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Check Out Sparrow: Heat Lamps and Seasonal Menus to Haight-Ashbury, At Last

New hope for an under-loved dining scene.

Veronica Lopez and Marc Diebold stand proudly inside their new baby, Sparrow.
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The new back patio.
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The main dining room—a huge departure from the red walls and plants of Bia's.
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Sparrow's communal table.
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Another view of the communal table.
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Close up of the art.
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For eight years, Veronica Lopez and Marc Diebold have lived above the Upper Haight address that once housed Bia’s Restaurant and Wine Bar, and not a day has gone by that they didn't fantasize about opening a restaurant in the space. After cajoling their landlord and waiting patiently for their moment, Lopez and Diebold took over several months ago, and began the process of transformation at 1640 Haight Street. Now it is almost time for the young couple to let Sparrow fly; they optimistically hope July 6 will be their first day in business (pending health inspections, of course).

We got the official first look at the restaurant's décor (seen in the gallery above), created largely by Lopez, who has a background in art. The design marries reclaimed oak, metal, and artwork for a vibe that “walks the line between feminine and masculine.” Certainly, it's unlike any of the quick-service tourist magnets (Squat & Gobble, Crepe Express, etc.) that fill the neighboring blocks. Also different: a 40-seat back patio filled with heat lamps and many shiny, new wood tables.

Sparrow's menu aims for refined yet homey seasonal fare, created with the help of Ola Fendert of SoMa's long-running Oola. Fendert has passed on a preliminary look at the lunch and dinner menu right here. Dessert will include crowd-pleasers like lemon panna cotta, peach crisp, and caramel chocolate molten cake accompanied by ice creams and sorbets that are made on the premises.

The restaurant will serve dinner only at the start. Then this lengthy list of brunch options will roll out in a few weeks, once the staff gets its bearings. In a neighborhood long on great bars (Club Deluxe, Aub Zam Zam, The Alembic, Murio’s) and short on decent dining options (The Alembic, Magnolia), Sparrow should be a very welcome addition.

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