Joie de vivre  | The Garden Blooms Again

Sad face: Longtime Mission landmark Woodward’s Garden—we’re talking about the restaurant, of course, not the 19th-century amusement park it was named for—lost its lease in 2014. Happy face: its owners and co-chefs, Dana Tommasino and Margie Conard, transplanted their Garden to the Fillmore, and their writer and artist regulars quickly followed.

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SF Chronicle  | Gardenias bloom in the Fillmore

Margie Conard and Dana Tommasino launched their careers by sprinkling stardust on a forgotten corner of San Francisco. Their first restaurant, Woodward’s Garden, sat under the freeway overpass at Mission and Duboce streets and was named after the 19th century amusement park that once stood there.
Then San Francisco 2.0 hit. It’s the usual story of our era — a new building owner, a lost lease and the end of a beloved neighborhood institution in 2014.

But Conard and Tommasino were lucky. They were able to regroup. After a long search, they found a new space and launched Gardenias a year ago.

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The New Fillmore | Prelude in blues

The first day we’re officially in the place, I’m out on the street assessing our storefront. A smiling kid I don’t know, maybe 15, from Winfred’s, the longstanding hair salon next door, walks up quickly and asks: “You the new owners?” and, without losing stride, wide-arm hugs me congratulations.

Several friends whose eye I admire mention the Hague blue of nascent gardenias — a slate deep hue, grey-tinged almost. I call it up. It is without question a color … bold, bottomless. It is for some reason also the color. The blue of the original bathroom tiles is aqua. We float gloss turquoise on the walls and ceilings above it, naturally. It is a scene.

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SF Eater | Team Behind Woodward's Garden

A large-scale rotisserie, wines on tap and a garden patio are some of the highlights.

The duo hopes to offer a wide variety of small plates, as well as more substantial entrées, to suit the casual to upscale dining crowds that frequent Pacific Heights. Also of note: there is an enclosed, garden patio for additional seating, that will include some of the restaurant's namesake flowers.

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TableHopper | Gardenias Softly Opens

I’m thrilled to report that ~GARDENIAS~ is softly opening this week for some trial dinner service, starting Wednesday August 5th. Margie Conard and Dana Tommasino of Woodward’s Garden (it was theirs for 22 years!) have transformed the former Roostertail into quite the beguiling space, one that will be perfect for a few bites and a glass of wine in the early evening, or a full dinner date, and eventually lunch on their back garden patio.

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