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A Downtown San Francisco McDonald’s Has Closed After Nearly 30 Years on Front Street

The franchise owner cited “high office building vacancy rates and visitor trends” since the pandemic as the reason for the closure

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The exterior of a downtown San Francisco McDonald’s at 235 Front Street, which is now closed. Google Maps
Dianne de Guzman is a deputy editor at Eater SF writing about Bay Area restaurant and bar trends, upcoming openings, and pop-ups.

Franchising a globally viable fast food company is considered a steady business model, but sometimes apparently even that isn’t enough. A downtown-area McDonald’s in San Francisco is closing after more than 30 years, the San Francisco Business Times reports. The 235 Front Street McDonald’s is closed as of Friday, October 27, and franchisee Scott Roderick of Rodrick Management Group cited “high office building vacancy rates and visitor trends” that haven’t recovered since the pandemic, as a reason. “My Front Street location, without the benefit of parking and a drive-through, amplified the challenge,” Roderick told the Times via email.

The McDonald’s location was bought by the company following the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake and opened in 1994, serving as a testing ground for McDonald’s initiatives, such as allowing customers to customize burgers with guacamole and bacon. Roderick says the location’s 35 employees are now working at other locations in the city. Notably, the management group owns seven other franchises elsewhere in San Francisco, and Roderick says those locations have since reached “the same level of vibrance” they had prior to the pandemic.

Chome team opens new restaurant on Mission Street

Chome, the Japanese izakaya that won over diners with its quirky sensibilities, temporarily shut down its Mission Street restaurant in late August, promising to reopen in late October “if all goes well.” Now it seems that Chome reopened quietly this past weekend, but with a surprise The San Francisco Standard caught the news that Chome has rebranded as Undingable (pronounced “un-ding-able,” the Standard specifies) and is now a “Chome-style dumpling shop with surprises.” The original Chome restaurant is now slated to reopen on Tuesday, November 7 at a new location at 3601 26th Street.

Coffee Shop locks down new spot

San Francisco-based brand Coffee Shop has picked up its third location in the city and will soon be pouring coffee in the Dogpatch neighborhood. The Coffee Shop team shared the news in an Instagram post, saying that the space will need a build out, but the goal is to be open in March if all goes well.

Suppenkuche collabs with Fort Point

Suppenkuche has been a longtime Hayes Valley staple, and now they’ve collaborated with Fort Point to create Tunzenbier, a Bavarian-style lager. A press release shares that it’s a special collaboration between Fort Point co-founder Justin Catalana and Suppenkuche owner Fabi Wiest; Catalana credits Suppenkuche as the place where he “fell in love with beer.” A three-course beer release dinner is being held at Suppenkuche on Thursday, November 9, which includes two half-liters of Tunzenbier and a limited edition beer stein. Tickets are $80 per person and is available via Tock.