Find the latest news on Tartine’s closure here.
Tartine Bakery’s original location at 600 Guerrero Street was closed down on the orders of the San Francisco Department of Public Health Friday, after inspectors say that its operators failed to deal with persistent rodent problems in the space.
SF DPH spokesperson Veronica Vien tells Eater SF that the James Beard award-winning bakery, which has occupied its space at 18th and Guerrero Streets since 2002, was shuttered at noon on November 22 after “rodent droppings were identified on food and food contact surfaces during two separate inspections” — a routine, unscheduled inspection on November 19, and a scheduled inspection on Friday.
According to Vien, “the facility was not closed on the initial inspection,” which in addition to the rodent issues found problems with refrigeration temperatures and issues with its floors. Instead, says Vien, the bakery was “given an opportunity to correct the violations, prior to the announced, scheduled reinspection.” (The full inspection reports can be viewed below.)
Tartine, which has been described by Bon Appétit as the country’s “most influential” bakery, isn’t the only area bakery to be shuttered over issues with vermin. Tenderloin bakery/cafe Jane on Larkin was closed just last month over similar complaints, which owner Amanda Michael told Hoodline were the result of “street uncleanliness that surrounds the restaurant, which makes it difficult for her to keep its interior free of pests.”
While it’s unknown of Tartine’s difficulty have a similar root cause, one thing that’s inarguable is how bad this closure’s timing is. With Thanksgiving only a few days away, the bakery is doubtlessly on the hook for a considerable number of holiday pre-orders, not to mention the walk-in traffic the business would expect from customers who failed to pre-plan. The closure likely had an impact on Midnite Bagel, as well — the popular bagel pop-up typically delivers pre-orders (and serves walk-in diners) every Friday night from 6-8 p.m. According to Midnite founder Nick Beitcher, the closure forced the pop-up to “refund customers who had pre-ordered bagels,” but says that he still expects that the bagel business will rise at Tartine again on Friday, December 6.
According to Vien. as soon as Tartine notifies the agency that “the necessary corrections have been completed...the district inspector will return to the facility with the intention of lifting the suspension.” When that might happen is unclear: When contacted by phone on Friday, a Tartine employee confirmed that the business had been closed due to “operational issues” but refused to provide additional comment, including when Tartine might be ready to reopen for business.