Closures Include Arguello, The Commissary, Takara, Muddy's Coffee House


Photo of The Commissary exterior by Aubrie Pick.

Chef Traci Des Jardins recently announced on Instagram: “I am saddened to share the news that the restaurants (in partnership with Bon Appétit Management Co. and the Presidio Trust) ~ARGUELLO~, ~THE COMMISSARY~, and Presidio Foods Catering, will not be reopening. I cannot begin to express my gratitude to every single staff member, farmer, vendor, and patron who contributed to making the restaurants a joyous and special place to be. I am very proud of what we achieved during our time there and I will miss the community we built.” Sigh. It ends up The Presidio Trust changed their leasing structure for the restaurants, and is now looking for new tenants, you can read more details in this SFGATE post.

It broke my heart to learn that the kind owner of ~TAKARA~ in Japantown was unable to negotiate a penny of rent relief from her (%#*!) landlord, 3D Investments, and was forced to close after more than 20 years of business. (I swear, what is happening to Japantown businesses because of that evil developer—and the other corporate landlord, Kinokuniya Bookstores of America—is a travesty. I curse them with 100 years of bad fish and splintery chopsticks.) Takara was a homey and traditional spot, and I have chef Michael Black (Sebo) to thank for turning me on to it many years ago. You have to hand it to the plucky 91-year-old owner, Lena Turner, who originally “opened the very first restaurant in the Japan Center, Sapporo-ya Ramen, in 1976”—the Eater piece says she has bought the nearby Kiss Seafood (another old-school spot I used to love, which closed at the beginning of the pandemic), and will reopen Takara in its place soon, offering lunchtime takeout. You can’t keep a hospitality angel down. 1700 Laguna St. at Sutter.

I know a number of SF old-timers and Mission residents have been saddened by the news in Mission Local that ~MUDDY’S COFFEE HOUSE~ is closing after 27 years. Unfortunately, owner Elham Massarweh was unable to negotiate a rent reduction with her landlord. The stalwart café at 24th Street and Valencia is closing February 25th; the sister café, Muddy’s Coffee House (521 Valencia St.), which she also runs with her husband, will remain open, 30 years and counting.