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Well, Now We Know Who’s Definitely Not Taking Over the Iconic Cliff House Restaurant Space

Plus, a Sacramento ramen legend restaurant returns from closure, and more Bay Area food intel

The Cliff House along the “Scenic 49-mile Drive” is photographed on Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2016, in San Francisco, Calif. (Aric Crabb/Bay Area News Group) Photo by MediaNews Group/Bay Area News via Getty Images
Dianne de Guzman is a deputy editor at Eater SF writing about Bay Area restaurant and bar trends, upcoming openings, and pop-ups.

The future of the former Cliff House is under constant scrutiny, ever since the longtime operators of the picturesque restaurant space moved out in 2020 after being unable to reach a lease agreement with the National Park Service, which owns the building. It’s been a lengthy guessing game as to who would wind up at 1090 Point Lobos Avenue, but in February the NPS teased that it has found a new restaurant to take over but declined to state who.

Enter the San Francisco Chronicle which, through a records request, found out just which businesses took a tour of the building on April 14, 2022, in hopes of taking over the space. Eight of the nine attendees confirmed they are not opening a restaurant at the Ocean Beach-adjacent spot, including Jennifer Garner-approved Poggio Trattoria in Sausalito, SF Wine Center, Boudin Bakery, Andytown Coffee Roasters, La Costanera, ExplorUS hospitality management company, and real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield, which submitted a bid on behalf of a client.

Terminal Plaza Associates, a real estate rental and leasing company, meanwhile did not respond to requests for comment. Whoever it is, the other businesses that visited the former Cliff House space said the new operator will most likely have “an extensive, likely multimillion-dollar project mired in federal bureaucracy” to deal with, including about $3.5 million in repairs.

Level up your coffee nerdery at the upcoming Coffee Lab

New Menlo Park business the Coffee Lab is looking to teach people about all things coffee. Palo Alto Online has a story about the new place, which its founders compare to a wine-tasting room. Customers can book classes about coffee production, brewing methods, and tasting. Just temper your expectations a bit: there won’t be any coffee beans or drinks available for purchase, like at a traditional cafe.

A favorite Sacramento restaurant returns from closure

Shoki Ramen House is finally back, following a fire that burned down the restaurant in 2019 and the closure of a second location in 2021, the Sacramento Bee reports. The Land Park restaurant was remodeled following the fire and began welcoming customers into the space this past weekend, as part of the restaurant’s soft opening.

Take home items from this 43-year-old Santa Clara restaurant

The Fish Market in Santa Clara closed last year, but the restaurant owners seem to be clearing house still. As part of the closure proceedings, a number of items from the restaurant are being auctioned off. Along with the typical restaurant items, such as commercial kitchen equipment and seating, there’s some memorabilia from the restaurant for regulars to take home. Artwork and signs from the restaurant are available for bidding, but fans may want to look up the auction soon, as bidding ends Tuesday, April 25 at 1 p.m. PST. The auction can be found at