T.S. Eliot may have said, “April is the cruellest month,” but for the restaurant industry, it has to be January. With the end of holiday parties and a typically slow beginning of the year, plus looming taxes, it’s when a lot of places decide to throw in the towel and call it quits. I was sorry to come home to such a long list of restaurant closures, including ~POLENG LOUNGE~ (damn damn damn); ~VIVANDE PORTA VIA~ (heck, no more of my favorite eggplant sandwiches—I loved that snack); ~CAFE MARITIME~ (I’m hoping Mark Micheltree pops up elsewhere as promised with his chowder and coconut cream pie); ~CONDUIT~ (here’s wishing the talented team all the best); ~SHANGHAI 1930~ (although it seems George Chen is potentially opening a project at 101 California); ~COTE SUD~ in the Castro (replaced by a place called Curry Boyzz, cough); ~MI LINDO YUCATAN~ (I was a fan of their cochinita pibil); and ~CARTE415~ has also been parked.
And then there’s the news that the truly infamous 24-hour ~PINECREST DINER~ has its windows papered over—I was wondering if it was truly kaput, because the number is still connected, but I didn’t get a call back. (This just in: Eater reports it’s just closed for a quick remodel.)