Located in San Francisco’s SoMa district, Birdsong is a nature-inspired restaurant highlighting culinary culture of the Pacific Northwest. Opened in May 2018 and now with 24 employees, the lodge-like eatery was born out of co-owners Aarti and Chris’s mutual love for the social aspect of dining, as well as Chef Chris’s urge to create something he could truly relate to after years of experience in fine-dining kitchens.
“Attention to ingredients is the core of Birdsong,” says Aarti. The restaurant features locally- and sustainably-sourced ingredients from small ranches, fisheries, and independent foragers. To showcase and celebrate nature’s best offerings, Birdsong treats every ingredient with respect and minimal processing, using techniques rooted in ancient traditions, such as open-fire cooking, fermentation, and dry aging, in a contemporary setting.
For most small restaurants in San Francisco, including Birdsong, money is a huge challenge. To help with the opening of their visionary restaurant, Aarti and Chris took a loan from Main Street Launch, most of which was used to pay for construction. “Working with Main Street Launch was an easy and seamless experience, “remembers Aarti, “Darius Mahajer, Senior Vice President, was very knowledgeable about loans. He knew about restaurants and understood where we were coming from. He also had more faith in us than banks did and moved things quickly.” The loan provided these young entrepreneurs with enough liquidity to launch Birdsong.
For aspiring restaurant owners, Aarti advises them develop a clear vision of their creation, whether it be team-building or restaurant construction. “The most important thing is knowing what you are bringing to the table. Do not follow trends and create unique products that you truly believe in,” suggests Aarti.
Looking into the future, Aarti states that their plan is simply getting comfortable with the newly-opened restaurant, as well as continuously putting efforts into the research and development in Pacific Northwest gastronomy.
Pay a visit to Birdsong for a fine-dining experience inspired by nature.