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This Artsy Cafe and Music Venue Is Closing After 40 Years in Midtown Sacramento

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

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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.

June 28

RUSSIAN HILL — After 48 years in San Francisco, Vietnamese restaurant Aux Delices is set to close on Friday, June 30, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Owners Chris and Thiet Nguyen oversaw the restaurant from its start in Potrero Hill in 1975 to its move to Russian Hill in 1987. They’re now looking to retire after 48 years in business.

SAN JOSE — Amber India was one of the first tenants of the San Jose outdoor shopping mall Santana Row, but now it is closing after 20 years in business, the Mercury News reports. The owner told the news outlet that the restaurant’s lunch business is “adversely affected” as office employees continue to work from home, so he decided not to renew their lease. The business will relocate to Milpitas where the restaurant’s new space will serve as both a traditional dine-in restaurant and a kitchen for catering.

SACRAMENTO — Luna’s Cafe and Juice Bar, which has served both as a purveyor of smoothies and quesadillas and as a popular venue for music and poetry slams, is closing after 40 years, reports the Sacramento Bee. The cafe’s last day as Luna’s is on Monday, August 7, but the newspaper also reports that the venue will reopen under new ownership as early as October, rebranded as the Silver Lining.

June 21

MISSION — The longtime favorite Xanath on Valencia Street closed after 13 years. The news that the business closed for good — as it went dark during COVID-19 — was confirmed by Mission Local. That’s because gelato inheritor Hila opened in the space in early June.

OAKLAND — Chef Kyle Itani will close his Japanese American restaurant Hopscotch after 11 years on June 22. The restaurant was well-respected and was Itani’s first business, opened when he was just 29 years old. The space will get a second wind, however, thanks to a new project from Itani and the team from nearby Low Bar. “To me, that’s why it’s a win-win,” Itani says of the closing.

OAKLAND — The guerilla success story of Tacos Mama Cuca came to a close last week when the Alameda County Department of Environmental Health came knocking. SFGATE reports the unpermitted taco shop, which opened in 2019 as a tortilla business out of owner Maria Marquez’s home, will look for a permanent space in the future.

OAKLAND — Chef Nelson German’s alaMar, known for seafood boils and powerful drinks, closed on June 19. Thankfully, German shut the restaurant down to make way for alaMar Dominican Kitchen, the cook’s testament to his Dominican roots in Washington Heights. The new restaurant will open in the same space on June 30.

RICHMOND — Brezo, one of the restaurants at the Craneway Pavilion, closed at 1414 Harbour Way South in early June. East Bay Nosh writes the Latin American restaurant will look to open a permanent home in the future.

RICHMOND — The Craneway Pavilion location also housed Rocky Island Oyster Co., which closed on June 18 alongside Brezo. The owners of the aptly-named oyster shop said they’re looking for a new, permanent space and hope to be open again in the near future.

June 14

NOB HILL — Owner David Lee tells the San Francisco Standard that he’s closing his Mexican-Korean fusion restaurant Tacorea after June 30, citing “a perfect storm of everyone leaving, tourism down, working from home,” as the reasons behind the decision. Lee opened the restaurant in 2016 but says the imminent closings of nearby retail spaces in Union Square have been “demoralizing.” Tacorea previously operated a second location on Columbus Avenue, but that outpost has been dark for about a month now.

PORK GULCH — Ramen Sho Ryu on Polk Street in San Francisco appears to have gone dark for good. An Eater SF tipster spotted the closure, noting a handwritten sign on the door of the restaurant that reads “Ramen Sho Ryu is permanently closed. We would like to thank all of our loyal customers.” The restaurant’s phone is also going unanswered as of Wednedsay morning.

BERKELEY — Owners Jon and Kayta Smulewitz of Berkeley’s Pollara Pizzeria are closing up shop and leaving the Bay Area, Eater SF reported on Monday. The couple, who’ve been a part of the Bay Area food scene for decades, made the announcement on Instagram and will be moving back to New Jersey. It’s a loss for fans of the restaurant’s Roman-style pizza al taglio, which earned the shop spots on many lists for the region’s best pizzerias.

