert Lauriston RE: Melanie Wong Feb 25, 2009 01:33 PM

            So the frozen custard rumor is back as well.

            1. re: Robert Lauriston
              Melanie Wong RE: Robert Lauriston Feb 25, 2009 05:03 PM

              The frozen custard is the only part that holds my attention!

            2. re: Melanie Wong
              r
              ravaglia RE: Melanie Wong May 5, 2010 01:41 PM

              The cue weekends at Sophie's Cookhouse were indeed memorable. Sadly the only way to experience that cue is at private events these days as the culprits, my brother and I, were just dilettantes avoiding our day jobs. My brother's thoughts on the theory of cue and other culinary matters are found at his mainly abandoned website www.gastronomer.com .

              1. re: ravaglia
                Melanie Wong RE: ravaglia May 5, 2010 02:37 PM

                What a treat to get a reply to my 2003 post about the magical 'cue weekends of 1997!

                A bit later I heard from a mutual friend and lapsed chowhound, Rafe Mazzeo, that the Brothers Ravaglia were behind this. But so nice to hear from you directly.

                I'll be a judge at Saturday's BBQ contest in Morgan Hill,
                http://mhnobullbbq.com/
                While it's too late to sign up for that competition, I hope to see Team Ravaglia at a future bbq event.

                1. re: Melanie Wong
                  r
                  ravaglia RE: Melanie Wong May 12, 2010 12:27 PM

                  Glad that Rafe passed the word on to you. While we have missed the Morgan Hill event, I will take this as a inspiration to get ourselves out and back into the world for some future event.

                  Hope the event treated you well.

        2. c
          cyberroo RE: larochelle Feb 28, 2009 07:42 PM

          We made a trip to Pickles today, based on the Daily Candy report, but at lunchtime the doors were locked, and no one answered the phone at dinnertime, so I'm assuming that they didn't open this week as usual.

          1 Reply
          1. re: cyberroo
            Robert Lauriston RE: cyberroo Mar 1, 2009 08:18 AM

            They opened Wednesday. Per the Chron it's lunch only until April 1. Maybe no weekends either?

          2. Robert Lauriston RE: larochelle Dec 11, 2009 08:15 AM

            The Chron reports that Pickles is closed and for sale.

            http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article...

            1. Robert Lauriston RE: larochelle May 13, 2010 10:21 AM

              I walked by the space last night, it's quite vacant and still for lease.

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