The original location of Chow at 215 Church Street, which opened in 1997, has closed for good, and the Castro/Duboce Triangle neighborhood is going to be crying about this for months.
Tried-and-true Chow, with its basic-but-delicious weeknight fare at reasonable prices — including the always reliable meatloaf and lasagna — is now completely gone from San Francisco, after the Inner Sunset location closed last year. That location had been going strong for 20 years, but it seems business hasn't been great and rep Jamie Johnson tells Eater, simply, "It was just time for us," adding, "This is not how we wanted this to go, obviously."
The Church Street restaurant announced a scaling back of hours in early January, for the first time in years closing on Mondays and Tuesdays. This came after the very short life and abrupt closure of an ambitious location on Oakland's Piedmont Avenue, which had an attached bakery and market, and which shuttered in late October after barely 10 months in business. Also, a Danville location closed early last year as well.
Owner Tony Gulisano apparently had an amicable relationship with his Church Street landlord, but some combination of factors apparently made the location unsustainable. Chow still has one location open, however, in Lafayette, though things aren't looking great for this business as a whole.
In a note to customers, the Chow team says, "This location deserves someone to come in and carry the torch for this beautiful neighborhood. Our home here on Church Street has been a real blessing for us — and for you! — for so many years, and we hope it will continue to be so for many more. Please reach out to our super landlord Tom, at 415-863-6128, if you think you're up for the task!"
This is the second big closure in the Castro in recent weeks, following the abrupt shuttering of Beso on 18th Street. As Hoodline reports today, that space will be quickly taken over by the team behind Lark, a few doors down.
Also, that little stretch of Church is going to be extra dark for a while following the sad, sad closure of Aardvark Books in January.
Retail vacancies, meanwhile, are rampant up and down Market Street and on 18th.