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This Castro Classic for Late Night Mexican Food Just Shuttered

Plus a much-loved Berkeley pizza shop expands and more Bay Area food news

A photo of three plates of food.
El Capitan Taqueria on 18th Street just closed.
El Capitan Taqueria
Paolo Bicchieri is a reporter at Eater SF writing about Bay Area restaurant and bar trends, coffee and cafes, and pop-ups.

El Capitan Taqueria, a three-year-old staple at 4150 18th Street in the Castro District, permanently closed without a word this week. Hoodline reports owner Nimer Massis could not be reached for comment, but the restaurant’s interior had been gutted of chairs and tables. A listing for the space is now live, as well. Massis also owns two more El Capitan Taquerias, one on Folsom and another on Polk Street, plus El Rancho Grande on Divisadero Street.

The closure speaks to a larger vacancy issue in the Castro. Landlord Les Natali owns multiple properties in the neighborhood and his vacancies have been cited in the past as an issue for the area. Bar and nightclub Badlands, video bar Toad Hall, and two vacant storefronts all belong to Natali, too. Hamburger Mary’s is also under his ownership, and a representative for the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control confirmed the permits at the business are still active.

San Francisco chefs team up for cannabis snacks

Nick Muncy, fine dining pastry chef and the mind behind food magazine Toothache, joined Daniel Patterson of Coi and chef Keith Corbin of Alta to create a 420-friendly treat. Patterson took to Instagram to highlight Cali Soul, a series of vegan cannabis candies. They aim to launch in February.

Berkeley pizza mini-chain expands to South Bay

Blondie’s, a favorite for UC Berkeley pizza lovers, is opening a third location at San Jose’s Westfield Oakridge Mall. The Bay Area chain opened its second location at San Francisco’s Westfield Mall in 2022. SFGATE reports business owner Abdul Zaloukh will look to open a second San Francisco location next.

High-end sushi restaurant set to open in Palo Alto

Iki Omakase, a new restaurant from Bay Area sushi industry mainstay Sunny Noah, will open at 460 Ramona Street with a cadre of talent. The San Francisco Business Times reports a head chef has yet to be named, but in the past, Noah has worked with numerous chefs who come with experience working at Michelin-starred restaurants. An opening date for Iki Omakase has yet to be set.

Union Square vegan fast food restaurant opens with free food

On January 21 Los Angeles-based Mr. Charlie’s will open its first San Francisco location in Union Square, handing out free “mini frowny meals” from 11:11 a.m. to 1:11 p.m. The all-vegan fast food chain will dole out an Impossible Burger, two Impossible chicken nuggets, and fries in each order.

El Capitan

1123 Folsom Street, San Francisco, CA (415) 525-3676


373 Broadway, , CA 94133 Visit Website

El Rancho Grande

855 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117 (415) 673-8226