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This Cole Valley Neighborhood Staple for Coffee and Lunch Is Closing After 21 Years

Reverie Cafe in the heart of Cole Valley will close on February 19

A sign outside Reverie Cafe.
Reverie Cafe in Cole Valley will close on February 19.
Lauren Saria
Lauren Saria is the editor of Eater SF and has been writing about food, drinks, and restaurants for more than a decade.

It’s the end of an era for a well-loved neighborhood cafe in one of San Francisco’s tiniest neighborhoods. According to both a sign posted on the front of the restaurant and an email from an Eater tipster, Reverie Cafe in Cole Valley will close in less than a week on Sunday, February 19.

The cozy cafe, known for its garden patio and menu of salads and panini, has been open for more than two decades, according to the statement from owner Roger Soudah. “We have shared many meals, raised many glasses, raised many kids, made many friends, and lost some,” Soudah says in the statement. “We married people, celebrated birthdays, funded schools, and charities, supported campaigns but most importantly we created and maintained a community in a time when it has been most needed. For that I am grateful and honored to have been able to provide that over the years.”

According to Soudah, who also owns the fromagerie and wine shop Say Cheese in the building next to Reverie Cafe, the closure comes after several years of issues with the landlord of the cafe, which is located at 848 Cole Street. Soudah writes that he initially worked with the building’s owner to negotiate a six-month lease extension that would have allowed him to close the restaurant “in a respectful manner.” Then the landlord rescinded that offer, he alleges, because “they wanted to address the numerous city building violations and the deferred maintenance including the failed roof which has leaked on our business numerous times over the years.”

According to the restaurant website, Reverie Cafe opened in 2002 in the Cole Valley neighborhood. In the decades since, it’s become a popular neighborhood destination for coffee, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and wine, in part due to its lush back patio and calendar of events including live music.