A Mission District restaurant staple has closed after three decades of delivering an affordable dining option to the neighborhood. Arinell Pizza on Valencia Street closed on September 10 despite hopes the Mission District slice shop could stay open. Mission Local reports the 33-year-old institution couldn’t weather the pandemic, even as owner Ron Demirdjian did his best to keep the shop afloat. The 16th and Valencia Street business, a compatriot of other long-standing neighborhood staples like Panchita’s and Pancho Villa Taqueria, served a slice for $4.50 — somewhat of a rarity in the city these days.
The New York-style business’ original Berkeley location remains open. This closure comes after owner Demirdjian ran the San Francisco location at a loss for more than two years, he told Mission Local in April 2022. Federal relief and loans kept the shop open, but the influx of money from the once-booming Mission District nightlife simply has not yet returned to the area. The pizza place is remembered fondly by those who stumbled next door after a few powerful drinks at Cassanova and Blondie’s. Walking the Valencia strip in search of an affordable bite to soak up the booze, or to recoup lost energy spent dancing at Beauty Bar, inevitably led to Arinell’s.