Some Unfortunate Closures: It's Tops, Angkor Borei, and Destino (For Now)

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The iconic It’s Tops exterior and neon sign. Yelp photo by Fakename D.

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The exterior of Destino. Here’s to its future destiny! Instagram photo via @destinosf.

As many of you know, I’ve been posting in my Instagram stories when restaurants have been reopening or expanding their hours or deliveries, and the flip side of all this are the restaurants that have sadly decided to close permanently.

I was reading a newsletter last night from SF Neon News, which mentioned the iconic neon sign for ~IT’S TOPS COFFEE SHOP~ has been taken down, and the knotty pine diner (since 1935) is permanently closed. Noooo! I tried reaching out to the owners via phone (disconnected), email, and Facebook (no reply); I will update this piece if I hear back. I would hope they would try to sell the business—it was such a slice of true vintage SF charm. Taking down the sign frankly feels wrong and pretty bleak. And then I just looked at these pictures on Hoodline of the booths being taken out, and I just can’t believe what I am seeing. Truly gutting. 1801 Market St. at McCoppin.

More sad news in Hoodline: ~ANGKOR BOREI~, the 30-year-old Cambodian restaurant in Bernal Heights, has decided to close after coronavirus-related challenges, from diminished sales to not receiving a PPP loan. Many locals are saddened with the news—you have until June 15th to get one last spinach leaf appetizer, pumpkin curry, and ahmohk for takeout. Thank you to the sweet owners, Tom Prabpan and Chin Han Yat, for all the heartfelt meals. Wishing them a happy and well-earned retirement. 3471 Mission St. at Cortland.

After 20 years on Market Street, chef-owner (and native San Franciscan) James Schenk is closing his modern-Latin restaurant, ~DESTINO~, but the good news is he plans to move to another location in the neighborhood or nearby (he’s considering where right now). The plan is to open up a primarily to-go business—which is definitely our upcoming future—focused on healthy Latin food (bring on the ceviches and empanadas), and he has held onto his liquor license, so there will be pisco. But the big question is… when. In the meantime, he has found another kitchen for his catering business when that kicks back in, hopefully soon. And when his new location opens up, we all need to show up for the big 20th birthday party that didn’t happen (no thanks to Miss Rona). Keep up with updates from James at @destinosf. 1815 Market St. at Pearl.