“On that side of the park it’s going to smell like roasted chicken. On this side, it’s going to smell like fresh-baked cookies,” said Florence, as he stood in front of the new Miller and Lux Provisions pâtisserie near the Powell Street cable car line.
Florence is betting on San Francisco making an economic rebound. He won a bid to open two new cafés right in the square and on Monday, the doors opened.
“It’s been a steady stream of people all day. We opened up at 7:30 this morning. At 7:40 there was a line outside,” said Florence.
Staff from his Miller and Lux restaurant, helped launch the two Miller and Lux Provisions cafés.
One is a pâtisserie which will be serving up coffee, cookies, pastries, and cakes by Florence’s pastry chef Karla Marro.
The other café is a rotisserie on the east side of the square by Stockton Street, that will have later hours and serve up organic rotisserie chicken, roasted potatoes, salads, wine, and beer.
“We’ve been fans of Tyler Florence for many years, and so we were excited when we heard this was opening up,” said Rishi Chopra, a San Francisco resident who had come to try the food with his sister Joy Chopra.
“I tried the devil’s cake. That was really good. Coffee was really good. It’s nice to see Union Square getting lively again,” said Joy Chopra.
Out-of-town tourists Monday were thrilled to meet the celebrity chef in person.
“We walked by, and I saw Tyler Florence standing outside and I thought what the heck, you know,” said Kyle Niland of Pittsburgh who came to get some food with his wife.
“Tortellini salad and I got a pinot, and he got a beer,” said Kristina Niland, gesturing toward her husband’s cup.
The two cafés are part of a larger city effort to bring people back to the heart of the city.
On Thursday, November 9th, Macy’s great tree is set to be illuminated.
The ice skating rink is scheduled to stay open through January.
The city plans to close Stockton Street once again this year and turn it into a temporary outdoor Winter Walk park from December 15th through December 24th.
“We’re going to have food trucks, and music, a stage, and Santa and other activations on Winter Walk,” said Marisa Rodriguez, CEO of the Union Square Alliance.
Rodriguez says security remains a top priority.
“We’re seeing police all around the district. The mobile command center remains in place next to the park” said Rodriguez, “We have all of our ambassadors and the SF Travel ambassadors as well welcoming people to the Square.”
San Francisco officials have approved a three-year lease with Florence’s business, with the option to extend it.
“We’re all in this together to do what we can to bring San Francisco back,” said Florence.