Little Saint, a plant-based restaurant and cafe, wine shop and arts gathering space, is set to open later this summer in the former 10,000 square foot SHED property on West North Street.
The project, which was initially announced in September 2020, aims to carry on the SHED legacy of fresh farm to table food with a community atmosphere where visitors can share innovative ideas and appreciation of the arts and music.
The restaurant and cafe will be led by Kyle and Katina Connaughton, the team behind the SingleThread farm and Michelin-star restaurant. The duo will help operate an 100% plant-based food and beverage program.
In addition to the SingleThread Farm, nearby Little Saint Farm will also supply the restaurant venture with fresh ingredients and goods. The farms’ no-till practice helps to develop healthy, rich soil in an effort to grow nutrient rich ingredients.
Anchoring the open “agri-chic” style building, which received a James Beard Foundation Best Design award, will be a full service restaurant, cafe and wine shop operated by the Connaughton’s management entity Vertice Hospitality Management.
The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner and will feature an à la carte menu inspired by local, seasonal produce and other offerings. The restaurant, cafe and retail shop will be open seven days a week.
"Little Saint presented a creative opportunity to compose a menu highlighting all the produce coming from our new 24-acre farm as well as support and showcase the other incredible farms in our community,” Kyle Connaughton said in a press release. "We envision Little Saint as another way to express our culinary creativity in a more accessible manner and as another avenue to expand our agricultural footprint and biodiversity presence inSonoma County. We want to build upon Cindy Daniel and Doug Lipton's vision of creating a community gathering space when they first opened Healdsburg SHED."
Daniel and Lipton opened their dynamic enterprise in 2013 and over the years featured a multitude of events and opportunities for farmers, foodies and cooks alike.
Farmers and artisan producers who shopped at the store received a 10% discount, cafe-goers got to enjoy produce that was grown within 10 miles of the store, wine and beer lovers got to sip local brews and cooks of any level got to learn about soba noodle making, cookie baking, kombucha brewing and more with the SHED classes.
The cafe earned several accolades, such as a spot on The San Francisco Chronicle’s top 100 list three years in a row, the 2014 James Beard Award for “best restaurant,” and a Michelin Guide bib gourmet designation among others.
Just five years after its opening, Daniel and Lipton announced the closure of SHED in December 2018, citing a decline in traffic and business following the 2017 Sonoma County wildfires as the main cause for the closure.
Last fall the shuttered property was purchased by the Ubben family in partnership with the Saint Joseph's Art Foundation, a nonprofit based in San Francisco.
"As we have gotten to know Kyle and Katina we believe we have the perfect partner in this mission-driven endeavor," Jeff and Laurie Ubben said in a statement. "Our long friendship with Ken Fulk and his team make this a truly happy collaboration."
In collaboration with Little Saint’s designer and creative director, Ken Fulk, and the Saint Joseph’s Arts Foundation, Little Saint will host live music events and live talks with local leaders and artists. They also plan to host a series of film screenings and concerts that support viticulture and sustainable agriculture communities.
"Emerging from this challenging year, we are reminded of the importance of kindness above all," said Jenny Hess, director of Little Saint. "We strive to be a "saintly" destination by offering conscientious and cruelty-free goods and showcasing works and performances by diverse artists who are also committed to doing good while having fun."