Just a couple weeks ago, I was driving by LUCCA RAVIOLI CO. late one night in the Mission, and there was a little voice in my head that quickly gave thanks that this iconic SF Italian-American deli was still with us, with its quirky hand-painted signs and jaunty tricolore awning and signage. Well, that little voice that was comforting me was wrong.
The sad news that this beloved deli and shop is closing on Saturday April 20th (the day before Easter Sunday) has been cascading and crashing throughout the city. When I moved back to California after living in Italy, Lucca was the only place I could find my Lavazza coffee for my Moka pot (and replacement gaskets), and they’d always slice my finocchiona and spicy coppa just-so, but would still show me my first slice for approval before tiling and layering the meats with care like the pros they are. I posted some more thoughts on tablehopper’s Facebook page… At least it’s not a case of a greedy landlord: it’s just that the owner (Michael Feno) is ready to retire and there aren’t any successors to take over the business.
It’s a huge loss to SF—that shop was one in a million. And those union guys who ran the counter, also one in a million. After 94 years, you tend to think something will be here forever, but sadly, that is not the case. Time for me to have a final photoshoot since the last one was for an article in the Chronicle back in 2007! At least we have a couple months to take a number, say our goodbyes, eat some final ravioli, and hope the guys offer me one last breadstick dipped in their pesto. I’ll also pick up a bottle something bitter so I can pour some out—here’s to 94 years, since 1925, what a feat. Grazie, Lucca! And if you have a cool $8.3M, you can buy Lucca and its neighboring buildings. Sigh. 1100 Valencia St. at 22nd St.
One of SF’s most eco-conscious restaurants, THE PERENNIAL is closing after service this Saturday February 9th. In the farewell note from owners Karen Leibowitz and Anthony Myint, they say, “So much has happened at The Perennial to give us hope and make us grateful to everyone who made this mission-driven restaurant a reality—and we have witnessed a real shift toward food and agriculture in the conversation around sustainability, which we are proud to have been part of. Meanwhile, during the same years we have run The Perennial, we were also building another labor of love: a non-profit sister organization we named The Perennial Farming Initiative, which is dedicated to the same mission as The Perennial. We have learned so much from toggling between the two projects, but as founders we have come to the conclusion that we can be more effective advocates for a renewable food system through PFI. As people, as parents, as partners, we recognize that it is time to close.” Best wishes to them, and thanks for everything they do to pioneer sustainability in food businesses and beyond. 59 9th St. at Mission.
Darn it, one of the dirtiest burgers in the City is leaving us: THE BOARD in SoMa has closed. Owner Adam Mesnick was having difficulties making things work with staffing while keeping costs affordable—it wasn’t for lack of trying. At least we can still get his wicked sandwiches at DELI BOARD. 1077 Mission St. at 7th St.
Fans of DUMPLING KITCHEN in Parkside will be bummed to learn it has suddenly closed—the owners are retiring, and decided to close after eight years of making their tasty dumplings. 1935 Taraval St. at 29th Ave. [Via Eater.]
Another unexpected closure was ~COFFEE BAR~ in the Mission, which suddenly closed without any explanation. I checked in with original owners Robert Stang and Luigi Di Ruocco (Mr. Espresso) on the closure, who said, “We learned of the Bryant location’s closure along with the general public, closed doors with no explanation. We sold that location to a group of private investors, our agreement prohibits us from discussing them or the sale. We have inquired with them with no response.” We’ll have to see what happens next at the location. Coffee Bar’s other locations remain open and unaffected. 1890 Bryant St. at Florida.
Things also look a little up in the air at ALLEGRO ROMANO on Russian Hill. A tablehopper reader sent in a pic of a notice of suspension in the window, and you can’t make any reservations on OpenTable. I’ve reached out to owner Lorenzo Logoreci, and will let you know if I hear back. 1701 Jones St. at Broadway.
The classic exterior of Lucca Ravioli Company. Photo via Lucca’s Facebook page.