Man, we have some tough closures to announce. Some are sadly permanent, while others are going into hibernation to reconcept and try to ride this out until indoor dining returns.
One of the quickest places (if not the first) to flip from a restaurant to a fully stocked general store/market was Anthony Strong’s PRAIRIE in the Mission. If there is anyone who embodies the true spirit of the pandemic pivot, it’s this guy. If you received his recent emails or read the product descriptions in his online market, you have undoubtedly chuckled at his cheeky humor and sass of late, a bright spot in these dark times.
Sadly, in an email this morning, Anthony announced he is closing Prairie—his first restaurant—this Friday August 14th. Here’s more from his heartbreaking farewell note: “Unfortunately, our restaurant won’t be able to survive the long-term effects of the pandemic. This sucks and it’s not what we wanted, but we’re proud to have given it everything we had, are honored to have served our community, and we greatly appreciate the support you’ve given us throughout all of this.
“We’d love to see you one last time, and if you’re down to help. Please place one more order and help us clear out the rest of our inventory. Alison just bottled her sour cherry grappa, Julian is making his last round of Impossible tamales, and we’re putting together one final dinner kit, calling it “PRAIRIE’s Last Supper” since the occasion seemed deserving of some dark humor…
“We have a GoFundMe setup for our team, most of whom won’t be able to receive state or federal assistance. Please donate if you can, it will help them get through what will undoubtedly be a rough stretch ahead. Swing by, say hi, and maybe do a farewell shot at the window.
“It’s been my dream to have a restaurant of my own in SF since I started cooking here 14 years ago. We were barely over a year old when COVID hit, but although this feels devastating and unfair, I’ll be forever grateful for having had the opportunity, and for all of the memories and lessons learned along the way.”
Please help this brother out, and his Prairie team, who are his family, in any way you can. Thank you for all the delicious meals and fun moments, Anthony. You gave it your all, and we are so sorry this happened. Best wishes to you and your crew.
Another Mission restaurant closing shop is GREAT GOLD on 24th Street from David Steele. Chef-partner Brandon Kirksey has been making some homey Italian American classics—like an awesome chicken Parm, and his crazy-delicious tomato bread—while using seasonal and quality ingredients, along with housemade pasta dishes. Lately, they’ve been offering meal kits and family meals to try to make it through.
From their Instagram post today: “The world is upside down right now and restaurants are doing all they can to stay afloat. Unfortunately the time has come for us to say goodbye to our home on 24th street. The last three years have been incredible, our neighborhood has been loving and supportive, we’ve met locals that have become close friends, we’ve given the community a place to feel welcomed. Whether you came in for soju slushies and fried chicken or a Nebbiolo and hand cut noodles, we love you and can’t thank you enough for your support in making our dreams come true. We love you 24th street! We love you mission district, we love you San Francisco! This is bitter sweet, big news to come. Stay tuned.”
Great Gold will be available for some final delivery this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, so you can get one last fix. Take care, Brandon. Gonna miss your Parm (and sandwiches!) and fun booths.
Over in Dogpatch, Tommy Halvorson has temporarily closed SERPENTINE, which Erin Rooney opened in 2007, and he took it over three years ago. Read the article from Eater for details, and it looks like he’s going to hibernate it for now and see what he can create/rethink that will survive our impossible restaurant climate and current flawed model. For now, he’s focusing on custom food and drink boxes for virtual experiences at home with his catering business, Foxtail Catering.
In SoMa, our classic SF-meets-East Coast seafood spot from Mitchell and Steven Rosenthal, (the owners of Town Hall and Salt House), ~ANCHOR & HOPE~, has closed after 12 years in business. The building they’re in is now for rent, and their restaurant space is up for lease. Be sure to visit the guys at Jersey, where you can pick up their incredible East Coast-style pizza and the famous Town Hall fried chicken. [Via Chronicle.]
Just shy of 30 years in business, BAKER STREET BISTRO in Cow Hollow has closed. Owners Danel and David de Betelu tried to hang on as long as they could, but have decided to focus their energy on their new venture, patisserie Maison Danel, which recently reopened on Polk Street. They have brought some Baker Street Bistro dishes over, including their beef bourguignon and cassoulet. [Via Hoodline.]
A couple weeks ago, Pam and Richard of CATHEAD’S BBQ announced their closure after 12-plus years of serving their barbecue and namesake biscuits in SoMa. Their last day was August 2nd. Thanks for feeding us all these years! Best wishes.
And closing this Friday August 14th will be MAUERPARK, the charming three-year-old German café in the Castro. You can read the note from owner Salome Buelow and more in the post on Hoodline. Auf wiedersehen. Sigh.
Over in Oakland, 4505 BURGERS & BBQ announced their indefinite closure in a post on Instagram: “To Our Oakland Community, It is with heavy hearts that we announce our MacArthur location is closing its doors indefinitely beginning today. As you all know, it’s been a tough year, and we are so grateful for our team’s hard work and the support of the Laurel community. Unfortunately this hiatus is the best option available to us. This was not an easy decision, but for the time being, it’s for the best.
“Our San Francisco location will still be open. Our goal is to bring our BBQ back to the East Bay in a new, creative way. There are a few things on the horizon, so stay tuned for more. Until then, stay safe and healthy. We’ll see you later, Oakland.” You can read more in this piece in the Chronicle.
A sneak peek at some fixtures and tableware at Prairie. Instagram photo via @anthonystrong.