Yup, it’s another week of reporting on classic SF establishments that are closing. Gah, the San Francisco I knew just keeps shuttering. The latest casualty is ELITE CAFE, which is closing after service this Sunday April 21st, after 38 years on Fillmore. Owner Andy Chun (Schroeder’s, Press Club), who took over and renovated the space three years ago, reached out to thank all the friends and neighbors who have supported the restaurant. You can read this piece in The New Fillmore about the location’s fascinating history, which goes back to 1919. Thanks for all the memories of spicy oyster shooters and Bloody Marys on Sunday mornings while sitting at the oyster bar in the front window.
(Small positive sidebar: The New Fillmore reports Fresca is reopening.)
In Hayes Valley, ARLEQUIN CAFE suddenly threw in the towel, with Absinthe Group owner Bill Russell-Shapiro citing the high cost of doing business in SF, which the casual café couldn’t survive through, even after numerous tweaks and adjustments. They are going to keep the space and reconcept; stand by. [Via The Chronicle.]
After more than 20 years in business, BLOWFISH SUSHI TO DIE FOR has closed. (Oh, the hazy memories of consuming monster-sized maki rolls and Cosmos there in my twenties, with all the loud music and anime videos.) Owners Jason Teplitsky and chef Ritsuo Tsuchida have been busy with multiple locations of Iza Ramen and now Hell’s Ramen, no word what is next for the space. 2170 Bryant St. at 20th St. [Via Eater.]
SFWeekly reports two locations of ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK PIZZA are closing: their Mission location on 22nd Street and Polk Street. Their other locations remain open, so their pesto and potato slices are safe for now—the first location on Haight opened in 1986.
Okay, that’s it, I’m closing the coffin lid!
The classic Elite Cafe sign. Photo: Molly DeCoudreaux Photography (via Faebook).