After nearly 20 years in San Francisco, Belgian-style eatery Frjtz is closing its dine-in operation early next month to focus on delivery-only business. Owner-operator Santiago Rodriguez has moved his quirky cafe around the city before, most recently migrating from Valencia Street around the corner to 3412 17th Street. His last week there will be the first week of May.
Frjtz has always been known for its Belgian-style fries and dipping sauces like curry ketchup, plus Belgian beers, salads, burgers, and crepes. What’s changed is the way people want to eat them.
“As we approach our 20 year anniversary, we have seen a steep increase in delivery, take-out and catering orders while the in-house numbers have decrease at a similar rate,” Rodriguez wrote.
Rodriguez’ lease on 17th isn’t up yet, but he’ll retire the Frjtz cafe concept, moving to a bigger commercial kitchen to fulfill those delivery orders. It sounds as if he’s shopping around for someone to take over his lease: “The location is central and beautiful for a nice café, although the huge kitchen remodel screams for a chef to do a new food concept,” Rodriguez writes.
Rodriguez also took the opportunity to reminisce about his many years of customers in the restaurant. “I have seen babies that are now coming as young adults and ordering on their own, wedding proposals, first dates, break-ups... you name it,” he writes.
For better or worse, you don’t see that sort of thing when you’re just doing delivery.