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Michelin-Recognized SF Restaurant Opens Second Bay Area Mall Location

SF Gate

January 19, 2024

Flores restaurant opened its largest outpost to date at a Bay Area mall.

Last month, the Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant opened its latest outpost at Hillsdale Shopping Center in San Mateo, less than two months after debuting an East Bay location at Bay Street Emeryville. The new Peninsula site is the Mexican restaurant’s largest outpost. It can seat more than 117 guests within the 6,430-square-foot space.

The new Hillsdale Shopping Center restaurant offers a similar menu to its other Bay Area locations, which means that customers will find a selection of tacos and sopes, as well as whole grilled branzino and more. The vast space, which features an outdoor patio and two private dining areas, also has an expansive drink menu that includes margaritas, cocktails and imported Mexican beers.

Bay Area malls have gained a new lease on life thanks in part to revamped food courts and swapping out older eateries for trendy restaurants. Hillsdale Shopping Center and Bay Street Emeryville are no exception. During the past two years, Bay Street Emeryville welcomed a bevy of popular Bay Area restaurants that includes Humphry Slocombe, Philz Coffee and Pippal.

Opening new locations at Bay Area malls was a huge draw for Adriano Paganini, the CEO and founder of restaurant group Back of the House, which operates Flores in addition to a Mano, El Techo, and The Bird, among others. He has noticed the positive change at local shopping centers, he said in a statement shared with SFGATE.

“We’ve seen a lot of success with restaurants moving into lifestyle shopping centers, especially as more people have migrated out of the city,” Paganini said. “We’re excited about the expansion of this concept and looking forward to serving a new audience, who are seeking the caliber of dining in the city in the setting of a local community.”

Flores has additional locations in San Francisco and Corte Madera.