The Hi Neighbor Incubator Series showcases four new culinary concepts developed by talented chefs and bartenders with food and cocktails available for pick-up and delivery. This new initiative gives furloughed chefs and bartenders the opportunity to launch their own virtual, online-only restaurants. Starting the series will be three restaurants and a to-go cocktail business, now running out of the kitchen at Corridor in our neighborhood. Robin Song, Executive Chef at the Vault and mentor of the Incubator Series, was kind enough to give us a few minutes of his time to share the inside story on the venture.

“We are certainly still writing the story everyday. Just the ability of the team to push forward with drive and dedication in such a short time was both impressive and motivating. Coming up with a thoughtful concept can take months, sometimes years. We asked everyone to put something together in just a weekend. They brought logo designs, menus, concepts all within days. We than tested and opened all three restaurants within a few days after that. A very tough timeline for anyone.” – Executive Chef Robin Song

Chef Song shares a recommendation from JunJu, Schmaltz, Ines and Attagirl, all four of the incubator’s new businesses:

JunJu. Chef Robin Song has created a modern, California-Korean concept inspired by his family heritage and childhood memories. Using recipes passed down from multiple generations and classic Korean dishes as inspiration.

Which JunJu dish is Chef Song excited to introduce?

​“All of it. It is the food I grew up with and hopefully flavors that would make my grandmother proud. (I'm sure she'd also cringe at some of the things I do.) The kimchi is based on what I can remember making with her. The spicy pork stew is a dish I always have when back home with my parents. The seasonal market driven sides is where I think Junju shines, bringing something new, refreshing and value driven to the Mid-Market neighborhood.”

Chef Song recommends: The new addition of Korean Fried Chicken Wings, stuffed with spring garlic and ginger glutinous rice served with a wild ramp chili sauce, classy and not all at the same time.

Schmaltz. Beth Needleman, Sous Chef of Corridor brings elevated, modern Jewish comfort food with a modern, American twist. Chef Song says, Try the Potato Latke Chicken Sandwich. Grilled Chicken sandwiched between 2 potato latkes with brisket sauce and horseradish aioli. So tasty and fun!

Beet Hummus

Ines. Nicole Zell, Sous Chef of Trestle brings passion and bold flavors with Argentian and Uruguayan dishes. Chef Song recommends the empanadas. While savory foods are her thing, she does have some tasty desserts, but the empanadas, wow!!!! I never thought much of empanadas, maybe because they are often underwhelming, but every version she makes always surprises me. Flaky and delicious. Roast chicken is a great deal and delicious as well. Be on the lookout, soon to come are some great house made sausages.

Attagirl Hospitality. Vault lead bartender Kaitlin Ryan’s craft cocktail company will supply cocktails to go with food orders from any of the incubator restaurants. Kaitlin brings well balanced, thoughtful and most importantly, delicious drinks to the party.

Cat's Meow

According to Chef Song you really can't go wrong. Try them quick before she moves on to the next one, drinks are constantly rotating. She is currently working on a new drink with chamomile and mezcal, which I'm very excited to try myself.

All three menus, plus the cocktails, will be available for takeout and delivery 7 days a week. Sun-Wed 11:30am - 8pm, Thursday 'til 9pm, Friday - Saturday 'til 10pm. Found on most delivery platforms; Uber, Caviar, Doordash.

Visit the NEMA Resident App for your code for Exclusive Perks like 10% off on your next order or 50% off cocktails at the Square Store! https://www.hineighborsf.com/

“This time has been mentally challenging as a whole. The uncertainty has been devastating. I've always been most proud of my journey as chef when a young chef comes through and goes on to make an impact on their own. This opportunity that Hi Neighbor has provided me has given me a great platform to be a mentor and help young chefs/professionals grow for the future. Especially considering we don't know what that is. We are not only teaching them how to conceive a concept from the kitchen point of view, but all aspects of business, including branding, marketing, and financial management.” – Executive Chef Robin Song

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