Opening today in North Park is The SafeHouse, a new Japanese restaurant with a significant craft beer presence, 36 taps, to pair with a menu of grilled skewers, ramen and steamed buns. There are also small izakaya-style dishes, from seaweed salad to tofu in ponzu sauce, plus yakisoba, or stir-fried noodles.
Co-owner Nick Thanasith, a trained sushi chef, has worked on a handful of other local restaurant projects; his last, The Foundry, was also on University Avenue.
The 2,100-square-foot space used to be a beauty supply store, and Thanasith kept some letters from the old shop's sign to spell out "TAPS" above the bar. He and partner Ernest Hsu added a long bar, complete with outlets for phone chargers at every seat, four TVs and a sidewalk patio; the 48-seat eatery will also host monthly art shows.
The SafeHouse will be open at 11 a.m. on weekdays, with food service starting at 5 p.m. On weekends, they'll serve a Japanese-style brunch from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. whose base is a starter set of dishes that includes steamed rice, a soft-boiled eggs, two Kurabota pork sausages, miso soup and pickled vegetables for $7. For a couple dollars extra, add sides that range from a mini ramen bowl and vegetable curry.