San Francisco, CA - Mayor London N. Breed today announced The Greater Organization, Chef Tyler Florence’s restaurant group, has been selected to revitalize two spaces within Union Square Plaza. Miller & Lux Provisions will have two artisanal cafés — one adjacent to Stockton Street offering lunch and all-day brunch options and the other adjacent to Powell Street offering pastries. If approved, both cafés will open for business later this fall.
The proposed three-year lease with an option for two three-year extensions will be discussed at the Recreation and Park Commission’s Operations Committee meeting this Thursday, September 7. If recommended for approval, the lease will go before the full Recreation and Park Commission for approval on September 21. The San Francisco’s Recreation and Park Department issued a request for proposals in April to help reimagine the space as part of the City’s efforts to support Union Square’s vibrancy and attract new offerings for residents, visitors, and workers.
“Union Square is an iconic part of our City and we are excited to partner with Chef Tyler Florence to make it even better,” said Mayor London Breed. “I’m proud of the progress we have made toward our economic recovery and excited to continue to promote San Francisco as a world-class food destination.”
In the last six months, San Francisco has made significant progress on efforts to revitalize the Downtown area as part of Mayor Breed’s Roadmap to San Francisco’s Future plan, including changing laws to fill vacant space and reforming taxes, launching Downtown activations, and making streets cleaner and safer. Over the last 15 months, 24 new businesses have opened in the Union Square area and visitor activity increased 22% from January to July 2023 in comparison to the same time period in 2022.
In May, Mayor Breed and Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin announced $6 million in streetscape improvements and grants to help revitalize and fill vacancies on Powell Street between the Cable Car turnaround and Union Square.
“I’m delighted that a constituent I’ve been working with to activate Commercial and Leidesdorff alleys has now also been selected to bring his signature brand of American cuisine to Union Square,” said Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin. “Tyler Florence is a perfect fit for the hybrid indoor/outdoor aesthetic of a new, improved and activated Union Square destination. Whether it’s creating a state-of-the-art outdoor performance stage, beautifying the historic alleyways or bringing Tyler Florence’s Wayfare Tavern success to Union Square, we are investing as a City in the future of this mixed-use neighborhood.”
Chef Tyler Florence is best known nationally for his 27 years on The Food Network, and locally for his restaurants. He opened Wayfare Tavern in San Francisco’s Financial District over a decade ago and runs Tyler Florence Fresh at San Francisco International Airport (SFO). In 2018, he founded the hospitality group The Greater Organization, which later opened Miller & Lux in Chase Center.
“So many legendary chefs have paved the way for what has become San Francisco’s excellent dining culture and we are proud to carry the torch in such a historic landmark as Union Square. I couldn’t be more excited to help with the revitalization of the city through Miller & Lux Provisions, two new café experiences that I know will bring people downtown,” says Chef Florence. “Between a new exhibition pastry kitchen and perfect food for relaxing over lunch or picnicking in the square, there’s something here for everyone.”
On the Powell Street side of the plaza, Miller & Lux Provisions will showcase pastries crafted by world-class Pastry Chef Karla Marro, who also oversees pastry and dessert offerings for Chase Center’s Miller & Lux steakhouse. Additionally, the new Union Square location will open early for morning crowds to offer select breakfast options, croissants and baked goods, as well as a coffee bar. This space was formerly occupied by Bancarella Café, See’s Chocolate and, most recently, McCall’s.
The space bordering Stockton Street, once Emporio Rulli Café and McCall’s, will transition to the savory-focused Miller & Lux Provisions. Mirroring the concept of Chef Tyler Florence’s acclaimed Tyler Florence Fresh in SFO, the café will offer spit-roasted Rosie’s Organic Chicken, farm fresh side dishes, artisanal cheeses, charcuterie, all-day brunch menu androsé on tap. There will be seating and takeaway options for guests, and the space will feature wines by the glass, beer, kombucha and other refreshments on tap.
“Union Square is among the most historic, celebrated, and recognizable public spaces in San Francisco. I’m thrilled to welcome Tyler Florence’s cafes to its heart,” said San Francisco Recreation and Park General Manager Phil Ginsburg. “Union Square is coming back to life with music, events and cultural attractions. Delicious, creative food is an essential ingredient to a joyful visit.”
"With the recent opening of IKEA and other businesses in our Downtown, we're signaling not only that San Francisco is open for business, but that it is a great place to do business," said Sarah Dennis Phillips, Executive Director of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development. "Through Mayor Breed's Roadmap to San Francisco's Future, and with continued investments in small businesses infrastructure, we're committed to creating more opportunities for companies such as Tyler Florence and The Greater Organization to cultivate a diverse economy while creating jobs for the community."
Along with exciting new concession attractions, the City remains focused on prioritizing the overall safety in and around the Union Square area. Recent City public safety investments in Union Square and its underground garage include improved lighting, more frequent police patrols, ranger outreach, and additional ambassadors, whose duties include customer service, janitorial tasks, and security rounds.
"San Francisco's global culinary acclaim finds its epicenter in Union Square," stated Marisa Rodriguez, CEO of the Union Square Alliance. “Tyler Florence's remarkable additions to the iconic Union Square Plaza will attract a fresh wave of food enthusiasts, further spotlighting the district’s diverse array of dining and drinking spots. The iconic Union Square Plaza, enhanced by Tyler Florence, is set to captivate food enthusiasts, shedding light on the district's diverse dining scene. The district boasts a rich culinary tapestry, highlighted by John's Grill's 115th anniversary celebration, the debut of Adriano Paganini's Corzetti, and the presence of acclaimed Michelin-starred establishments like Kin Khao and O’ by Claude le Tohic. Anticipation builds for the upcoming rooftop Nikkei restaurant, Chotto Matte, Union Square will continue to distinguish itself as an unmatched realm for unique opportunities to play, dine, and stay!"
Union Square is an international destination where visitors come to enjoy exceptional retail experiences, luxury hotels, world-class cultural institutions, and great public spaces. The area hosts a wide range of events that draws visitors from around the world to include:
- 33 locations featured oversized floral displays as part of Union Square in Bloom in May, including hotels, restaurants, bars, retail, bus stops, a cable car, and the Moscone Center.
- American Tulip Day in March drew 35,000 visitors to Union Square.
- The Union Square in Bloom Summer Music Series attracts 500-1,000 visitors per week.
- In addition to Union Square Holiday traditions such as the Ice Rink, Macy's SFSPCA Holiday Windows, Macy's Great Tree, and the Bill Graham Menorah, the Union Square Alliance is gearing up for the post-pandemic return of Winter Walk, which drew over 2 million attendees to the area in 2018.
- Another Planet Entertainment has committed to bringing free outdoor concerts to Downtown San Francisco’s historic plazas, including Civic Center Plaza, Union Square, and Embarcadero Plaza annually for three years starting in 2024.