clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
A whole fish. Lauren Saria

Filed under:

Sonoma Michelin Guide-Listed Restaurant Set to Shutter

A running list of notable Bay Area restaurants and bars that have permanently closed in fall 2023

This is a curated list of the Bay Area’s most notable and permanent restaurant and bar closures, with new updates published once a week. See a closing we missed? Then drop us a line.

November 22

NOPA — On the occasion of the business’s 19th birthday, Little Star owner Brian Sadigursky had some sad news to share: The Little Star location at 846 Divisadero Street is closing up at the end of the year. The San Francisco Chronicle shares that the remaining locations on Valencia Street and in Albany, as well as sister business the Star, will remain open.

OAKLAND — Horn Barbecue is temporarily down, but not out — a devastating fire rocked the business at its 2534 Mandela Parkway location on Wedneday, November 21, leading officials to red tag the premises and force Horn into a temporary closure. Chef and owner Matt Horn is looking to quickly get the business back on its feet (so to speak): A GoFundMe campaign was launched to raise $200,000 to get the restaurant reopened as soon as possible. Godspeed.

RICHMOND — East Bay Nosh made the news official: Long-running Sa Wad Dee Thai Restaurant is closed. Opened in 1997, this spot has been a local favorite, but it’s been seemingly closed since 2021, despite a sign promising it’s temporarily closed for repairs. Alas, now Nosh reports the restaurant’s online presence indicates that the business is closed for good — the phone line and website are gone, and Yelp and Google state the restaurant is permanently closed.

HEALDSBURG — After 25 years in business, Oakville Grocery in Healdsburg is closing up shop as of Sunday, November 26. SFGATE caught the news, and a representative for the store told the outlet that “the time came to give a new business the opportunity to thrive in that location.” The flagship Oakville location at 7856 St. Helena Highway will remain open.

SONOMA — ​Animo, the Michelin Guide-listed restaurant known for fusing Korean and Basque food in one place, is closing as of Sunday, December 17. In an Instagram post, however, chef and owner Joshua Smookler shares the restaurant will relocate to a new venue and reopen sometime in summer 2024. Smookler and wife Heidi He are set to open new restaurant Golden Bear Station soon, and they encouraged followers to make reservations for the new spot, starting December 20.

November 15

OAKLAND — Chef Leilani Baugh closed the doors to her Oakland restaurant Magnolia Street Wine Lounge on Sunday, October 29. Baugh made the announcement via Instagram in early October and in an interview with KPIX, she cited low sales and crime in Oakland as reasons for closure. If you’re looking for Baugh, however, her new wine bar Vin En Noir in Napa is holding its grand opening on Friday, November 24.

CAMPBELL — Long-running Kirk’s Steakburgers is closing on Wednesday, November 15 after 75 years, but it won’t be gone for long — the restaurant is merely relocating across the street, the Mercury News reports. The former location is set to be turned into a housing project, and the upcoming space is projected to open at the end of November, the owners shared in a Facebook post.

MOUNTAIN VIEW — Hobee’s Mountain View is closing at the end of Thanksgiving weekend after 49 years in business, SFGATE reports. Hobee’s president Camille Chijate says the closure of the 2312 Central Expressway location is due to disagreements with the landlord over upgrades for the “aging space.” A new Hobee’s location in downtown San Jose is expected to open at the end of the year.

ROSEVILLE — Roseville sushi restaurant Maneki has been closed since Friday, October 20, just two months short of its one-year anniversary in December, according to the Sacramento Bee. The short-lived spot opened in December 2022 serving a mix of staple sushi rolls and high-end dishes, such as a $500 menu item of wagyu beef and caviar wrapped in 24-karat gold leaf, the outlet reports.

November 8

LOWER NOB HILL — Longtime French restaurant Rue Lepic has closed, according to Tablehopper. The Pine Street restaurant opened in 1964 and served celebrity guests including Robin Williams and Yoko Ono. Now, the phone is disconnected and the business is dark.

MISSION — The day after Christmas of 1984 beloved dive bar Uptown opened at 200 Capp Street. It was Mission Local who broke the news the legacy business will close in early January. One of the seven worker-owners Shae Green told the outlet that no amount of grants could counterbalance the lack of sales, brought on by the pandemic.

CASTRO — Sprawling Italian restaurant Vico Cavone closed somewhat out of the blue on Sunday, November 5. Hoodline reports the business collapsed under an ongoing legal dispute between co-owners Alessandro Raimondi and Sanaa Hams, both of whom are suing each other over various alleged mismanagements and discrepancies.

OAKLAND — Fruitvale is about to lose one of its fan-favorite breweries. Ale Industries has brewed tea beer and collabs with the Oakland Zoo for 15 years, but co-founder and brewer Morgan Cox took to Facebook on November 6 to say that between financial hardships and break-ins it was time to close. East Bay Nosh wrote of the brewery’s beloved beers including Cherry Kush, East Bay IPA, Town Beer, and more.

