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Mission District Vegan Mexican Restaurant Gracias Madre Is Closing After 15 Years

Plus, Loveski Deli is opening in Marin County and more Bay Area food news

A building.
Gracias Madre is closing after almost 15 years on Mission Street.
Paolo Bicchieri is a reporter at Eater SF writing about Bay Area restaurant and bar trends, coffee and cafes, and pop-ups.

After almost 15 years of serving high-end riffs on plant-based Mexican food, Gracias Madre is calling it quits. The business put a sign out front on the afternoon of August 28 reading “Gracias Madre will be permanently closing. Thank you for your patronage.” Mission Local reports general manager Joseph Donohue cites a glut of consistent customers as the main reason for closing, and he points a finger at city hall. “The city failed to pay much attention,” Donohue says of his part of the Mission, namely 18th Street.

Owners Matthew and Terces Englehart opened the restaurant in 2009, kitty-corner from the now-closed Duc Loi. The restaurant was a hit before the pandemic, gaining much clout for its well-seasoned enchiladas and vibey dining room. Still, Donohue told Mission Local business has been a “roller coaster” lately, with staff trimmed from 40 to four. Now the partners maintain Gracias Madre locations in Newport Beach and West Hollywood, plus San Francisco-born Cafe Gratitude locations in Larchmont, Newport, and Venice.

Fried chicken and soul food pop-up heads to Fort Mason

Fernay McPherson, the mind behind Minnie Bell’s Soul Movement, is headed toward a Fillmore Street homecoming and raising money via Kickstarter. To generate extra buzz and funds, McPherson will serve her stupendous fried chicken at Fort Mason’s Off the Grid this year. The theme this time is “I <3 San Francisco,” an eight-week pop-up series, beginning September 1 from 5 to 10 p.m.

Final Chow outpost closes in San Ramon

The Bay Area mini-chain Chow closes for good as its City Center Bishop Ranch location shutters just a year after a big reopening. The Mercury News reports owner Tony Gulisano opened the first Chow in 1997 and grew his casual dining business to five outposts. But locations began closing in 2018, with the final Lafayette closing in 2019, before Gulisano opened this new location in August 2022.

Jewish deli from famous chef expands in Marin

Chef Christopher Kostow, who runs three Napa Valley restaurants alongside his partner and wife Martina Kostow, will head to Marin County this fall. The Chronicle reports Kostow, who is most well-known for helming the three Michelin star-holding Meadowood before it was destroyed in 2020’s Glass Fire, will open a second Loveski Deli. While the original is located at Oxbow Public Market in Napa, the new outpost at the Marin Country Mart grows the menu from the sourdough bagels Loveski cut its teeth on to sit-down dinner items. Kostow came under fire in the wake of Meadowood’s destruction for alleged abusive behavior in his kitchens, with numerous former staff describing violent outbursts.

Loquat and Queens team up in September

Gough Street’s Loquat is working with Korean specialty good purveyor Queens, now that the latter is on the road after its closure. According to an Instagram post, the two businesses will host a collaboration jam release party on September 9 from 8 a.m. until everything’s sold out. The new jam is a Blenheim apricot and gochugaru jam served on a limited-run babka and gil geori toast.