June 8

NORTH BEACH — Don Pistos, the North Beach restaurant known for Mexican food and rowdy bottomless brunches, will pack up and head south of the border, per an Instagram post. The restaurant’s final day of business is June and owner Pete Mrabe, who was previously caught up in some controversy, plans to reopen the restaurant in Baja California in 16 months.

COW HOLLOW — Union Street wine bar West Coast Wine and Cheese will close its doors after nine years in business, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Owner Chris Wanner, who was among the first to offer a selection of wines focused solely on West Coast producers, plans to shut the doors after June 25. There’s good news, however: the space will be handed over to the team behind popular natural wine bars Bodega and Key Klub.

JAPANTOWN — The bad news first: Gardenias, a long-running neighborhood restaurant in the Japantown/Lower Pacific Heights area, is closing in mid-July. Chefs and owners Dana Tommasino and Margie Conard have been in the San Francisco restaurant scene since the 1980s and opened this restaurant, which was not their first and not even their first hit, in 2015, per Tablehopper. Now for the good news: the space will be taken over by a power trio including the husband and wife behind Marlena, Serena Chow Fisher and David Fisher, and business partner Ryan Cole of Hi Neighbor Hospitality.

HAIGHT — Mi Familia, a longrunning casual Mexican restaurant on Haight near Shrader, will close as of June 22, SFGATE reports. The business had been open under various names for decades. The final day of business is set for June 22.

ALBANY — Albany Tap Room announced plans to close on Instagram on May 18 citing the pandemic as at least part of the reason for the decision. “COVID hit us hard and we never quite got our feet back below us,” the post reads in part. The taproom was open for a decade, East Bay Nosh reported.

May 31

JACKSON SQUARE — After 11 years in San Francisco, Bask is closing for good, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The restaurant is known for its menu of tapas and happy hour offerings. Bask owners Patrick and Sabrina Thillard call the closure “the end of an era,” and say they have no plans to bring back the restaurant elsewhere, although they will continue with their other business, the wine bar Ora. Sai’s Vietnamese Restaurant, which is moving from its original location at the base of the Transamerica Pyramid, will take over the space. Bask’s last day of service is Saturday, June 3.

OAKLAND — Following a destructive break-in at Oakland’s Hi Felicia on May 24, owner Imana announced the restaurant will shutter immediately. But rather than leave the space, Imana is instead flipping the restaurant into a natural wine bar, following in the footsteps of her other business, Sluts in San Francisco. It’s not known when the new concept will reopen, although Imana hinted in the announcement that it may take “the next several weeks” to prepare the space.

BERKELEY — The vegan cinnamon buns are no longer rolling at Cinnaholic in Berkeley, which closed on May 21. Owner Nicole Nuss announced the news of the Berkeley location’s closure on Instagram, thanking customers for their support over the years as the lease (and business) comes to an end, stating that she’s “looking forward to the next chapter.”

May 24

MISSION — The San Francisco Standard caught the news that Chinese restaurant Wild Pepper closed after 15 years. A note thanking customers for their patronage was taped to the door and dated March 30, the outlet reports.

LOWER HAIGHT — Axum Cafe, a longtime favorite for huge servings of Ethiopian kitfo with tangy injera, is closing. The restaurant — which started out as a coffee shop until one of the owners happened to share her cooking with regular customers to their delight — says a new business will take over in short order. Axum’s owners say they’re ready to retire after more than two decades of service.

INNER SUNSET — The couple behind Korean superette Queens announced the shop will close as of July 1. The business opened in 2019 and sells Korean grocery products and ready-made food, but owners Clara and Eddo Lee say they will now pivot Queens to a Korean American food brand selling pantry products from locally-made ingredients.

LOS ALTOS — Los Altos restaurant and lounge, Flora, has closed its doors after just a few months, Palo Alto Online reports. The restaurant opened in 2022 serving “Peruvian inspired” food. Owner Ryan MacLeod Morris took to Instagram on May 11 to announce the restaurant’s immediate, permanent closure.

