Presidio Picnic and its nighttime sister event, Presidio Twilight, will not be returning to the Presidio of San Francisco, organizers say. A reader first noted the closure after contacting Presidio Trust, the federal agency that manages the Presidio, and Off the Grid organizers, and both groups confirmed to Eater SF in an email that the two food truck events will not be back.
The reason for shutting down the events? In a joint statement from the two organizers, issues such as COVID-19 — which forced the event to shutter for two years — as well as a reduction in staff at Presidio Trust, and now “new operational needs” around the opening of the Presidio Tunnel Tops, all contributed to the cancellation of Presidio Picnic and Presidio Twilight.
The 14-acre Tunnel Tops site is set to open July 17 with new meadow areas for picnics, overlooks, walking trails, fire pits, and a play area for children — and more notably, in regards to the Off the Grid events, a food space within the Presidio Transit Center. That spot is one of two Presidio restaurant spaces snagged by restaurateur Eduardo Rallo earlier this year; Rallo reopened his restaurant Colibri Mexican Bistro in the former Arguello location on May 1, with his other Presidio food venture expected to open alongside the Tunnel Tops in July.
As of 2019, Presidio Picnic ran for eight years at the Presidio’s Main Parade Ground and drew crowds of 8,000 visitors to the Presidio. The expectation was the picnic event would return as the city’s guidances around the pandemic relaxed — especially given the outdoor nature of the food truck event – but it seems that wasn’t meant to be. Still, both the Presidio Trust and Off the Grid seemed to leave the door open for an upcoming collaboration, writing, “Off the Grid and the Presidio look forward to discussing future opportunities.”
For now, that far-off (if not vague) promise of another potential food truck event won’t console those who enjoyed their time at Presidio Picnic. As Eater SF’s tipster wrote, “Beautiful weather enjoyed on the lawn in front of the bay and views of Golden Gate bridge, while eating diverse foods and relaxing with friends, made me feel so fortunate to live in SF … I find [the closure of Presidio Picnic] truly mind boggling, since it was such a popular event that brought the community together.”