Just days after learning that decorated SoMa restaurant AQ would shutter this month there's more bad dining news from the neighborhood: 24-year-old LuLu has closed, its wood-fired ovens put out for good after an impressively long run.
Tablehopper had the word today, writing that the closure was lamentable "even though [LuLu] lost its luster in recent years." Hoodline, too, took note of the closure, with a tipster pointing to a sign at the restaurant's 816 Folsom address (at 4th Street).
Inside Scoop got ahold of LuLu's special events manager Darla Parks who reports that the decision to close was made suddenly and effective immediately on New Year's Day.
In a review of LuLu from 2014, Chronicle food critic Michael Bauer wrote that the mainstay needed a "shot of enthusiasm," and it's possible customers didn't have much of that either, thanks to constant construction nearby on the Central Subway project. Although food at LuLu had grown tired, Bauer wrote of the interior that it "felt as if the restaurant could have been built just last year." In fact, it had been built out in 1993.
The critic also gave credit to LuLu for pioneering family-style presentations and communal tables, writing that it was the most important restaurant to open in 1993 in another retrospective. "Few restaurants have been the harbinger of so many trends as Lulu," he argued. "Located on Folsom and Fourth streets in a sleekly designed warehouse, Lulu lured locals to what was then a desolate area."
Related: AQ Closing After Five Years In SoMa