WALNUT CREEK — After 35 years inside the Rossmoor Shopping Center, the Rossmoor Diner closed on October 8. The Rossmoor News broke the news, writing the super classic diner has been a mainstay since 1988, and East Bay Nosh reports relative Pleasant Hill newcomer The Hangout will take over the space.

November 1

FINANCIAL DISTRICT – Not many people blinked when fintech company Expensify launched the Expensify Lounge, a bar within the company’s offices that offered free cocktails and a daily Champagne sabreing for employees and clients. But just six months later, the company announced it’s shutting down the bar as of November 1, claiming it was an experiment that met “wild success” as it sought to find out if “anything [could] bring workers back to the office voluntarily.” (Their answer? “Mostly no.”)

DOWNTOWN — BetterBlends, the smoothie shop that boasted AI-generated smoothie recommendations has closed after less than two months, the Guardian reports. First opened in September, the shop sported a “temporarily closed” sign on Friday, October 20 — although neighbors told the outlet that it’s been closed for more than three weeks. By Monday, the entire storefront was cleared out. Fare thee well, AI smoothie robots.

MISSION — Rosamunde has been a Lower Haight staple since its launch more than 20 years ago, expanding locations over the years thanks to its success serving grilled sausages. Those locations have since closed — including its original spot next door to Toronado — and now its final location in the Mission is closing as of Tuesday, November 21. The sausages will live on at Willkommen in the Castro, however, if fans are missing a taste of Rosamunde.

OAKLAND — After more than 30 years in Oakland, East Bay Nosh caught the news that Caffe 817 is closing on Saturday, November 11. In an Instagram post, the Caffe 817 team stated that there were “too many external factors to overcome” but credited its regulars for making the restaurant “one of the most beloved institutions in Old Oakland.”

OAKLAND — Oakland Irish bar Slainte has closed its doors as of Tuesday, October 31. The closure announcement cited rising crime plus a slow summer as the reason for the closure. In an Instagram post on its last day, the bar invited customers to drop in on Halloween, writing, “May your blessings outnumber the Shamrocks that grow. And may trouble avoid you, wherever you go.”

MILL VALLEY — Mill Valley restaurant Coho has permanently closed after just seven months. “Despite our best efforts and your unwavering support, the realities of the restaurant world, combined with unexpected hurdles, have made it unfeasible for us to continue operations,” the team writes in part in a message to customers on the restaurant website.

October 25

FILLMORE — Fine dining fans in San Francisco only have until November 4 to eat at Avery before the restaurant closes up shop and heads to Scotland. The restaurant, run by former Atelier Crenn chef Rodney Wage since 2018, has been a mainstay in the area, earning a Michelin star early into its tenure.

HAIGHT — VeganBurg closed on October 22 after nine years selling meatless hamburgers in the Haight. A tipster let Eater know of the closure — and of two potential openings from the Singapore-founded chain in San Bernadino County — and SFGATE confirmed a sign on the door shared the news. “It was with the highest appreciation and knowing that only the greatest achievements and master lessons are gained through temporary set-backs,” the sign reads.

OAKLAND — Chef Tamearra Dyson’s Souley Vegan closed its original location at 301 Broadway in mid-October after 14 years serving powerful plant-based cuisine. East Bay Nosh broke the news, waxing nostalgic about the Jack London Square restaurant and what the Black-owned, woman-owned outfit meant to the East Bay community.

PALO ALTO — After 50 years, the South Bay’s Natural Sun Grocer will close on December 24. The natural and organic retailer’s CEO and general manager Scott Otte told Palo Alto Online sales are too low and a potential buyout fell through in October. “The shift in the way we (the community/Bay Area) shop for groceries because of the pandemic really hurt our sales; we’ve never recovered,” Otte told the outlet in an email.

SACRAMENTO — After 65 years of stellar shakes and fries at an affordable price, North Highlands’s Lou’s Drive-in will close on October 28. The Sacramento Bee reports the closure is a blow to the community as a bevy of customers who worked at the restaurant in high school turn out to get their final orders. Owners Leilan and Robert Kitchens told the paper things are just too expensive to keep prices low.

AMADOR CITY — After six years of quality food and community vibes, Small Town Food + Wine is closing on November 24. In an Instagram post, co-owner Ginger Budrick-Carter let fans know she and her husband’s Amador City restaurant didn’t see an increase in sales last year, and that the couple wants to spend more time with their kids. “I could continue to stay open for you, but in doing so I’d be forsaking my family and myself,” the post reads.

October 18

NORTH BEACH — For more than 50 years, North Beach Restaurant has been a staple of its namesake neighborhood. The old-school Italian restaurant specializes in decadent plates of melon and prosciutto and elegant service and has been an infamously famous dining destination for local politicians including Representative Nancy Pelosi, former mayor George Moscone, and fellow former mayor Willie Brown. But owner Leo Petroni tells the Chronicle that the restaurant has suffered due to a lack of customers and a decline in tourism, so he’s putting the business up for sale. The restaurant will close at the end of December.

