Izakaya Sushi Ran, the second-try restaurant from the Sushi Ran team in the 2223 Market Street space in the Castro which just launched in December, has shuttered for good after just seven months. The owners gave no reason for the closure, but there was a hint that another concept may be soon in the works.
A short note on the restaurant's door says simply "We appreciate all the kind support you have given to us over the past three years in the Upper Market/Castro community."
The space has seemed a bit cursed since the closure of 2223, the longtime neighborhood staple that occupied the space until 2012. It's cycled through four restaurants since then, as Hoodline notes: Jake's on Market, Pesce, Nomica, and then Izakaya Sushi Ran. As Eater reports, Nomica gave way to the more casual, maki roll- and izakaya-focused concept late last year when chef Hiroo Nagahara moved to LA to open his own restaurant.
Neither Nomica nor Izakaya Sushi Ran enjoyed constant packed dining rooms or long waitlists during their combined three-year run, which likely contributed to the second closure. But as Hoodline observes, there's a hint in one of the signs posted on the restaurant's windows — this one situated above the rainbow-painted rock that caused a stir in recent weeks after an accusation of "anti-homeless architecture." Referring to Pride Month and the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, the sign says, "Thank you for being with us to celebrate 50 years... We had a blast partying with you!!! That said, the love you gave us was/IS inspiring. GURRL... Fabulousness is brewing!!! Stay tuned..." There is then the hashtag that went along with the rock and the ensuing dialogue about it, #RainbowRockSF.
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@IzakayaSushiRan we’re proud of our diverse family! Join us for pride Sunday June 30th! Dj’s, Drag Queens, and specialty drinks! #RainbowRockSF #Pride2019 #PrideSF2019 #ComeShowUsYourPride #Castro #PrideSF #SFQueerFamily #Izakaya #PrideRock #CastroEats #CastroBars #CastroSFfoodie #japanese #japanesefood #happyhour #happyhoursf #happyhourcastro #happyhourcastrostyle
Could it be that some LGBTQ staffers are looking to capitalize on the rock's notoriety to launch something "brewing" related? The recent successes of Brewcade (which is about to reopen in expanded form as District 8 across the street) and Wilkommen might suggest some synergy there. And SFist notes that there's been no action on the Izakaya Sushi Ran liquor license, which doesn't expire until December 31. But, stay tuned...