Akiko’s team opening Family, a Japanese-inspired cafe in North Beach

San Francisco Chronicle | April 1, 2019 Family wasn’t supposed to be a cafe.

After spending 15 years immersed in sake, Jessica Furui felt ready to open a sake bar. The longtime sake director of Ozumo joined the team at Akiko’s Restaurant in 2017, and Akiko’s owner Ray Lee just happened to be searching for the right concept to fill an unusually tiny space in North Beach.

They agreed to partner on a sake bar.

The sake bar did not work out.

That happened after they finally realized getting an alcohol license for 362 Columbus Ave., most recently a fried chicken operation called Chicken Pollo, would be impossible. But they loved the cozy space, with its 300-square-foot main floor and mezzanine.

“I just thought, let’s just feed the people and make really good food and have a great time doing it,” said Furui, who is spearheading Family. It’s scheduled to open in late April.

Read the Article