Republique co-owner/pastry chef Margarita Manzke is set to open her own savory-side Filipino restaurant at Downtown’s Grand Central Market soon, in the former Moruno space near G&B Coffee. Eater has confirmed that Marge will take over the space in partnership with her husband Walter Manzke and the Sprout Restaurant Group, which already has a hand in Republique (and many other restaurants around town).
The restaurant is to be titled Sari Sari Store, and should arrive by mid-summer at the latest. For those unfamiliar, sari sari roughly translates to “whatever,” a loose phrase that denotes small pop-up stores across the Philippines that might sell everything from Filipino meat skewers to water to cigarettes. That’s the ethos of this new restaurant: Small, colorful, and casual.
The plan right now is to focus primarily on easygoing comfort-food style silog dishes, which are usually encompassed by rice and eggs and any other variety of ingredients, and is served for both breakfast and beyond. There’s no confirmed menu just yet, but Manzke has been pulling from her own roots, her family’s restaurant ties in the Philippines (where they own a massively popular collection of places under the Wildflour banner), and her staff at Republique, which includes more than a couple Pinoy cooks.
The Manzkes tell Eater that they’ll be revamping the shuttered Moruno stall slightly, but with so much of that build-out still brand new (including the equipment inside) they won’t have to do too much. That should lead to a faster turnaround, which means more Filipino morning food for all to enjoy. Oh, and in case anyone is wondering, Marge will be doing some sweet stuff too like halo halo, but don’t expect a full pastry case of the sort you’ll find at the endlessly popular Republique on La Brea. In the meantime, you can follow Sari Sari Store on Instagram now.