Closing Time

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The Perennial opened its doors with the message that we can address climate change with delicious food; three years later, we have decided to close The Perennial, while continuing to pursue the mission that it represents. 

So much has happened at The Perennial to give us hope and make us grateful to everyone who made this mission-driven restaurant a reality--and we have witnessed a real shift toward food and agriculture in the conversation around sustainability, which we are proud to have been part of. Meanwhile, during the same years we have run The Perennial, we were also building another labor of love: a non-profit sister organization we named The Perennial Farming Initiative, which is dedicated to the same mission as The Perennial. We have learned so much from toggling between the two projects, but as founders we have come to the conclusion that we can be more effective advocates for a renewable food system through PFI. As people, as parents, as partners, we recognize that it is time to close. Our final day of service will be February 9, and we hope that you will come in for a visit and a chance to say goodbye--or if you've never been before, a chance to taste our amazing food, meet our incredible staff, and taste what we've been talking about. 

We will miss The Perennial, but we look forward to sharing the next chapter with you soon. Thanks and best wishes, Karen and Anthony

>>> More about our theory of change moving forward

>>> Annual Report for The Perennial Farming Initiative in 2018





For New Year’s Eve, The Perennial is offering a sit-down, 5-course dinner (plus a few surprises!) for $120 per person. We’ll have our regular beverage list plus optional wine pairings.

The bar will also be open and available for food and drinks without a reservation.




In honor of ten years in the weird-restaurant business, we are inviting friends old and new to join us for a party:

Thursday Nov 15


59 Ninth Street

(plus food truck out front after 7pm)


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Chefs for the night:

Anthony Myint (MSF/MCF, etc—in a food truck 7pm onward)

Carrie and Rupert Blease (Lord Stanley) 

Chris Ying (retired MSF, MCF)

Jason Fox/Ian Muntzert (Commonwealth)

Josey Baker (The Mill)

Liz Prueitt (Tartine)

Michael Andreatta (The Perennial)

Nick Balla/Preethi R (Duna)

Reem Assil (Dyafa, Reem's)



Change Makers in Food Happy Hour!

5-8pm October 22, 2018 at The Perennial (59 Ninth St, SF 94103)

Meet and hear stories from three inspirational women working to better our food system. Navina Khanna, Director of the HEAL Food Alliance; Kathleen Finlay, President of Glynwood and Founder of Pleiades; and Karen Leibowitz, Co-Owner of The Perennial and Executive Director of The Perennial Farming Initiative will share their work and facilitate an informal discussion aimed to inform and energize while we share sustainable food and drinks.

Happy Hour Ticket (1 drink)

1 ticket to Oct 22 Changemakers Happy Hour. Includes one drink (any draft cocktail, wine, or beer), snacks, and socializing with Navinna, Kathleen, Karen, and many more.

Add To Cart
Very Happy Hour Ticket (2 drinks)

All the fun of a regular happy hour tickets, plus one additional draft drink (cocktail, beer, or wine)!

Add To Cart
Group of 4 Happy Hour Tickets

Bring a group of four, with one draft beverage, snacks, and socializing for each guest.

Add To Cart



Reflections on the Global Climate Action Summit

For three days in September, people from all around the world came together in San Francisco to focus on actions that we can take—at every level, from national policy to individual consumer choices—to solve climate change. For us, it was particularly exciting to see food take a central place in this conversation; among other big moves launched at the summit, a consortium of West Coast cities and states (and even a Canadian province!) committed to a 50% reduction in food waste by 2030.*

On the closing night of the summit, we were proud to join with fellow carbon-neutral restaurants State Bird Provisions, Cala, Flour + Water, Atelier Crenn, and Mission Chinese in celebration of healthy soil as a climate solution. Farmers, activists, scientists, ranchers, philanthropists, business and city workers all came together over a meal created from ingredients that represent climate action. Ideas and plans for #climateaction animated conversations all around the beautifully restored Hibernia Bank Building, and have continued in the weeks since.

The Global Climate Action Summit was just the beginning. Let’s keep the climate action going.

* That’s a huge deal, since the Pacific Coast Collaborative covers 55 million people and the fifth-largest economy in the world. The Pacific Coast Collaborative committed to



Get to know the people of SMOKEBREAD (aka our lunch-serving pop-up friends)

Smokebread's sous chef, Preethi R (yes, that's her whole last name) recently sat down for an interview with The Ruby, a new women's work and event space in SF founded by Rachel Khong, a novelist and food writer/editor who has been curating an awesome line-up of Friday lunches from local small businesses. Thanks to Rachel for this interview--and check out

Nick Balla and Preethi R at The Perennial/Smokebread

Nick Balla and Preethi R at The Perennial/Smokebread

Duna Spoon Salad: salami, pepperjack, tomato, mushroom, pepper, red wine vinaigrette (v/GF)

Duna Spoon Salad: salami, pepperjack, tomato, mushroom, pepper,
red wine vinaigrette (v/GF)

The Ruby  is an arts & letters–focused workspace.

The Ruby is an arts & letters–focused workspace.

Tell us about Smokebread! What is it? 

