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Beloved Eritrean Restaurant Closes After Nearly 30 Years in SF

Assab’s owners are retiring after a long run in the Inner Richmond

Caleb Pershan

After 28 years, East African dining favorite Assab has closed its doors at 2845 Geary Boulevard. Owners Matheos Yohannes and Mehret Tesfalidet bade farewell to customers in a touching note: “There is a time for everything and that time has arrived for us,” they write. “We are retiring.”

Assab’s Eritrean cuisine — meat and vegetable sambusas, ground beef kitfo on spongy injera bread, and lentil and okra stews — earned a loyal following. “You encouraged us by repeat visit, kind words and good reviews,” wrote Yohannes.

“As tough as restaurant business is, twenty eight years is too long. However with the strong support of our loyal clients we enjoyed it.”

Yohannes thanked his wife in particular for her dedication to their cuisine.

“Throughout those years we had been working very hard to make things right, to prepare the healthiest food possible, and to make our customers happy. Especially my wife, she had been very hard on herself to improve every bit of her cooking through out our business time.”

While Assab’s departure leaves a gap in the San Francisco dining scene, fans of Eritrean food aren’t out of luck entirely. One popular option, for example, awaits just across the park: New Eritrea Restaurant & Bar.