Built in 1895, the Montgomery Street Barracks in San Francisco’s Presidio once housed a mess hall serving up uninspiring military chow to hungry U.S. Army soldiers.
Today, this historic “infantry row” spot — known as The Commissary — features an award-winning chef, mouth-watering California cuisine with sustainable, locally-sourced ingredients, and recognition as one of the San Francisco Chronicle’s Top 100 Restaurants.
The Commissary opened in 2014, in a partnership among the Presidio Trust, famous chef Traci Des Jardins, and Bon Appétit Management Company. Located in the heart of the Presidio, the restaurant offers a unique, Spanish-influenced menu and added a mercantile with artisan goods, from batch jams to local cheeses, as well as bottles of wine. And although the menu is different today than back in 1895, the Commissary for sure honors the past. The restaurant pairs authentic Presidio elements — such as lighting fixtures reclaimed from a historic Army gymnasium and Douglas Fir table tops fashioned from salvaged wood — with a comfortable, contemporary design. And most seating at The Commissary is communal, as was the mess hall’s 220 some-odd years ago. The restaurant also offers limited traditional and bar seating, dining on the shaded front porch, and “front row” seating surrounding an open kitchen where guests can watch the chefs in action.
The Commissary also offers a number of private event options. The private dining room is a warm and intimate setting that can accommodate small gatherings of 20-25 guests. The comfortable and elegant décor features fixtures and accents that highlight the Presidio’s history. And the room offers views toward the beautiful Main Parade Ground and ample natural light.
The exhibition kitchen offers a unique dining experience where 32-40 guests can enjoy a front row view of the chefs as they prepare their creations. The front porch is an outdoor dining area for 14-40 guests, overlooking the 7-acre Main Parade Ground and the historic architecture of the “heart of the Presidio.” The Main Dining Room is ideal for larger groups of 65-100 guests, and the space features a bar and lounge area. And a full restaurant buyout can accommodate 110-150 guests.
Once a mundane locale for infantry soldiers, the Commissary today is an exciting destination unto itself, a wonderful place to enjoy a meal during a day in the Presidio, and a unique venue for your next private event.