After nearly a century serving fresh seafood at Fisherman’s Wharf, family-run Italian-American restaurant Alioto’s is all but certain to close permanently, the San Francisco Business Times reported Friday. The restaurant, with its iconic turquoise-and-black signage and famous cioppino, has reached an agreement with the Port of San Francisco that would allow the restaurant to end its lease on the building at #8 Fisherman’s Wharf in August.
The restaurant closed its doors in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and has sat dark for the two years since. Per the Business Times, the restaurant has not paid rent for the restaurant or a “support warehouse” during that time, resulting in $770,000 in back rent due between the two locations. The agreement would release Alioto’s from “unpaid and future rent obligations, as well as minor maintenance costs” — however the restaurant would have to pay about $250,000 in termination fees and security deposits.
Before the plans for the restaurant to exit its lease are finalized, the agreement must be approved by the five-member Port Commission and the Board of Supervisors; the Business Times reports the deal is not expected to be contested.
Alioto’s has had a presence at Fisherman’s Wharf since 1925, more than 10 years before the completion of the Golden Gate Bridge, when Sicilian immigrant Nunzio Alioto Sr. started the business as a simple fish stand. In the decades since, the Alioto family built the first building at Fisherman’s Wharf, where they began selling crab and shrimp cocktails, later adding a kitchen and officially opening the restaurant in 1938.