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Ferry Building Fight Prompts 17-Year-Old MarketBar to Close

Also: The SFMTA’s head disses Outer Sunset coffee, and more news to start your day

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Ferry Building standby MarketBar will close in April after a dispute with its landlord.

For 17 years, MarketBar has been the cornerstone of the San Francisco Ferry Building’s southern end. That run is over this April, the San Francisco Business Times reports, after a three-year fight with its landlord.

It was the first sit-down restaurant to open in the revamped Ferry Building (before 2003, newcomers might be surprised to learn, the Ferry Building was nothing like the food destination it is today), and its bright-yellow umbrellas and outdoor seating have been an Embarcadero-area landmark ever since.

Owner Doug Biederbeck tells the SF Chronicle that business hasn’t been a problem at MarketBar (and Eater SF observed that the place has been packed on this week’s unexpectedly warm evenings). But its lease had recently expired, and negotiations with Hudson Pacific Properties, an LA-based company that bought the Ferry Building in 2018, were not successful.

In a note sent to MarketBar’s 69 employees to let them know that they’d soon be out of a job, Biederbeck said three years of talks with the landlord were a “grueling period” and the “hardest part” of his life, the Biz Times reports. He won’t say exactly how much Hudson wanted to increase the rent, but says “it was a substantial ask on their part and we didn’t feel that it was reasonable for a seasonal restaurant.”

Following the publication of this piece, a spokesperson for Hudson Pacific sent Eater SF the following statement:

Although the start of negotiations with MarketBar predate Hudson Pacific‘s ownership of the Ferry Building, we have been working with the restaurant’s management to reach an agreement. Ultimately, MarketBar chose to move on and we respect that decision. We wish the entire MarketBar staff the best. We are fortunate to have a list of local merchants that have been waiting for the opportunity to open a Ferry Building location, and we are confident there is significant demand for this space.

MarketBar’s last day will be April 22, and after that it will join at least two other restaurants that have recently decamped the Ferry Building, including Mijita Cocina Mexicana (which closed in December) and Tanya Holland’s first San Francisco outpost of Brown Sugar Kitchen (which shuttered in January).

And in other news...

  • San Francsico-based food delivery company DoorDash might be going public. The service, which is valued at $13 billion has submitted a draft S-1 filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission, but that doesn’t mean an IPO is necessarily happening right away: after all, Postmates made a similar submission in February of 2019, and that company’s still private. According to The Information, DoorDash lost $450 million in 2019 in sales of between $900 million and $1 billion. [CNBC]
  • Fast-casual chain Rooster & Rice has opened another location in the Inner Richmond. [Hoodline]
  • In a wide-ranging public conversation on city transit woes, SFMTA director Jeffrey Tumlin (affectionately?) called out the “mediocre” coffee at the westernmost end of the N Judah line — a stop steps from vaunted shop Trouble Coffee and Beachside Cafe, which serves a wide range of hard-to-find, high-quality beans. [Streetsblog]
  • Artist Jeremy Fish, aka the SF Burger Inspector, says that West Portal’s Bullshead Restaurant “reminds me of those burgers somebody’s mom took us out for.” [SF Gate]
  • San Francisco is still figuring out how to regulate food delivery services, but New York already has a plan: Its city council has proposed capping the commission companies can charge restaurants at 10 percent, and might require delivery companies that operate in the city to be licensed. [New York Times]
  • News outlet Hoodline, which for years had diligently tracked the openings of San Francisco bars, restaurants, and other businesses, has been sold to every neighborhood crank’s favorite company, Nextdoor. According to Nextdoor CEO Sarah Friar, the Hoodline purchase is part of the company’s effort to increase the amount of “impressions” on which Nextdoor can serve ads. [Digiday]
  • SF-based companies DoorDash, Postmates and Instacart have scored the necessary number of signatures to place a bill on California’s November ballot that would allow voters to decide if gig workers at their businesses should be reclassified as employees. [CNet]
  • Food critic Soleil Ho went to San Jose and found some new favorite spots. [SF Chronicle]

Bullshead Restaurant

840 Ulloa Street, , CA 94127 (415) 665-4350 Visit Website

Trouble Coffee

4033 Judah Street, , CA 94122 Visit Website

Rooster & Rice

2211 Filbert Street, , CA 94123 (415) 776-3647 Visit Website

Beachside Cafe

4300 Judah Street, San Francisco, CA 94122 415 682 4961