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INCOMING: Waypoint Public

Bottlecraft owners take over The Linkery, plan sausage-and-beer house

By Troy Johnson

It’s big news that The Linkery is closing on July 15. I named it “Best Neighborhood Restaurant” a couple years back, despite the fact that food and service could be spotty. Fact is, no one does more to promote local food/drink/people than owner Jay Porter. No restaurant did more for the food culture of its neighborhood.

With Porter focusing on food-friendlier San Francisco, The Linkery’s iconic building—with its huge roll-up garage doors, in the center of North Park’s restaurant mania—is a bit of a prize. And the prize has been claimed.

Brian Jensen and partners—the founders of successful craft beer shop, Bottlecraft—are taking it over and plan to turn it into Waypoint Public. Like the original incarnation of The Linkery, they’ll focus on housemade sausages and charcuterie. They’ll also add a 300-bottle craft beer bottle list, plus 50 or so taps.

“The Linkery was the first restaurant I came to North Park for,” says Jensen, a graduate of NYC’s French Culinary Institute who worked as a line cook at Spotted Pig. “Jay and I have been friends for a few years. I told him if he ever wanted to sell, let me know.”

Jensen says he’s going to keep the local, housemade, ethical food ethos of The Linkery. But not much else. North Park’s OBR Architecture—who designed the Linkery as well as Bottlecraft—is presenting ideas tomorrow that include “a lot more light into the space,” says Jensen. The dark maroon walls will get a brighter coat. San Diego artist/creative Dylan Jones (co-owner of Subtext Gallery) is helping design Waypoint’s look/feel/art.

“It’ll have a craft beer emphasis, obviously,” says Jensen. “But it’ll be real neighborhoody. Something for everyone—the craft beer enthusiast and the average person. We’ll have a simpler menu than The Linkery had. Jay strived to really pushing things.”

I ask Jensen why he’d go from the most profitable part of the hospitality business (alcohol) to the least profitable (food). Especially housemade charcuterie, which is a notable pain.

“It is a pain in the ass,” he says. “But I wouldn’t want to do it any other way. I’ve always been interested in the whole experience. We’re trying to simplify the whole experience that The Linkery had, but keep it a real good experience.”

Waypoint has hired a chef, but can’t announce him just yet. Jensen says the planned open is September, but he’s a realist and also mentions October.

The Linkery’s final dinner service is July 15.

INCOMING: Waypoint Public

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