New Basque Restaurant to Open in San Francisco

Two San Francisco restaurant owners are planning to open Txoko, where chefs will specialize in Basque-style pintxos.

The new restaurant is named in honor of popular Basque gastronomical societies, where people gather to drink wine, socialize and cook sumptuous dishes.

Txoko will be located in North Beach at 504 Broadway near Columbus, an area where a cluster of former Basque boardinghouses and handball courts once paid testament to the city’s rich Basque history and culture. San Francisco is home to the oldest surviving Basque community in the West.

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Txoko will be operated in the building that housed the iconic Enrico’s restaurant, which went dark several weeks ago. The new Basque eatery will be run by Ian Begg and Ryan Maxey, who have been operating the popular Naked Lunch takeout sandwich shop inside Enrico’s, according to local media reports.

Txoko will specialize in pintxos, or appetizers, from the San Sebastian area of the Basque County.

The opening, scheduled for late April, comes after two California Basque restaurants closed in recent months. In San Francisco, Top Chef Mattin Noblia sold the popular Iluna Basque so that he could operate a health club.

And in La Puente, the venerable Le Chalet Basque closed its doors after operating downtown for more than 50 years. The restaurant was run for years by Danielle (Arretche) Osowiecki and her brother, Jean Pierre “Pampi” Arretche. Osowiecki and her husband Steve Osowiecki kept the tradition going. He recently passed away.