The pastrami sandwich from Shorty Goldstein’s. Yelp photo by Vicente G.
There are some emails that I really hate to receive, and I got a couple of them this past week regarding the closure of two businesses, from really great people. Closing this Thursday March 9th is Jewish deli ~SHORTY GOLDSTEIN’S~ in the Financial District, home of my favorite corned beef in the city. Chef-owner Michael Siegel opened Shorty’s four years ago, an homage to his heritage and family recipes. (Shorty was his grandmother.)
When listening to him explain the what and why, I couldn’t help but think it sounded all too much like what happened to Merigan. Both delis had owners with a strong commitment to using quality ingredients, making a great deal of items by hand, and ultimately there was too much of an imbalance between all the hours and labor and effort against the final numbers. He said it was an incredibly hard decision, but at a certain point, they realized they just wouldn’t ever be able to get ahead. Siegel said he didn’t want to sound like every other restaurateur closing a business right now saying, “San Francisco is so hard,” but it’s true. As an example, he explained his cost for meats has doubled since he opened Shorty’s, but his sandwich prices didn’t. He said it’s so hard to explain to people, and it’s a constant battle with people’s expectations and sense of value, and not knowing everything that goes into the making of that Rachel sandwich. Add in escalated rent, minimum wage, and food costs, and it’s all really hard for a small business like his to survive.
He said he hasn’t had two weeks off in more than 10 years, so he’s going to take some well-deserved time to regroup. Siegel will potentially look at opportunities closer to Sonoma, which is where he lives with his wife. While he won’t miss the three hours of daily commute time, he is definitely going to miss all their regulars, who have become family. Expect a heartfelt closing party this Thursday. Best wishes, Michael. Thanks for all the care you took in feeding all of us so well. 126 Sutter St. at Montgomery, 415-986-2676.
The other sad closure news was from the Loló team, who let me know they were closing ~LOLÓ CEVICHERÍA~, after 10 years in the location (it’s where they opened the original Loló, which is now on Valencia). Their lease was going to end at the end of March but they just decided to close ahead of time—their last day of operations was this last Saturday. Loló of course remains open and buzzing on Valencia. 3230 22nd St. at Mission.
One more item to note: heirloom bean maestro ~RANCHO GORDO~ is closing the Ferry Building shop at the end of the month, on March 27th. Fortunately the Napa shop will still be open, offering classes and demos (and is actually going to be expanding). And, of course, you can still order online and find them at various markets.