clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

San Francisco’s 14 Saddest Restaurant Closings In 2019

New, 1 comment

Some of these really hurt

A spread of food at Isla Vida Melissa de Mata

Jardiniere

Traci Des Jardins’ groundbreaking flagship Jardinière served its final dinner service on April 27, after Des Jardins said that the 21-year-old restaurant was “pretty healthy,” but “not thriving.” Its 300 Grove Street location will soon be the home of a vegan Italian spot called Baia.

The Perennial

The Perennial, a sustainability-focused restaurant from Anthony Myint and Karen Leibowitz, closed on February 9 after three years in the game. “We were never really able to get to that point where we were really busy,” Mynt says, and “the neighborhood” (his restaurant was located at 59 9th Street) “has been pretty challenging.”

Commonwealth

After negotiations with its landlord failed, Commonwealth, chef Jason Fox’s 10-year-old spot at 2224 Mission Street shut its doors. The address has since been reborn as Prubechu, a family-style Guamanian restaurant.

Kaya

A collaboration between chef Daniel Patterson (Coi, among others) and Nigel Jones (Kingston 11), Kaya closed in May after a year-and-a-half in business. The 1420 Market Street Caribbean spot garnered mixed reviews and the fractured partnership between Patterson and Jones resulted in a (since-dropped) lawsuit.

Aina

Aina (900 22nd Street) officially closed its doors in December of 2018, but it wasn’t until June that that temporary closure was made permanent. A family emergency sent co-owners and spouses Cheryl Liew and Jordan Keao to Singapore, where they will remain for the foreseeable future.

Isla Vida

Chef Jay Foster (Farmerbrown) opened Isla Vida in fall of 2018 in hopes that his Afro-Caribbean cuisine would resonate within the neighborhood (and beyond). Booze licensing and light foot traffic sank the venue (which was very, very good) and it shuttered in August.

Dosa Valencia

South Indian restaurant Dosa closed its original Mission District location after 15 years, as rent at its 995 Valencia Street spot had tripled since its opening in 2005, co-owner Anjan Mitra says. Dosa’s 1700 Fillmore Street outpost remains open, however, but Mitra says that spot is also feeling the pinch. “San Francisco [can’t] sustain neighborhood restaurants at affordable prices and still expect the restaurants to pay for everything our employees need,” Mitra says. “We have to make money every two weeks to make payroll and pay our vendors.”

Rosamunde

Lower Haight sausage restaurant Rosamunde Sausage Grill shuttered quite abruptly in September, but all was not lost: longtime Rosamunde employee, Christine Blunck, has gotten the keys to 545 Haight Street and opened a spot called Berliner Berliner in the space.

Marla Bakery

After five years in the Outer Richmond, Marla Bakery owners Amy Brown and Joe Wolf decided to shutter their 3619 Balboa Street and decamp for the greener pastures of Santa Rosa. The bakery served its last loaf of bread on November 27.

Mission Pie

Mission Pie owners Krystin Rubin and Karen Heisler threw in the towel after 12 years, saying SF’s high costs made their business unsustainable. The pair sold the 2901 Mission Street building their business occupied, and the restaurant space has already found a new tenant: Reem Assil, who will open SF’s first Arab bakery in the spot.

Mission Beach Cafe

Mission Beach Cafe was known for its packed brunch service, but behind the scenes trouble brewed as allegations of health and labor violations accumulated. The 198 Guerrero Street restaurant was closed by the San Francisco Health Department in June, around the same time it was served eviction papers for alleged non-payment of rent.

Arlequin Cafe

The Absinthe Group (which also owns Absinthe, Barcino, Bellota, and Comstock Saloon) closed 18-year-old Hayes Valley standby Arlequin Cafe in April, citing the rising costs of goods and labor. The company promised a “new concept” for the 384 Hayes Street space, but as yet that concept remains unknown.

Lucca Ravioli Co.

Michael Feno, whose family opened Lucca Ravioli Co. in 1925, decided to sell its building and retire, closing the venerable Italian imports company for good on April 30. After selling his building at 1100 Valencia Street (as well as some adjacent property) Feno pulled in around $10 million.

Sam Jordan’s

After nearly 60 years at 4004 3rd Street, Sam Jordan’s shut its doors this November. Owners Ruth and Allen Jordan were reportedly struggling under debt so significant that even an appearance on Bar Rescue wasn’t enough to save the business.

Correction, December 27, noon: An earlier version of this story included Kennedy’s Irish Pub and Curry House in its list of recent closures, based on the bar’s own announcement earlier this year. The bar never, in fact, closed.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Eater San Francisco newsletter

The freshest news from the local food world