May 17

TENDERLOIN — Sunday, June 25 will be your last chance to get a cafe de olla or Japanese sweet cream cold brew at Fluid Cooperative Coffee. The trans-owned business will be vacating its space inside the La Cocina Municipal Marketplace, citing differences of opinion with the nonprofit that operates the Tenderloin food hall. Owner Jojo Ty tells Eater SF the business felt pressured to serve coffee to police officers, despite being uncomfortable doing so. “Transitions are hard, and it’s sad,” Ty told Eater SF. “But I think it’s what’s best for us.”

BERKELEY — After five years serving the Berkeley community, chef Charles Phan’s East Bay restaurant Rice and Bones has closed its doors on the UC Berkeley campus. The restaurant launched a new menu of rice plates in August of the last year, but the changeup was apparently not enough to bolster business. “Unfortunately, with the current economic climate, it has become increasingly difficult for us to continue the business,” an Instagram post announcing the closure reads.

BERKELEY — Chef Kimberly Gamble might be busy making appearances on TV, but her Berkeley restaurant Cousins Asian Street Food closed quietly earlier this year, East Bay Nosh reports. The space at 1926 Shattuck Avenue has been dark since “at least early spring,” the outlet writes.

BERKELEY – Melo Melo Kava has also shut down its Berkeley location, East Bay Nosh reported first. The business shared the news on Instagram, telling fans to look out for updates on a new location in the future.

May 3

NOE VALLEY — Village Rotisserie, the Australian-style chicken shop that opened in Noe Valley in 2021, has closed, Tablehopper reports. The restaurant served rotisserie-roasted chicken along with a slew of sides such as potatoes roasted in duck fat, broccoli salad with peas and quinoa, and soba noodle salad. No word yet on what will take over the space at 4063 24th Street, which also includes a cozy back patio.

April 26

SACRAMENTO — After less than a year fusing West African and Mexican cuisines in a vibrant outdoor space at 628 15th Street in Sacramento, first-generation Nigerian chef Rasheed Amedu announced he’s closing up shop after April 30. On Instagram, the chef thanked customers and his team adding that fans should follow his personal account for updates on what’s next.

SACRAMENTO — The Sacramento Bee reports that family-owned Vietnamese restaurant Pho Le, which is located in south Sacramento, closed on April 23 after 12 years in business. According to a post on the business Instagram, the family decided that it was “time to hang our aprons and close the restaurant” after a busy decade working in the kitchen.

April 19

EMBARCADERO — Waterfront wine bar Blanc et Rouge La Cava is set to close on Friday April 21. Tablehopper writes a massive sale is on for the last few days with remaining bottles going for 50 percent off or more.

CHINATOWN — Luxurious lounge Blind Pig opened in October with baiju and bitter melon cocktails. Now the bar let fans know via Instagram that it will close operations at its facility in the Chinatown neighborhood and join forces with Dragon Horse Bar at 917 Folsom Street in SoMa, a member of the same restaurant group. Owner Derrick Li plans to find a new home for Blind Pig down the line.

COW HOLLOW — Longtime Mexican restaurant of 36 years La Canasta at 3006 Buchanan Street closed for good. Tablehopper wrote about the restaurant’s temporary closure due to owners the Mier family’s hardships, and SFGATE reported the permanent shuttering.

OAKLAND — A tipster let the folks at East Bay Nosh know that Yomie’s Rice X Yogurt Chinatown closed one of its few remaining East Bay locations at 388 9th Street. San Francisco and greater Bay Area locations remain open.

BERKELEY — D’Yar Mediterranean closed its 1866 Euclid Avenue location. East Bay Nosh also writes the Northside neighborhood go-to for falafel and kebabs is survived by its second location in Southside at 2511 Durant Avenue.

