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The Sausage Factory, Historic Castro Restaurant, Appears To Be Closing

Its building is for sale

Tim L. via Yelp

The Sausage Factory looks likely to close: The longstanding Italian restaurant’s building at 517 Castro Street is for sale according to a real estate listing that promises the ground-floor restaurant space will be “delivered vacant.”

The building, a mixed-use Victorian, dates to 1884. In addition to the 2,500-square-foot restaurant space, it has two residential units, a three-bedroom and a four-bedroom unit on the second and third floors. The asking price is $4.1 million.

A coincidence rather than a pun, the Sausage Factory’s name recalls an actual sausage factory that operated in the street-level space at 517 Castro until the 1940s. The factory’s original meat racks are still located in the back room of the restaurant, which opened in 1968.

The Italian-American Azzolino family has owned and operated The Sausage Factory since 1972. Its dark wood panelling, vintage wallpaper hung with picture frames, and its lengthy, affordable menu are all a bit of a throwback.

via Redfin

The group Preserving LGBT Historic Sites in California writes that the Azzolino family owns the building themselves, indicating that they’re looking to leave the restaurant business by choice. Eater awaits details from the real estate listing agent.

The Sausage Factory’s closure would nevertheless represent a loss to the neighborhood, as it’s figured in the Castro’s gay history and social life. One manager claims that LGBT rights hero Harvey Milk was a regular at the restaurant.