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SF Soul Food Institution Closes After More Than a Decade

Farmerbrown couldn’t keep up with growing costs, its owner says


Longstanding Tenderloin soul food restaurant Farmerbrown closed this weekend, abruptly ending its 13-year run at 25 Mason Street. The black-owned business, one of the city’s few, established a strong reputation for its fried chicken, jambalaya, and weekend brunch buffet. But in spite of its consistent popularity, the high costs of rent, labor, and operations forced chef/owner Jay Foster to make the difficult decision to close Farmerbrown, he tells the Chronicle.

On the bright side, Foster recently opened a new restaurant, Isla Vida, serving Afro-Caribbean cuisine in the Fillmore District. He also operates Little Skillet, a Farmerbrown spinoff in SoMa which opened in 2008. And at SFO, he opened a new outpost of Farmerbrown this fall. Those restaurants will continue to operate as usual.

Foster says that Farmerbrown’s sizable, 70-seat dining room remained busy with customers, but even with the business’s usual volume, it couldn’t keep up with growing costs. According to public records, the restaurant’s liquor license expires at the end of the month.

Eater SF has reached out for further details on the closure and comment from Foster, and will add updates accordingly.


25 Mason Street, SF, CA