Smokebread is our little pop-up in The Perennial restaurant serving delicious spoon salads. They are called spoon salads because it is a juicy bowl of fresh seasonal vegetables dressed in a delectable vinaigrette that's almost gazpacho like so its packed with flavor. You could eat the whole thing with just a spoon! We also serve it with Smokebread which is our house made smoked potato sourdough to soak up all that remaining yumminess.    

What's your background, how did you get into food?

I actually got into food by accident. I grew up in Singapore and I was a city kid to the bone. When I was in junior college I decided I didn’t like what I was doing. I felt like most of us at that age where I knew what I didn’t want to do but not really what I wanted. 

My parents were very insistent that I get a degree in something. They thought that would let me have a fair advantage in a competitive world. I remember consulting my sister about it one day and she was on her laptop then and saw a CIA Singapore advertisement. She was so quick to say  “what about culinary school? You could be a cook!”  She was probably teasing me. I could barely scramble eggs. I applied anyway just to prove a point to my parents since they said I could get a degree in anything. When I got in, I guess it was a sign and I just went with it and luckily for me I’ve haven’t turned back since! 

 Tell us about your involvement with Smokebread and Bar Tartine.
I just finished working at a restaurant in Rockland, Maine and fell so deeply in love with people and the produce! I even got to kill chickens. It was so beautiful. I knew one thing which was I wanted to be somewhere similar but different. I heard about Bar Tartine and some wacky stuff they were doing. I knew they had an amazing reputation with fermentation and making things from scratch. I had a friend that worked there. He went to culinary school with me and basically got me into Bar Tartine. The chefs were Nicolaus Balla and Cortney Burns. They are crazy!!! I’ve never had food like that in my life. The kitchen was always bustling and you never really knew what was on the menu. One day your station could have black garlic potatoes with fermented ramp aioli and next day you could have pork loin cured in shio Koji. They kept you on your toes. I learnt so much from them. 

I did all the stations and helped open Motze and then Duna right after where I got to be a Sous chef and now smokebread. Smokebread is such a different style of progressive restaurant. Everyone that works at Smokebread has to learn how to work everything. It’s fast casual but it also breaks down the barriers of “you are front of house” and “I’m the back of house" mentality. We are all one team and we do everything. From the food production to taking orders to washing dishes. It presents a whole lot of other challenges but it’s fun. 

What do you love about living in the Bay Area? 

So many things!! I just read Rebecca Solnit’s Infinite City, a San Francisco atlas and it's mind blowing! But if I had to choose I have to say nature and my accessibility to it. 



Global Climate Action Summit

This September, San Francisco will welcome visitors from all over the world looking for ways to take action to stop climate change. We are all about Climate Action, and we are delighted to be a part of a closing dinner on Sept 14. 

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Amazing chefs and ingredients will show how sustainability and deliciousness can go hand in hand.Learn how carbon neutral restaurants are the beginning of a movement to make the restaurant industry part of the solution to climate change. Featuring Dominique Crenn (Atelier Crenn, Petit Crenn), Gabriela Camara (Cala), Thomas McNaughton (flour + water), Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski (State Bird Provisions) and our own Michael Andreatta. Wine by Jackson Family Vineyards. 


Changing dirt to healthy soil represents the world's greatest opportunity to reverse climate change.It's a process that will involve many farmers, ranchers, scientists, chefs, diners, policy-makers, investors, educators and donors.Be part of an

evening focused on broadening and celebrating the movement.



LUNCH at The Perennial!! Nick Balla & co bring SMOKEBREAD to our bar!

We've been friends with Chef Nick Balla for years--he's done pop-ups with us, we've loved eating at Duna, and a lot of our staff worked with him at Bar Tartine. Anyone who's worked with Nick knows that he loves a good salad. Throughout his years of cooking inventive, genre-busting menus, he always created great big salads for family meals, which he served with spoons to catch all the unique flavors drawn from a pantry full of house-made pickles and preserves.

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Note: The Perennial will continue to offer its regular menus

Bar Menu starts at 4pm

Dinner Menu at 5:30


And now, the public gets a chance to pick up a spoon and enjoy a salad, along with his signature smoked potato smokebread. Nick and the Duna crew will be serving lunch from The Perennial's bar, Tuedays through Fridays 10:30a-2pm. More details and pics at and @smkebrd; catering and delivery details coming soon. 

SMOKEBREAD brings Balla’s bold-flavored, plant-centric style to The Perennial, with nods to the Hungarian, Japanese, Californian, and Mediterranean influences that make his style so unique and craveable.  

Please Note: Chef Michael Andreatta will continue to lead The Perennial’s kitchen, with a bar menu that starts at 4pm and dinner starting at 5:30pm.



Side Project: Sexual Harassment PSA

The Perennial is pretty focused on food and climate change, but there's another food-world issue that we've dipped our toes into: Sexual Harassment. We have always strived to be a fair and hospitable place to work, but many restaurant workers find themselves in bad situations, so we wanted to share some resources.

Our co-founder Karen Leibowitz teamed up with designer Kelli Anderson and Cherry Bombe magazine to create a free, downloadable poster modeled on classic "What To Do In Case Of Choking" PSAs.

