Il Pollaio, a grilled chicken destination located in North Beach, will be opening a second location on Mission Street between 24th and 25th within the next couple months.
“Were really excited to be apart of the neighborhood,” said Maria Castellucci Bautista, who owns the establishment with her husband, Alejandro. “It’s been a dream of ours for a very long time.”
Castellucci Bautista’s father, Guiseppe Castellucci, opened Il Pollaio in North Beach in 1984. Over the years, it has gained a reputation for serving “exceptional grilled chicken” and being “vital to preserving the soul of North Beach,” in the words of the Chronicle’s erstwhile food critic, Michael Bauer.
Now, it hopes to create a sense of place in the Mission at 2859 Mission St., the former location of the Mediterranean restaurant Tahini, which shuttered in late April.
Patrons of Il Pollaio can expect to find a similar menu of dry-rubbed chicken (served with lemon wedges) and other comforts like grilled rabbit, said Castellucci Bautista.
She hopes to recreate the neighborhood atmosphere she and her family have been building over the last decade and a half in North Beach.
“We always play soccer matches and will continue to do that,” Castellucci Bautista said. “The difference is we’ll be offering draft beers and thinking about having a happy hour.”
The proprietor said she and her husband, both native Spanish speakers, chose a spot in the Mission because they’ve regularly come to Mission with their children for its food and will feel in their element here. “We are really excited to be in a Latino-based community,” she said, adding that the existing storefront has served as a hangout for locals.
Castellucci Bautista’s family migrated to San Francisco from Argentina in 1980, and her father opened the restaurant four years later. Castellucci Bautista countered her father’s wishes and took over the family business. And now she’s doubling down with the new location.
“It just felt like this is meant to be,” she said.