Mission Beach Cafe, whose brunch was as locally famous as its health and labor violations were infamous, has permanently closed. The restaurant was almost simultaneously served eviction proceedings and health department closure notices last week, and owner Bill Clarke posted a note to customers declaring the end of the business.
Mission Beach cafe opened on the sunny corner of 14th and Guerrero in 2007. Seemingly each weekend since, it’s generated a crowd for its renditions of brunch dishes like brioche French toast, Dungeness crab and bay shrimp Benedicts, and duck confit hash.
But not this weekend: A notice of closure from the Health Department informed would-be customers that “major violations” constituted an “immediate danger” to public health.
“I could address their exaggerated claims, but this would sound hollow against the all-mighty Health Department,” owner Bill Clarke writes in a note posted beside the Health Department notice.
Health Department problems for Mission Beach Cafe began in January, when an inspection turned up a “severe rodent infestation” and closed the business. The restaurant remedied the problems and reopened, but re-inspections revealed continuing problems, and the Health Department filed to revoke its license permanently in March. Clarke appealed that decision, but a surprise inspection this week turned up issues, and the business was closed again — this time, Clarke says, for good.
“Rest assured that we have never faultered [sic] in our vigilance to the consistency and quality of what we serve,” Clarke wrote. “That vigilance proably [sic] affected the degree to which we had time to address equal vigilance to back of house procedures... We were getting there. Just not in time.”
At the same time, Mission Beach Cafe faced eviction from building owner Erich Pearson. “The owner of Mission Beach Cafe has consistently failed to pay his water and garbage bills and has also stopped paying rent,” Pearson told SFist.
In 2017, workers from the cafe sued management, claiming wage violations over a four-year period. According to their suit, Mission Beach management frequently issued late paychecks, and often, they would bounce.
Pearson tells SFist he hopes to find a new cafe tenant for the space. “My heart goes out to the talented staff who have been mistreated over the years as well as the community who loved this cafe” he said.