InStyle Magazine was so impressed, they included Karen in their recent list of 50 Badass Women

Available for download in English, Spanish, and Chinese. High-quality 11x17" prints of English version available for purchase ($10). 




"The Perennial Makes Environmental Activism Taste Good"

Michael Bauer, longtime restaurant reviewer for the San Francisco Chronicle returned to The Perennial recently, and liked what he saw (or rather, tasted). Favorite tidbits from the article include:

Photo by Michael Bauer/The Chronicle

Photo by Michael Bauer/The Chronicle

"The chefs show that diners don’t have to give up pleasure to help reverse climate change."
"The restaurant has become known for its vegetable barbecue, which will make vegetarians rejoice."
"Few desserts are as refreshing as the viola and rue sorbet with its pale lavender color and its garnish of sunflower butter, candied kumquats and granola."
"the Perennial has remained consistent and grown from what seemed almost like self-conscious activism to a confident approach to food where flavor is equally important as the issues the Perennial addresses."



CUESA turns 25!


The Perennial's bar is excited to celebrate 25 years of CUESA, the best dang farmer's market association we know. We're bringing a beverage that will showcase the best of the summer.

See you at The Ferry Building?

More info from CUESA here. 


Stone Barns!!


Stone Barns!!

We’re delighted to announce that one of our co-founders, Karen Leibowitz, will represent The Perennial and The Perennial Farming Initiative this summer, as one of nine Stone Barns Exchange Fellows. Congratulations, Karen, and thanks to Stone Barns for creating this opportunity (not to mention the press release below)! 

POCANTICO HILLS, NY—Nine extraordinary women working at the intersection of climate change, food and agriculture have been selected as the 2018 Stone Barns Exchange Fellows. The Fellowship program was developed with the goal of creating a network of food system leaders who are equipped to tackle vexing challenges and identify emerging opportunities for systemic change across geographies and disciplines.

The Fellowship takes advantage of the Stone Barns campus in the lower Hudson Valley, NY as an immersive and interactive farm and kitchen laboratory and provides critical intellectual and financial support to emerging leaders. Fellows have the opportunity to live, work, learn and think together and to identify prospects for a truly resilient food system. Blue Hill at Stone Barns, the Center’s on-site partner, will extend learning to the kitchen and dining room, inviting the Fellows to engage with chefs, restaurant collaborators and entrepreneurs as they explore ingredients, dishes and topics that impact the health of our land and ourselves.

Stone Barns Center’s mission of changing the way America farms and eats requires a deliberate approach to cultivating the next generation of innovators and leaders. Now in its second year, the Fellowship is a core pillar of that effort and will connect a network of 100+ leaders in the food movement within 10 years. By bringing together leaders from the disciplines of science, agriculture, cuisine, art, journalism, business, policy and wildlife management, the Fellowship will activate a powerful, intersectional coalition for food systems change.

“We are thrilled to welcome these nine incredible women as the 2018 Stone Barns Center Exchange Fellows,” said Jill Isenbarger, Stone Barns Center’s CEO. “We all need to care about the connection between food production and climate change. These women are all doing critical work at that intersection with the goal of building a more resilient food system. We could not be more excited about this amazing group of powerful and accomplished women and the work they will do together here at Stone Barns and beyond.”


    The 2018 Stone Barns Center Exchange Fellows are:

    • Selassie Atadika (Accra, Ghana): recognized as a ‘Global Top 50 Plant-Forward Chef;’ chef and founder of Midunu, a nomadic and private dining enterprise in Accra that embodies ‘New African Cuisine’
    • Katy Chang (Washington, D.C.): founder of EatsPlace, a culinary business incubator and capital fund that provides high-quality financial and development services to micro, small and medium-sized food entrepreneurs
    • Amy Grondin (Port Townsend, WA): a commercial fisherman who specializes in sustainable food systems; Vice President of the board of Organic Seed Alliance
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    • Karen Leibowitz (San Francisco, CA): co-founder of The Perennial, a restaurant and bar dedicated to leading the restaurant industry toward a regenerative food system and Executive Director of its partner nonprofit, The Perennial Farming Initiative
    • Nancy Matsumoto (New York, NY): writer and editor specializing in sustainable agriculture, food, and culture whose work has appeared in The Wall Street JournalCivil Eats, NPR’s The, and other publications
    • Aria McLauchlan (Los Angeles, CA): co-founder of Land Core USA, an organization developing and advocating for federal legislation that would establish a new “Outcomes-Verified Regenerative Soil Health Program”
    • Ariel Pasternak (Washington, D.C.): founder and CEO of pineapple collaborative, a company and a platform celebrating women’s relationship with food that has garnered an audience of 25,000 women and counting
    • Kathryn Quanbeck (Davis, CA): chief operating officer at Emmer & Co., a pastured poultry company; Advisory Board member at NMPAN (Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network); former USDA livestock economist
    • Ariel Lauren Wilson (New York, NY): editor, Edible Manhattan and Edible Brooklyn; programming director of Food Loves Tech, a first-of-its-kind consumer expo showcasing sustainable food and agriculture technologies and thought leadership.