The bakery Pinkie's and its co-tenant and sister restaurant Citizen's Band, a casual, diner-style operation serving contemporary comfort food, have both closed. A tip to SFist revealed that staff had been notified last night, and the Chronicle confirms the news, speaking to owner and pastry chef Cheryl Storms and partner Chris Beerman. Wednesday was the restaurant's final night.
The two spaces were opened together in 2010, with Citizen's Band dubbing itself a "fine diner in the heart of gritty SoMa," and Pinkie's has since expanded with a Bernal Heights location on Cortland. While at first the atmosphere in SoMa, with its young startups and their employees, was good for business, then “All the tech bros got their own kitchens and stopped coming," Storms tells the Chronicle.
Storms, who says she is courting potential buyers of the SoMa space, blames factors like rising minimum wage and city-mandated employer health care spending for some of her businesses' diffculties. “It’s almost impossible for the little guy,” said Storms. “I don’t understand how San Francisco expects businesses besides Chipotle to succeed.”
This is a familiar refrain now of restaurateurs across the city one owner of a large and fairly busy downtown restaurant tells SFist that he saw his payroll costs go up 20 percent in just one month this summer, in August, largely because of the latest minimum wage hike that took effect in July combined with consequent raises that had to be given to more senior employees.
The reasoning was similar for the closure of Mint Plaza spot Oro this summer after less than a year in business. And this week also saw the abrupt closure of nine-month-old restaurant Volta, also in SoMa, despite it being named to the Chronicle's Top 100 in May.