Joanna Karlinsky and Popups Take Over Food at the Winemakers' Speakeasy

Joanna Karlinsky/Facebook
Joanna Karlinsky, in her Meetinghouse days.
Joanna Karlinsky, former chef-owner of Pacific Heights' much-loved Meetinghouse, has been looking for a permanent venue since closing up Sweet Jo's, her cafe in the Presidio JCC, last year. For the past two months, she's been serving weekend brunch at Mission popup venue The Corner, operating as Sweet Jo's Chili and Biscuits

But when The Corner closed down last week, the owners of Winemakers' Speakeasy dared Karlinsky to move her brunch over to Valencia. As of today, she appears to have signed on to oversee its entire food program.

Winemakers' Speakeasy is the reincarnation of B3, the burger-and-wine restaurant that opened last year but never took off. In its new form, says manager John Prudenti, the wine bar now showcases a rotating cast of small wineries that don't have distribution of their own, acting on the lines of a popup tasting room.

In an email, Karlinsky told SFoodie she will begin cooking this week. "I will start with brunch this weekend (Saturday and Sunday), and then add lunch, probably starting Tuesday. [I will] add breakfast in a few weeks, as well as a breakfast kiosk for fast, takeout morning pastries & savory bites. Then, we'll start working on fun foods for early and late happy hours."

Winemakers' Speakeasy
Karlinsky also says she's also going to play "mother hen," helping coordinate the kitchen once a rotating cast of popups begins holding dinner events at the Winemakers' Speakeasy this week. All are emigrants from The Corner, and approached Prudenti independently.

The first two popups confirmed: Tommy Halvorson and Crystal Yang will restart their EAT Restaurant on Thursdays and Fridays starting this week, October 13 and 14. Bernal Supper Club will hold its first Monday night dinner on October 17.

Karlinsky says the move will help her bring in her most loyal clientele. "All of my previous restaurants have been in Pacific Heights, and it's a neighborhood that doesn't want to cross Mission Street," she says. "But who won't come to Valencia these days?"

Winemakers' Speakeasy: 1152 Valencia (at 22nd St.), 401-7258. Current tasting hours: noon-10 p.m. daily.

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