Way back in 2012, the city mourned the loss of grungy, late-night, iconic Chinatown mainstay Sam Wo, which was shuttered by the Health Department after multiple violations spanning years. There were glimmers of hope at the time that it might reopen, but the owners, the Ho family, ultimately abandoned the restaurant's longtime home at 813 Washington Street, because the necessary improvements to the aging building were unaffordable. Now, as Tablehopper reports, the Hos have secured the modest Anna Bakery space at 715 Clay Street (at Kearny), and they plan to revive Sam Wo there by July.
Construction is reportedly getting underway, and the plan is to have a basement kitchen with dining on the main level, as well as a space on the mezzanine for groups, with all three levels connected (like in the old location) by a dumbwaiter.
Also, in excellent news for late-night eats, they're planning to revive the old late-night hours they kept, opening from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m., and also doing daytime service from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. And since Anna Bakery was a popular hangout for elderly people in the neighborhood, they plan to continue to allow that, with some afternoon tea hours as well. And there will be takeout.
As SFist discussed recently in our roundup of infamous local legends, one of Sam Wo's longtime claims to fame was "San Francisco's rudest waiter," Edsel Ford Fong. Fong became celebrated in tourist guides for the way he regularly abused customers, calling them fat, retarded, telling them what to order, groping female patrons, and/or demanding big tips.
But the restaurant predates Fong's tenure (which ended with his death in the early 1980s) but many decades it opened on Washington Street in 1907, but reportedly existed in a different location as early as 1897.
Sam Wo - 715 Clay Street at Kearny - Opening (maybe) in July