Two more San Francisco restaurants have announced permanent closures in recent days, both saying that despite the support of loyal patrons, they were unable to remain in business. One spot, House Rules, was a Polk Street cocktail bar and restaurant from a team of industry veterans. The other, a Mission Italian spot called Great Gold, had only been open for a single year.
House Rules opened its Russian Hill doors in 2015, the latest venture from restaurateurs Rick Howard and Noelle Calixto (Eddie Rickenbacker’s) with a menu of upscale bar foods like lobster salad sliders and a burger topped with beer cheese from Hog and Rocks co-owner Scott Youkilis. Area residents who spoke with Eater SF said that the bar’s fireplace was also a big draw, especially on chilly nights.
Though the place opened with outdoor dining in mind (12 sidewalk seats, part of a design by artist Michael Brennan) and remained open for takeout during the pandemic, Hoodline notes this week that House Rules shuttered at the end of July, telling Instagram followers that (sic throughout) “The Time Has Come To Say Goodbye to Our Beloved Polk Street.” Its last day in business was Monday, July 27.
Tablehopper noted another quiet closure this week: Great Gold, a red-sauce Italian restaurant on 24th Street, will serve its last meals on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of this week. The restaurant had only been open a year, but chef/co-owner Brandon Kirksey (a former chef de cuisine at Flour + Water) and self-described “serial entrepreneur” David Steele (of the restaurant group that owns Flour + Water, Central Kitchen, and Trick Dog, among others) had been in the restaurant’s Mission District address for a bit longer than that: Originally, Kirksey and Steele opened the restaurant as Foxsister, a buzzy Korean restaurant known for Anju drinking snacks, garlicky crab noodles, and KFC.
Foxsister opened in 2017, but two years in Kirksey and Steele decided to change the plan, pivoting from Korean into Italian with Great Gold just last August. There was no change to the interior, Steele told Eater SF at the time, as “when we designed the restaurant, we made decisions that we felt fit the neighborhood rather than the concept, and we love the space and the neighborhood so much that we don’t really want to change it.” The menu flipped to cioppino, meatballs, and clams casino.
It’s a menu they stuck with in the pandemic, boxing up family dinners and solitary pasta dishes like ricotta-English pea ravioli for takeout and delivery via third-party apps. That business wasn’t enough to keep the operation afloat, the restaurant said via Instagram Wednesday, writing that “unfortunately the time has come for us to say goodbye to our home on 24th street,” but that there was “big news to come.”