All photos: Matt Ghali for the Appeal

Not that long after I started dating my now husband, we went to Kitaro and were seated next to this group of incredibly buff, flashily dressed guys, who were eating a shitload of sushi and speaking in muted Russian. See, I told, you, the Russian mob is everywhere in the Richmond! I said to Tim. Then the guys put on their black satin jackets that all read “Cirque du Soleil: Varekai” and walked out the door.*

I’ll be spending a lot more time at Kitaro in the next few weeks, as they’re back in town with OVO, which opens next Friday, the 27th.

But before they open, they have to pitch their tent, that is, their “Grand Chapiteau,” in Lot A, behind AT&T park. And Appeal photographer Matt Ghali was there to capture the pitching for you. Check out his gallery, above.

*OK, I’m the dummy for thinking the mob would eat at Kitaro, which is known as a, let’s say, economical sushi choice.

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at

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