PALO ALTO — Gluten-free baking haven Misfits Bakehouse closed on Saturday, April 15. Owner Mina Makram told Palo Alto Online he never felt respected or seen amongst the Bay Area’s legacy of bakers for his use of alternative flours and that it was time to head toward warmer weather in Florida. Makram plans to open a new business around Tampa, near his family.

April 12

SOMA — Blue Bottle’s second-ever location, located in Mint Plaza, is calling it quits, SFGATE reports. After 15 years of fueling the local neighborhood with caffeine, the shop is closing on Friday, April 14. “This location will always hold a special place in our hearts and we have immense gratitude for our guests who have made this cafe such a special place for the past 15 years,” a sign announcing the closure reads, in part.

MISSION — New Year’s storms flooded various businesses in San Francisco, and Mission dive bar Wooden Nickel hit particularly hard. The bar never fully recovered and announced it was closing forever, unable to reopen due to the flood damage to the building, Broke-Ass Stuart reported. A closing party was held at Kilowatt on April 8 to celebrate the Wooden Nickel team.

CASTRO — Tablehopper caught the news that Tacorgasmico has closed in the Castro after eight years. “Tacorgasmico began as an immigrant’s dream, and it will continue being our symbol of hope and triumph,” a note on the business reads. “We are riding the wave of changes in our beautiful city, and, with our lease coming to an end, we are excited to welcome new adventures coming our way.” While there is no longer a permanent location, the note goes on to share that the Tacorgasmico menu will continue to be available for delivery through DoorDash and Grubhub.

OAKLAND — Oakland’s Merritt Restaurant & Bakery is closing after 71 years in business, as first reported by East Bay Nosh. The bakery first opened in 1952, enduring two moves — and two fires — in its lengthy run. Alas, it seems like the restaurant and bakery quietly closed up shop and the space at 3355 Lakeshore Avenue is cleared out.

BERKELEY — KC’s BBQ, which served Kansas City-style barbecue since 1968, has closed. The long-running Bay Area barbecue spot survived a fire in 2017 that forced a move to a new location in North Berkeley, but the third-generation owners told the San Francisco Chronicle that increasing costs have made it difficult to stay open. Still, the family hopes to start catering and private events, or perhaps open up a food truck in the future.

April 5

SOMA — SoMa staple for Mexican fare Don Ramon’s closed after 41 years in service on March 31. SFist had the news of the Ramirez family closing their family business, citing an alleged rent hike from $10,000 to $15,000 on their decades-old lease. “We fought long and hard to save our beloved restaurant – but in the end, hard work, community support, love and tradition weren’t enough,” reads a statement from the family on the restaurant website.

NORTH BEACH — While not a restaurant closure, the Safeway at 350 Bay Street will close on May 27. SFGATE reports the 65 employees will be transferred to other stores, but the closure does leave a gap for shoppers in the Fisherman’s Wharf and North Beach areas.

JAPANTOWN — Mums, a 40-year-old shabu shabu restaurant, will close for good on Sunday, April 2. Owner Winnie Tam told ABC7 her father is ready to retire at age 73. The Tam family said farewell on the restaurant website. “Spanning generations, we remained dedicated to Japantown,” the post reads. “We have celebrated with you, cried with you and everything in between!”

RICHMOND — One of Clement Street’s litany of dumpling shops closed quietly in recent weeks. An Eater tipster wrote in to say Dumpling Alley closed, the phone is disconnected, and Yelp reports the restaurant as closed.

BAYVIEW — Just For You Cafe, a staple for beignets and mimosas since 1990, closed suddenly on April 4. The business posted to its Facebook page after numerous Eater tipsters wrote in to warn of the shuttering. “The business climate is atrocious,” longtime owner Arienne Landry told Tablehopper.

BERKELEY — Hiro Okada’s Tammon Tea closed on March 18 at 2055 Center Street. East Bay Nosh writes the Japanese snack shop opened in 2014; in 2018 chef-owner Hirokazu Nishikawa (Sushinista) took the reins. The business posted a sign in its window with a teaser for updates on the way.

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