Add another San Francisco restaurant to the ever-growing list of businesses that will close their doors in the coming days and weeks. This time, it’s Afici, the year-old fine dining restaurant from the Alexander’s Steakhouse team. In an emailed statement to Eater SF on Tuesday, a spokesperson confirmed the restaurant’s final day of service will be Wednesday, September 13, so the restaurant can accommodate reservations and events booked in connection with the ongoing Dreamforce conference taking place downtown this week.
Executive chef Eric Upper, who worked with the Alexander’s Steakhouse group prior to Afici’s opening in September 2022, expressed gratitude for the restaurant’s staff and customers over the past year. “We were hopeful that business would be returning to San Francisco at a quicker pace,” Upper says of the reason for the restaurant’s closure, “but sadly due to the current climate downtown, we are no longer able to sustain the restaurant.”
Last year, Upper told Eater SF the idea for Afici came out of his experience cooking in the space during the pandemic when indoor dining was all but impossible. He envisioned a restaurant that married his experience cooking steaks and breaking down whole animals with his upbringing in the Bronx. As a result, Afici’s four-course prix fixe menu ($125) showcased premium ingredients such as uni, bottarga, and A5 wagyu beef, in dishes such as a stunning carne crudo shaped like a rose and tender cubes of wagyu beef tongue. Following Afici’s closure, Upper will return to Alexander’s Steakhouse in San Francisco as executive chef.
Downtown San Francisco has been the subject of both local and national scrutiny in the last year, as city officials have struggled to combat the collapse of the area’s retail industry. The negative attention, however, hasn’t halted a steady stream of high-profile bar openings in both the Financial District and SoMa neighborhoods. This week, the luxurious restaurant and bar Holbrook House debuts on the ground floor of the One Sansome building, and in November 2022, the fast-growing Mina Group spinoff TableOne Hospitality opened the stunning coastal Italian bar and restaurant Bar Sprezzatura inside the One Maritime Plaza office tower.
Still, all across the city, a number of popular restaurants and food businesses have announced their impending closures. On Sunday, Mission District shop and event space Dumpling Club shared the sad news it will close in early October, less than a year after opening. Over in the Marina, the Dorian, an eight-year-old bar and restaurant will also shutter next month; that business has been sold to a new owner who plans to renovate the space and reopen it as a new concept.