One of the many harbingers of Mid-Market's ongoing transformation, and one that got a boost via a big loan from the City, Pearl's Deluxe Burgers, is calling it quits on their 6th and Market location after just two years and change. The reason, says co-owner Young Yi, is that the location simply hasn't been profitable, and he's still paying off that loan.
Pearl's began with the opening of Pearl's PhatBurgers in Mill Valley in 2003, followed by their first S.F. location, called Pearl's Deluxe Burgers, on Post Street in the Tenderloin in 2006. Following that they opened a third location in Alameda which has since closed, and the Market Street location opened in October 2011. As Yi tells SFist, "It cost me $250,000 to open a store in Alameda. It's three times that in San Francisco!"
It seems the promised trickle of foot traffic from Twitter and other new office tenants just hasn't come, and Twitter HQ is, of course, four long blocks away. Similar complaints about how slow this particular part of Market Street has been to improve came over two years ago from Gayle Pirie, chef-owner of Foreign Cinema and Show Dogs, which sits across the street from Pearl's. She told the Wall Street Journal in 2011 that they were "led astray" by the property owner when they agreed to open Show Dogs in 2009, mainly because traffic to the next-door Golden Gate Theater and to the Warfield down the street have not amounted to enough business for them.
Around the corner, though, on Sixth and Stevenson, the relocated Dottie's True Blue Cafe has been doing a big breakfast and brunch business with lines down the block, so you won't hear too many complaints from them.
Yi reminds us that it was the City that wooed and recruited him and his wife to expand to this location, but Sixth Street still has a long way to go before anyone will call it gentrified. Safety, he says, is also part of the decision to close. "I've had staff members get punched outside [the restaurant]," he says.
The Yis will be transferring ownership of the business at 1001 Market to the landlord, John Gall, the same landlord that has been trying to evict all those people up the street at 1049 Market, which he also owns. SFist also heard a rumor that the building's rent increased significantly. When asked whether or not a jump in rent price had anything to do with the decision to shutter Pearl's, Yi explained, "Oh, you know, I don't want to air my dirty laundry."
Pearl's Deluxe Burgers on Market will close at the end of this month, but the Post Street location will stay open.