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120+ SF Restaurants Permanently Closed in 2021, Hundreds More Temporarily

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According to the San Francisco Treasurer and Tax Collector’s Office, more than 120 restaurants officially closed their doors forever in 2021.

It’s no secret why.

Although the official number is about 120, the real number of permanent closures is probably much higher.  “Businesses are required to let the city know when they close [but] as you may imagine when a business closes, this requirement may not be high on their list of ‘todos,’” Amanda Fried, chief of policy and communications at the Office of the Treasurer and Tax Collector, told SFGATE.

When it comes to restaurant closures no district is immune, closures have happened across the city, although locations in FiDi and SoMa were hit the hardest, the new work-from-home standard deprived downtown eateries and bars of the office lunch crowd along with after-work drinks.

There is a big distinction between temporarily closed and permanently closed.  Thousands of eateries across the bay area are temporarily closed.

In May of 2021, based on trends in credit card data collected by Mastercard and shared with the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, 293 out of 344 (or 85%) of bars and restaurants in SoMa, FiDi, and adjacent neighborhoods are considered ‘closed’.  Many are waiting for the pandemic to be over, with no clear return date.

Locations in normally heavily touristed areas like Fisherman’s Wharf have shuttered, but also in places you may not have guessed like Nob Hill, where the big hotels remain mostly empty, after 29 years of making fresh pasta Venticello Ristorante closed on Nob Hill for example, sighting hotel vacancies as the main problem.

The huge drop in flight traffic at SFO has caused airport eateries like Gott’s Roadside, Super Duper Burger, Sweet Maples Tartine, Tacos Cala, and Kamin Thai Fried Chicken to close their SFO locations.  All locally owned restaurants given real estate at the airport precisely because they were so successful locally.  But now, all bets are off, all these SFO locations are currently closed with no return dates posted.

Even away from the airport, local chains have had to close locations, like Tacoliscious closed its North Beach and Santana Row locations this year, and the popular coffee chain Cafe Reveille closed its Castro location (their other spots are still open as of today).  Even big national fast-food chains like Taco Bell permanently closed their location on Duboce St, McDonald’s even closed a couple of its locations downtown.

Eateries inside local (heavily touristed) institutions like In Situ in the SFMOMA closed due to a lack of foot traffic.

Away from the office lunch hour and tourist centers, local favorites like Myriad in the Mission closed, staple lunch spots like the Mela Tandori Buffet in the Civic Center closed after 35 years, and Dottie’s True Blue Café closed after 29 years.

No doubt you’ve lost one of your favorite spots in your neighborhood, no matter where that neighborhood is…

Here’s to 2022, may it be pestilence-free and restaurant rich.

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Alex Mak - Managing Editor

Alex Mak - Managing Editor

I'm the managing editor here at Broke-Ass Stuart. I enjoy covering Bay Area News as well as writing about Arts, Culture & Nightlife.

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