Katz Bagels, a Mission District restaurant known for affordable food in an increasingly unaffordable area, will soon close, Mission Local reports. The spot, which arguably achieved 16th Street icon status with a gigantic, 3D, flying bagel hung on its facade, is preparing to serve its last $4.75 New York-style bacon-egg-and-cheese sandwich at the end of March.
Though Katz’s Yelp listing says that the restaurant is already closed, according to a sign posted to its 16th and Albion Street door, it’ll remain open for the next five weeks, then will shutter for good. In the sign — which Mission Local posits was written by shop owner Michael Katz — the restaurant says that “recent times have been challenging” and thanks “my mother for listening to me during these complicated times.”
These challenges and complications are, perhaps, in part a reference to a Department of Public Health-mandated closure last year, after inspectors observed “an accumulation of rat-droppings throughout floor of front and back of facility .... [and] on shelves next to disposable cups, cup holders, bags of coffee beans, and directly on oven where oven door is located where bagels are made.”
When it opened in 1993, Katz became “where most construction workers, day laborers, painters and folks heading to the 16th Street BART drop in to grab a cup of coffee or tea and a freshly made bagel,” Mission Local reported in 2008, and was well-known to many neighborhood residents as a quick place to grab a filling, simple bite. Katz expanded its reach with two more locations (in the Lower Haight at 663 Haight Street and in SoMa at 606 Mission Street) in the years following, but both of those spots have since closed, as well.
The company also had a flourishing wholesale business, supplying over 200 stores and restaurants with bagels, Mission Local reported in 2008. But skyrocketing wheat flour prices forced the Katzs to shutter that side of the enterprise and to focus on serving customers in their stores. And now, what was once a flourishing mini-chain and bagel distribution business has apparently run its course, as its final location will close on March 24.