After a three-day closure ordered by San Francisco’s Department of Public Health due to repeated rodent-related incidents, Tartine Bakery’s original location at 600 Guerrero Street has reopened.
The spot at Guerrero and 18th Streets, which Tartine has occupied since 2002, has long been plagued with rodent activity, Tartine co-owner Chad Robertson tells the Chron. “We’ve had to do this many times over the years,” he said regarding pest control management, and noted that crews worked at the bakery throughout the weekend to make changes ordered by the health department.
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✨adversity is the diamond dust heaven polishes it’s jewels with✨ To our neighbors, customers, and fellow food industry peers : please accept our sincere apologies for letting you all down and not holding ourselves to the highest level of cleanliness which forced closure of our corner bakery for the weekend. Be assured that we are using this time to deep clean, repair, and reflect on our cherished and hard earned place in this community. Our responsibility to be the best version of ourselves every day is not taken lightly - and we do not take your support over these past 17+ years for granted. Our previous inspection this year on March 5th earned us 98 out of 100 - a number we are proud of and aim to restore immediately. We take this setback in stride - committed to come back stronger starting Monday morning and with clear and focused purpose to continue to manage assiduously the challenges and charms of this city on this corner since landing in 2002. ✨❤️
In an Instagram post published Sunday, Robertson offered an apology to “neighbors, customers, and fellow food industry peers,” saying “please accept our sincere apologies for letting you all down and not holding ourselves to the highest level of cleanliness which forced closure of our corner bakery for the weekend. Be assured that we are using this time to deep clean, repair, and reflect on our cherished and hard earned place in this community.”
Robertson’s assertions that the bakery’s pest problems aren’t new have been echoed by a long-time Tartine staffer who spoke to Eater SF anonymously. “Rodents have been seen on a consistent basis by the staff for years, either running around or stuck on sticky traps,” the employee said.
This is consistent with the DPH’s findings, which spokesperson Vanessa Vien says visited Tartine first for a routine, unscheduled inspection on November 19. At that time, inspectors saw evidence of rodent activity, as well as problems with its refrigerator temperatures and issues with its floors. When the DPH returned for a scheduled inspection, Vien says that none of the problems had been resolved, and the department again saw “rodent droppings...on food and food contact surfaces,” prompting the mandated closure.
According to Mission Local, Tartine continued to distribute pre-ordered cakes and pies from the bakery, even as other operations ceased this weekend. One preorder situation that was stymied was Midnite Bagel’s, which typically pops up at Tartine from 6–8 p.m. on Friday nights. This past Friday, Midnite founder Nick Beitcher says, the pop-up was canceled and he was forced to refund everyone who’d preordered his goods. (That said, his relationship with Tartine continues: Beitcher says that he’ll return to Tartine on December 6, and he’s also planning a pop-up at Tartine’s LA location on December 11.)
A third DPH inspection to confirm that Tartine had resolved the problems was scheduled for Monday morning, the SF Examiner reported over the weekend, and it was a success, as DPH’s Vien confirms to Eater SF “the suspension of Tartine’s permit to operate has been lifted, as of this morning,” According to the Tartine staffer who spoke with Eater SF early this morning, goods from the shop’s bakers (who’d continued to toil in Tartine’s commissary kitchen, which is located near Tartine Manufactory at 595 Alabama Street) will stock the spot today. and Tartine itself confirmed that it was back in business, as the staffer who answered its phone at 10 a.m. Monday told Eater SF “we are open today, indeed.”