A new Layer

Jan 9, 2013 Published in SFgate

Purple refrain: Speaking of places with whimsical names, there’s a new layer at the old Purple Onion (140 Columbus Ave.). The classic North Beach comedy club closed in September, but a restaurateur is working on reviving the space, albeit as a new concept. The man with the plan is Christopher Burnett, who owns SoMa’s Darwin Cafe (212 Ritch St.). With a full liquor license in hand, the doing-business-as name is Doc Rickett’s, a reference to the real-life marine biologist friend of John Steinbeck and model for the Doc character in Steinbeck’s “Cannery Row.” Meanwhile, the Purple Onion’s comedy nights have continued down the block at Kells (530 Jackson St.), which is hosting live-stand-up five nights a week in its basement. And that’s not the only revitalization in North Beach. See the story in Main News about the makeover at Tosca.