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Toy Boat, Clement Street’s 38-Year-Old Ice Cream Institution, Is On The Market

Also: San Jose pauses its street dining plan, and more news to start your day

After a 38 year run, the owners of Toy Boat Dessert Cafe have decided to retire
Blatteis Realty

A sign on the window of Toy Boat Dessert Cafe says the owners of the popular sweet spot have retired

It’s the end of an era at Toy Boat Dessert Cafe, an Inner Richmond ice cream shop known for its vintage posters, collectibles, and frozen treats. According to a message posted by the shop on Facebook, owners Jesse and Roberta Fink, a married couple who founded the spot in 1982, have decided to retire, and say they hope that a new owner will keep the business going.

The restaurant was typically packed (especially during warm weather) in the evenings, and was a popular spot with locals and folks looking for something sweet after a meal on Clement Street’s busy dining district. It had been shuttered since San Francisco’s shelter-in-place order dropped on March 16, and the Finks specifically say that it wasn’t rent that prompted their decision to depart the business, as they say their “wonderful family of Landlords ... have always been fair and compassionate, a family with heart, especially during this Covid madness.”

The Finks say that they hope that “someone full of vigor and vim will take over Toy Boat, and keep The Boat afloat for many years to come.” According to Blatteis Realty, the site for which lists the shop, purchase of the legacy business (one of the first in the city, one should note) includes its inventory of “coffees, teas, specialty milk (soy, oat, almond), Torani bottles, cases of soft drinks, cans of hot fudge, & more.” The listing can be viewed here, and interested parties are urged to contact realtor Jonathan Blatteis for more information — including price — on the business.

And in other news...

  • San Jose Al Fresco, the city’s plan to allow restaurants to take over public space with tables and chairs, was expected to launch this weekend as Santa Clara County opens up for outdoor dining. Now the president of San Jose’s downtown association says that restaurants will hold off on widespread plaza and sidewalk dining until the area’s daily protests against police brutality, racial inequality, and the slaying of George Floyd die down. [NBC Bay Area]
  • Food critic Soleil Ho details the “burgeoning Singaporean food scene that has popped up during shelter in place.” [SF Chronicle]
  • The COVID-19 Small Business Relief Task Force in the Marin County burg of Tiburon has recommended that spots like Fountain Plaza could be used for outdoor dining, and plans the “purchase of four sets of 6-foot rectangular tables and benches” (cost: $12,500) to enable that use. [The Ark]
  • Superfans of lauded San Francisco chef Dominique Crenn can get a sneak peek at her new book, Rebel Chef: In Search of What Matters, today. The memoir doesn’t drop until June 9, but a lengthy excerpt published this week will give a decent-enough taste of what’s in store. [Grub Street]
  • A neighborhood group that includes Escape From New York Pizza has dropped the controversial lawyer it used to file suit against San Francisco over a plan to house homeless folks in an Upper Haight parking lot. [SF Examiner]
  • Osito, a nascent restaurant that promises a “communal dining experience with a $200, 15-course tasting menu,” has signed a lease for a 3,000-square-foot space in the Mission. [SF Chronicle]
  • A ban on reusable bags and a shortage of paper ones might force highly favored East Bay grocery store Berkeley Bowl might have to start using plastic bags to pack up purchases. [Berkeleyside]

Toy Boat Dessert Cafe

401 Clement Street, San Francisco, CA 94118 415 751 7505

Escape From New York Pizza

1737 Haight Street, , CA 94117 (415) 668-5577 Visit Website