The Grove, a family-owned mini-chain known for coffee and comfort, has placed its 9-year-old location at Hayes and Franklin Streets on the market.
Founded by Kenneth Zankel and Anna Veyna Zankel in 1999, the Grove quickly gained a following for its generous portions, swift and pleasant service, and cozy dining rooms; and eventually expanded to four locations across San Francisco: Fillmore Street, Hayes Valley, the Design District, and SoMa (its original location, on Chestnut Street, closed due to rent increases in 2013). While all four of those remained open for delivery and takeout until recently, the SF Business Times notes, “the Caviar delivery pages for all four have been deleted.”
In addition, reports Hoodline, calls to every location yield an ominously past-tense message: “We are closed. Serving our San Francisco community since 1999 has been an honor. We approached every day with excitement and joy to provide a personal, comforting neighborhood experience to our amazing guests.”
Both publications note that the door of the Grove’s Hayes Valley spot now has a “for rent” sign that says that the space’s Type 41 beer and wine license is part of the deal. So, it it game over for the Grove?
That’s unclear, just like everything else these days. Speaking to Hoodline, Grove EVP Steve Ring says that they’re just trying “to test the waters of the market by posting the [for rent] signage,” that the voice mail will be reevaluated, and that “we are definitely planning on reopening” all four locations, “one by one, sometime in May.”
But speaking with the Business Times, Kenneth Zankel says that his landlord is seeing if the Hayes spot “might make sense for someone else at this point, while we also continue to discuss options among ourselves.” Maven, which represents the Hayes Valley landlord, confirmed that it is indeed open to inquiries about the space. In fact, the Business Times writes, “the future of each location remains uncertain,” with all four spots “in limbo” for now.
And in other news...
- San Francisco-based autonomous car company Cruise is using its vehicles to deliver food for Bay Area nonprofits — but as each car requires two employees to sit shoulder to shoulder as they operate the vehicle, it’s unclear how this system is better than just delivering food via single driver in a traditional car. [The Verge]
- Frontline workers at Amazon, SF-based Instacart, Whole Foods, and Target are asking customers to boycott the grocery and delivery companies on May 1. [Vice]
- South Berkeley’s Emilia’s Pizzeria says that it’s been busier than ever during the coronavirus crisis. [Berkeleyside]
- Chef David Kinch says he had no choice but to open his new Aptos spot, Mentone, during the crisis because “we have managers on salary. We have a burn rate. How much would we lose a month?” [East Bay Times]
- Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday that a new statewide initiative will connect perishables from farmers and ranches to food banks that need supplies. [NBC Bay Area]
- Idaho’s Snake River Farms donated 35,000 Wagyu steaks — valued at about $2 million — to several Bay Area nonprofits Wednesday. [ABC 7]
- Irish cocktail bar Casements will drive around SF with a keg of Guinness on May 1, serving freshly-poured pints to those who pre-order. [SFist]