All signs point to closed for long-running and questionably priced Mission district Italian spot Farina. Although it was initially a critical darling, the food quality suffered after some chef shuffles back in 2011 and Michael Bauer declared it was no longer worth the price of admission. The troubles only worsened last year, when the California labor board found the restaurant owed a whopping $335,000 in back wages and taxes to 30 employees and city departments.
The restaurant has been dark for the better part of a month, both SFist and Tablehopper note today, and signs claiming “technical problems” in the kitchen have been inviting potential diners to visit the restaurant’s sister spot Farina Pizza around the corner on Valencia Street instead. During last year’s labor board hearings, Mission Local reported that Farina had only paid out about $63,000 of what was owed and, making matters worse, former employees alleged the owners tried to pull some shady moves to dodge payment altogether while keeping the restaurant open under a new LLC. Despite all that, it seems the landlord has finally stepped in to give Farina the boot: according to a photo sent in by a neighborhood tipster, the landlord is seeking another $5,491 owed for several months of garbage collection and water service from earlier this year. While that number is small potatoes compared to what the restaurant owes its former workers, the notice is likely the landlord’s first step towards evicting the restaurant. The letter notes the landlord will take action if the garbage bill isn’t paid by the end of this week.
The building won its own accolades from the Chronicle when the restaurant opened in 2007 and the restaurant later added a rooftop garden and patio. For now, however, the space at 3560 18th Street remains dark and sealed off by a chain link fence. Calls to the restaurant are being forwarded to Farina Pizza, where staff members claim the original restaurant is simply under construction.