It was purchased by Sidecar Hospitality (Schroeder’s, Press Club) in 2016; new owner Andy Chun brought on a new chef, added an upgraded craft cocktail list from a local bar star, and renovated the interior’s classic art deco style, even changing hours to stay open until 2 a.m. SF Chronicle critic Michael Bauer rewarded the team’s efforts with a positive, 2.5 star review. But, it wasn’t enough to save the neighborhood staple, which will close on Easter Sunday, April 21.
A changing neighborhood, a changing San Francisco, and the seemingly irredeemable cost of doing business are all contributing factors. According to Chun, an untenable nightlife crowd, upon which the roomy 2,000-square-foot restaurant relied upon for its revenue stream, was a big part of the closure. “We’re sad this is happening. We really thought we could bring in a drinking crowd,” Chun told the SF Chronicle.
That sleepy stretch of Fillmore Street, dotted with upscale boutiques and coffee shops, isn’t known for its late night revelry. Elite Cafe, with its classic booths, marble bar, and elegant interior, couldn’t seem to find a new foothold. Yet the Snug, a cocktail bar from a group of eager young hospitality vets, opened in 2017, and has managed to draw in a younger crowd into the night.
The restaurant is currently on the market. Stay tuned for more details on what will become of the space, which has operated as a restaurant since 1919.