Less than two months after its November opening, fancy downtown Wagyu spot Ittoryu Gozu suffered a small kitchen fire New Year's Eve that threw a wrench into its celebratory dinner service.
The San Francisco Fire Department posted video from the scene at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, showing firefighters entering and exiting the restaurant at 201 Spear Street and saying that the place was evacuated and no one was injured. Hoodline reports that the entire 18-story office building above the restaurant also had to be evacuated.
"Apologies to our guests that had to leave unexpectedly this evening and those that did not get a chance to dine with us," said the restaurant in a subsequent Instagram post. The team said that damage was "minimal," and "We'll be back in action shortly."
Update: On Friday, chef and co-owner Marc Zimmerman issued a statement clarifying the situation, and saying the restaurant may be closed for two months.
"The majority of the restaurant is in good condition, however we will need some time to rebuild our hearth — the main feature and element of our robatayaki-inspired concept," Zimmerman says. He adds that fire was due to a "structural issue" and was not the fault of the staff, and he hints that during this unexpected closure, the restaurant may be hosting pop-ups or other special events.
1st ALARM FIRE 201 SPEAR GOZU RESTRUANT EVACUATED NO INJURIES AVOID AREA pic.twitter.com/gWfmI8qvx9— SAN FRANCISCO FIRE DEPARTMENT MEDIA (@SFFDPIO) January 1, 2020
This is an especially unlucky thing to have happen in the middle of a big service night like New Year's Eve, especially so early in the restaurant's run.
Zimmerman originally came from Alexander's Steakhouse, and Ittoryu Gozu is his personal love letter to Japanese beef, with menus ranging from $120 to $150 per person. The co-owner is tech investor Ben Jorgensen, who was also an early investor in the Michelin three-starred Single Thread in Healdsburg. The beef is all cooked over charcoal on Japanese robata grills, and diners can choose to be seated fireside at the chef's counter, or at tables.