A popular Chinatown bakery and Hong Kong-style cafe announced plans for its imminent closure Wednesday. According to a post on the restaurant’s Instagram, Washington Bakery & Cafe will close its doors after 27 years serving wonton noodle soup and pineapple buns on April 23. “We are beyond grateful for all our customers, organizations, the community, our team, family, and friends who have supported us all these years,” the post reads in part. “Thank you from our family to yours.”
A reason for the restaurant’s closure was not given but according to the San Francisco Chronicle, the business was one of a handful entangled in drama surrounding the city’s Shared Spaces Program last fall. Owner Chelsea Hung, who took over the business when her mother retired, told the Chronicle she received a notice the restaurant’s parklet was not up to code in October and was concerned she’d have to tear it down, eliminating valuable outdoor seating during the winter surge fueled by the omicron variant.
The bakery opened in 1996 and is located off Washington Street near Portsmouth Square. Huang told KTVU FOX 2 that her mother Tilly Tsang “worked hard to build” the bakery and cafe into a successful business before she retired in 2018. Huang’s father Henry Hung was also a restaurant owner in Chinatown; he owned the well-known R & G Lounge since 1985, until he also retired and passed that business to his daughter as well.