Commonwealth, which been operating in the Mission for almost ten years under chef Jason Fox, will close after service on August 26. The possibility of closure has been hanging over the restaurant since at least April, when news that lease negotiations with the landlord had come to a halt.
The restaurant partners — which include restaurateurs Anthony Myint and Karen Leibowitz in addition to Fox — opened in 2010, serving a tasting menu of California fine dining cuisine. In that time, says Fox, he and his team have significantly improved the building, upgrading the infrastructure of the restaurant from plumbing to floors.
At the time that the news first broke, Fox cited a doubled rent as well as “terms of the lease [that] weren’t favorable to running a good business.” It’s currently listed on Loopnet for $9,000/month — which is roughly double the rent paid by Fox — with availability starting September 1.
“We had hoped it would work out, but the landlords weren’t budging,” Fox tells Eater. “They said they were ‘committed to not leasing to Commonwealth.’”
AT $105, Commonwealth’s tasting menu is one of SF’s more reasonable, compared to the $300 and up options found at restaurants like Benu. Fox’s menu includes dishes like smoked trout glazed in verjus, and lamb shoulder grilled over redwood.
“We have looked around and have had some opportunities, but the landscape of SF restaurants right now doesn’t feel very encouraging, and a place like ours that’s a casual fine dining restaurant in this city feels a little tough, so we’re going to take a break.”
For the restaurant’s final days at the end of August, Fox plans to bring in some chef friends for a few last dinners. “We are unfortunate that we’ve been forced out of this space but we’re ending on a high note and we’re proud of the last nine years,” says Fox. Stay tuned for more details on those dinners, and stop by for one last meal in the meantime.
- Commonwealth [Official]