About Hayes Street Grill
Hayes Street Grill is a fish restaurant in San Francisco’s Performing Arts district. The restaurant is across the street from Davies Symphony Hall and Nourse Auditorium, one block from the Opera House and SFJazz, and two blocks from City Hall.
We opened the grill in 1979 to serve dinner before the opera, ballet and symphony, drawing inspiration from old San Francisco grills like Tadich and Sam’s. But we took the grill concept a step farther by committing to using only fresh, not frozen fish, and as many local ingredients as we could find. To that end, our menu changes daily.
Hayes Street Grill is certified by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch. Our produce comes directly from local farms: Mariquita, WHOA Farm, Everything Under the Sun, Brokaw, Hamada, Yerena, Chue’s, McGinnis, Alfieri, Bella Viva, Heirloom Organics, Martin Bournhonesque and many others at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. Co-owner Patricia Unterman is a founder of that market. Most of our meats, poultry and dairy come from small producers who we know.
Many of our cooks, dining room staff and maitre d’s have worked at the restaurant for twenty-five or more years. Performing artists and artistic directors consider the restaurant their club. Their autographed photos line the walls.
Patricia Unterman is founder and co-owner of the Hayes Street Grill.
She grew up in Evanston, Illinois and graduated from Stanford University. She attended the graduate school of journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. After taking basic French cooking classes in the home kitchen of Josephine Araldo and practicing recipes from Julia Child, she opened a small restaurant in Berkeley in the early seventies called the Beggar’s Banquet. She starting writing as the Underground Gourmet for New West Magazine. In 1979 she opened the Hayes Street Grill in San Francisco with three partners–Dick Sander, Ann Powning and Robert Flaherty. That same year, she also became the restaurant critic for the San Francisco Chronicle, a job she held for the next fifteen. Later, after writing the San Francisco Food Lovers’ Guide, she joined the San Francisco Examiner as a restaurant critic and food columnist.
She is a founding board member of the Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market where she shops for the restaurant every Tuesday and Saturday.
Dick is founder and co-owner of the Hayes Street Grill. He serves as President, CFO, Wine Director, Head of Personnel and Daily Operations. He is also co-owner of Vicolo Wholesale, producing and distributing award winning fresh cornmeal crust pizzas to gourmet supermarkets throughout California.
He grew up in the town of Napa, where he fished and hunted. He studied aquatic ecology and holds a B.S. in conservation of natural resources at UC Berkeley and worked on a commercial fishing boat in Alaska.
He is an active supporter of California Trout, Trout Unlimited and The Nature Conservancy and has served on advisory boards including Hog Island Oyster Co. and The Eureka Theater Company in San Francisco.
Rob Zaborny has been chef and kitchen manager at Hayes Street Grill for 12 years. He originally came to the grill in 1981 as a line cook and left to open his own restaurant, Carta, where he cooked a different menu each month inspired by his international travels and his family’s culinary background. One month, India. Another Poland. Another Mexico or Russia. He grew up in New York, went to college in New York, spent two years in the Peace Corps in the Ivory coast and now lives in Oakland.
Carlo Togni is the general manager of the Hayes Street Grill and started working at the grill in 1980. Growing up in in Rome, he never saw a can of food in the kitchens of his mother, nonna and aunts — besides San Marzano tomatoes in the winter and canned tuna–until he visited Holland in 1971, where he was shocked to find that everything came from a jar or a can. So, he was naturally drawn to Hayes Street Grill. A soccer fanatic, he played with The San Francisco Spikes for thirty years.