In the first of what could be many eulogies for Bay Area restaurants, the owners of the Delfina Restaurant Group say they have laid off many of their 300 employees and they've likely shuttered Locanda for good.
The news comes via this devastating piece on SFGate, in which owners Craig and Annie Stoll say they had many of their employees get in line Tuesday evening on 18th Street for their final paychecks. "We wanted them all to meet in one location so Craig and I could personally hand their checks to them," Annie Stoll told SFGate. "They’re family. It was really difficult." She was reportedly relaying the story through tears.
Stoll says that they hope to reopen Delfina after the coronavirus crisis abates, but they will need to secure a small business loan from a bank this week in order to do that. Though it's not definitive yet, she says Locanda is likely closing for good.
90 percent of the restaurant group's staff has been laid off — the Stolls said they were holding on to some managers in order to help them ultimately rebuild the businesses, and all of management has taken a salary cut.
Locanda debuted in 2011 as the Roman offshoot of Delfina, offering pastas and grilled meat and fish dishes with a central-Italian flair. Delfina, meanwhile, is one of the OGs of the Mission's transformation (and yes, gentrification) back in the 1990s, when it debuted in 1998 next door to Bi-Rite on 18th Street. The company has since expanded with pizzerias, including locations in Burlingame and Palo Alto.
The downtown Pizzeria Delfina location has also closed, but the 18th Street and Pacific Heights locations remain open for takeout and delivery (as do the Peninsula locations). You can support them by ordering for pickup on their website (here's the link for the Mission location, here's Pacific Heights), or find them on the Caviar app.
If you have the means and further want to support the Delfina Restaurant Group, you can do so by purchasing a gift card for a future meal here. Many struggling restaurants are suggesting their loyal patrons show their support this way, because otherwise they may not survive this mess.