Restaurateur Jennifer Pelka of The Riddler - Biography

San Francisco, CA

September 2019

Jen Pelka began her career in New York at Daniel in a range of roles from stagier to research assistant. Under Daniel Boulud and Thomas Keller, she was Team U.S.A.’s competition director for the Bocuse d’Or. She went on to OpenTable, Gilt Taste (earning a spot on Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list, a James Beard nomination, and an IACP award for her work), and Tumblr. 

In 2015, Pelka founded Magnum PR, drawing on her decade of experience in events, influencer marketing, content strategy, and media relations. Among her clients are Shake Shack, Mister Jiu’s, Rich Table, and Souvla—founded by her husband, Rising Stars alum Charles Bililies. 

In 2017, Pelka opened The Riddler, a female-funded Champagne bar in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley where no occasion is too small (or too casual) for glass raising. With whimsy, she pours bubbles for unconventional pairings, like tater tot waffles, pigs in a blanket, and caviar service with Lays potato chips. The century-old space mixes high with low—whether the guest is drinking from an elegant flute, a goblet filled to meniscus, or a Chambong. For fall 2019, Pelka is due to open a second location of The Riddler in the West Village of Manhattan, before taking on the rest of the world. 

Pelka has been named a Details “Digital Maverick” and a Cherry Bombe “It Girl,” and a 2019 StarChefs Rising Star.