MISSION — After six years in the Mission District, fast-casual Cuban-Carribean restaurant Media Noche is closing its doors on Saturday, October 28. Owner Jessie Barker says the restaurant has been impacted by many of the same woes that have led to other restaurant closures in the area — think inflation and a decrease in tourism across the city — though the ultimate catalyst for the restaurant’s end was the retirement of the Media Noche food truck, which was helping sustain the brick-and-mortar restaurant.

October 11

NORTH BEACH — Lyon & Swan, the entertainment venue and restaurant from Sonoma County winery Eco Terreno, has closed after less than a year. It’s part of a three-story project with Lyon & Swan serving as a supper club in the basement, plus a ground floor tasting room and a private tasting room for Eco Terreno wine club members on the second floor. The public tasting room is also temporarily closed, however, and the winery promised it would return on Thursday, October 12.

MISSION — Tex-Mex restaurant West of Pecos is closing its doors in the Mission on Saturday, October 28. Co-owner Dylan MacNiven told Eater SF that the landscape of the Mission District has changed in the 11 years since the restaurant and bar opened. “We wanted to open something fun, whimsical, and celebratory,” MacNiven says. “We were likely one of the better-performing businesses in the area before the pandemic but have struggled ever since.”

MISSION — Mission District cafe Milk SF is closed as of Sunday, October 8. The reason behind the closure was low sales, with co-owner Katey “Scoots” McKee telling Mission Local that sales were down 30 percent over the last three months.

MARINA — Vietnamese restaurant Saiwalks is now closed after 10 years of operation, San Francisco Business Times reports. Owner Victoria Le sold the restaurant earlier this year, and the space is now slated to become a new restaurant named Bagatella.

OAKLAND — Palmetto and the adjacent bar the Kon-Tiki Room are closing on Sunday, October 29. The restaurant had a slow summer and, when paired with rising restaurant costs, led to the decision to close, co-owner Christ Aivaliotis told Eater SF.

SACRAMENTO — Stalwart Chinese restaurant Simon’s Bar & Cafe, a favorite among Sacramento politicians since the 1980s, is closing after 39 years in business, the Sacramento Bee reports. Owner Simon Chan Jr. cited many reasons for the restaurant’s closure, including expensive rent, inflation, and government employees working from home. But he also mentioned that he first started in the restaurant industry to help out his father, Simon Chan Sr., who died of COVID-19 in 2021.

SAN LUIS OBISPO — After nearly 30 years serving the San Luis Obispo community, local favorite Big Sky Cafe has closed its doors as of Sunday, October 8, SFGATE reports. The restaurant opened in 1994 with a farm-to-table ethos and was featured in the New York Times as a notable San Luis Obispo stop.

October 4

FIDI — As first reported by the San Francisco Business Times, mega coffee retailer Starbucks announced plans to close seven locations around San Francisco on or by October 22. The news came via an internal email from regional vice president for Northern California Jessica Borton to employees. In the email, Borton says the company considers “several factors” before deciding to close locations. All seven stores set to close are in the SoMa, Union Square, Financial District, and Cathedral Hill neighborhoods.

INNER SUNSET — Peruvian restaurant Fresca took to Instagram to share the news that it’d be closing its location in the Inner Sunset at the end of September. On the upside, the company shared that its renovated location in Noe Valley will reopen soon.

ALAMEDA — Despite immediately wooing fans with its Singaporean curry puffs and noodle soups, Mama Judy Hawker Fare closed its doors at the end of September — just a few weeks after making its debut in Alameda. Owner Judy Wee shared the news on Instagram, explaining that she doesn’t feel owning a restaurant “is a good fit.”

BERKELEY — States Coffee closed its location on San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley, East Bay Nosh reports. The coffee shop and bakery space will be taken over by Berkeley-based Lavender Bakery. States’ locations in Oakland, Martinez, and Benicia remain open.

OAKLAND — Vegan Mob, the popular vegan barbecue and soul food business, closed its original brick-and-mortar in Oakland at the end of September — but fans can now head to a new San Francisco outpost at 90 Charter Oak Avenue to get a fix.

OAKLAND — Modern Irish pub Slainte, located at 131 Broadway in Oakland, will close permanently on October 31, the Mercury News reports. Owner Jackie Gallanagh posted a statement to the business website. “Summer was very slow and between decreasing business and rising costs of supplies and labor, along with the rising crime in the area, we just can’t make the numbers work anymore,” the post reads in part.

Coming Attractions

Stonemill Matcha Is Making a Comeback and So Are Its Cream Puffs

Coming Attractions

North Beach Is About to Get a Gluten-Free Taproom

San Francisco Restaurant Openings

Three-Michelin-Starred Quince Is Back With a More Versatile Menu Than Ever